Running an ordinary business is not easy. Running a successful photography business is without a doubt even more challenging as it requires you to sacrifice not only capital resources but also your time, presence and energy. Whether you run a part-time or full-time photography business, the amount of effort required is bound to take a toll on you and those around you including family and friends. So how do you achieve and maintain business success without compromising on your other interests and priorities? The answer is simple; outsourcing.
Different sites and literature sources give different definitions for the term outsourcing. But what they are all trying to say is that outsourcing is simply the process of getting outside help.
As a business owner, outsourcing is a great way to let go of some responsibilities allowing you to take back your life and drop the workaholic title. Outsourcing also has a lot of benefits to offer to your business and is without a doubt something that all business owners should look into.
In spite of all that is in store for people who try out outsourcing, it is not necessarily a bulletproof strategy. In order to make the most out of it, you need to be smart in terms of individuals and associates whose services and resources you solicit. This is the best way to ensure that you get to enjoy a little more down time without compromising on the progress and successful status of your business.
So what are the benefits of outsourcing as a business owner?
I have the cost or retouching built into my session and products. Not to mention the time I save allows me to do more sessions which only I can do. If it takes me 4 minutes per image to retouch 30 images that's 2 hours. The cost to outsource is $0.60 an image, so total $18. I could do an entire senior session in that 2 hour time and make way more than $18. Heck, I can't even pay an employee that low of a wage to retouch for me. Even if I opt for the $2.50 per image for retouching, I'm still only paying $75 for 30 images. I use Rebooku for all my retouching. They have been great to work with and I usually get my images back the next day!
I have a graphic design degree and love to design albums, however, I found out that I was spending way too much time on each design when I was creating them myself. I then invested in many templates to speed up the process which helped, but it would still take me over an hour to design an album for a senior with 30 images. Then I found Rebooku. Now I outsource my albums to Rebooku if I want a graphic looking design for my albums. With Rebooku, I simply pick a design I like, upload my images, and they have a fully designed proof back to me the next day. I can make changes or approve and then simply upload it to my lab to get printed. Super easy and stress-free! Rebooku also does a great job at image extraction and designing sports posters.
I used to package all my orders myself which seems like it wouldn't take all that long but I found that I was so busy that orders would end up sitting in the box from the lab for a week before I would have time to get to them. This delayed the order an extra week in getting it to my clients who were super excited to get what they paid for! This drove me crazy.
Another problem I would run into is having all the necessary box sizes for prints, tissue paper, bows, etc. in stock to fulfill the orders. It never failed that I would get an order in, it would sit a few days and then when I would open it up to package I would be short a box or something to complete the packaging process. Then I had to place an order with the packaging company and wait a few more days until the boxes would come in so I could complete the order. This not only delayed the order in getting out, but it also took away precious time I didn't have and created stress for my client and me. The solution: Outsourcing to White House Custom Colour (WHCC) for my packaging. When I place my print order with WHCC all, I have to do is simply pick what color of packaging I would like and add that to my order. For only $7.50 my order comes nicely packaged with the correct box size for my prints, fancy tissue paper, bows and event he wallets are punched out and in boxes! All I have to do is call my client and set up a pickup date.
Framing is a great way to add extra revenue to your photography business. The problems I would run into is that frames quickly go out of stock and I would have to make a minimum order with the frame company. Not to mention, when the frame would come in I would have to take apart the frame, clean the glass and put it all back together. This takes precious time I didn't always have. Now I use the framing option that is built right into WHCC. All I have to do is pick my frame option when ordering my print and WHCC takes care of the rest. My prints come to me all framed and ready for my clients. The frame options are limited, but I've found that most of my clients were overwhelmed in the past with too many options and most images easily match the options WHCC has to offer.
Hiring a cleaning company to clean my studio and house was one of the first things I outsourced. Take a look at the time it takes you to clean. I bet you could be paying someone to do that for you which allows you to focus on things that will make you way more money. Even if you don't have a studio, having a cleaning person clean your house is an excellent way to outsource.
Much like outsourcing cleaning, hiring someone to cut your lawn, plow snow, fertilize your lawn, or just maintain the landscaping around your home or studio is another great job to outsource. The company I hire to lay down mulch and fertilize my lawn actually costs me the same amount as if I would pay for the materials I do it myself. I was wasting so much time and money on things that I could easily outsource!
I hope this gives you a few ideas on ways you can outsource jobs that may be taking precious time away from your life and family. I heard a business coach once say, "You will never make a million dollars doing $15 an hour jobs." The point they were making is to take a look at the daily tasks that you do in business and life and if you can outsource a few of those tasks for a reasonable price, then do it. Don't waste time on jobs that can easily be done by others when you can make more doing things in your own business at a higher profit margin.
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