Ever feel like this guy? If you're a wedding or portrait photographer - and running your own business, chances are - you have. The truth is, most of us can be easily overwhelmed by the things we have to do on a regular basis: edit photos, meet with clients, track our income and expenses, purchase new equipment, fulfill orders, manage our clients information, and more.
Most of us operate with very little margin in our business - or our life. I like to think of margin as the difference between all the things we're doing (our responsibility), and all the things we're capable of doing (our capacity). For many of us, we have little or no margin - and end up feeling like our friend above. If you scroll down, you'll see this post, where I share results about how photographers spend most of their time.
The fact is, most of us spend much of our time on things that don't necessarily help us grow our business - they just help us barely keep our head above the water. So, what if we were able to create systems that helped free up some of that margin - so we could spend more time on things that really helped us build our business.
So what do I mean by "systems?" Everything you do on a regular basis should have a system: a repeatable process to complete common tasks. In my business, I have systems in place for our accounting, our workflow, client relationship management, sales, and ordering. Each of these systems is designed to be efficient - saving me time.
For example - I block 2 hours, one day each week for entering information in quickbooks. I block time each day for responding to email and other communication that needs my attention. My image editing workflow takes me about 4 hours on Monday, and my album pre-design takes about 1.5 hours on Wednesday.
I'm not saying you have to follow my schedule - but by having a system in place - that I know I can repeat, time after time, I'm able to save myself time for things that are critical for building a business.
Taking the time up front to put in a system that works, can save you time - and margin - later.
image from istockphoto.com