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Make Money with your Digital Photography by Erin Manning

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Appendix A. taking care of business

No doubt, you have an eye for captivating images. And naturally, your technical skills are second to none. You may even have the best equipment money can buy. But you need more than that to become a successful professional photographer: You need business savvy. In this chapter, you'll explore the steps you need to take to get your photography business off the ground — and keep it there.

DEVELOP A BUSINESS PLAN

If you're like most entrepreneurs, about the last thing you want to do is create a business plan — that is, a formal statement outlining your business goals, why you believe those goals are attainable, and your plan for reaching those goals. No doubt, you just want to get started!

But the fact is that, especially if you will be seeking outside financing to get your business underway, you need a business plan. Not having a business plan is a little like casting off on a trip around the world without a map. Sure, you might have fun for a while — but eventually, you'll get lost and run out of gas. Indeed, your failure to create a business plan may well result in the ultimate failure of your business.

Still not convinced? Think about it this way: Forming a business plan is an excellent way to test the viability of your business idea, not to mention gain an understanding of your customers, competition, and industry. It enables you to identify the following key pieces of information:

  • Who you will serve

  • How you will serve them better than anyone else ...

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