If you’re in the process of building up your event photography business, you’re most likely already aware of some of the major the expenses you need to plan for. But many event photographers lose sight of some of the unexpected operating costs required to run a successful business.
Even though they may seem small at a glance, these costs can add up quickly, leaving you less profitable than you had hoped to be. To run a successful event photography business, here are three hidden operating costs you should be sure to account for:
1. Travel Expenses
One of the greatest luxuries for many professional photographers is getting to travel to events, happy occasions and other places you may not have chosen to visit otherwise. However, the costs associated with traveling can become expensive. Some of those costs, including airfare and petrol, only continue to rise.
Also, if you drive to many events, you have to consider the cost of using your personal vehicle for transportation and the maintenance required due to frequent travel. Additionally, time is money, and every minute you spend traveling to an event is a minute you could be working at another event or doing more valuable things for your business. To make sure you are pricing your services appropriately, consider important factors such as travel fees and travel times as you determine fees for your services.
2. Equipment Wear and Tear
Cameras, lenses, film and software programs are all part of the crucial list of supplies you need to run your business. But the industry is growing, and there are always new gadgets, product upgrades and photography gear to invest in to make sure your service offering is backed by the latest and greatest in event photography tools. Plus, you need to make sure your existing equipment is well conditioned and up-to-date on upgrades and repairs. As you build out your budget, account for these types of expenses so you have funds set aside if an unexpected repair pops up.
Promoting your new business also requires time, effort and extra expenses. To spread the word about you and your work, you must take the time to network at industry events, build up your portfolio and market yourself online. For example, if you’re looking to gain new business for specific types of events, such as weddings or school dances, attend tradeshows or business fairs where your target audience can find you and view your work. Also, consumers are much more inclined to work with a business they’ve heard great things about. Ask your customers to submit reviews or testimonials about working with you for your website. After reading a positive review, potential clients will feel more confident about reaching out to you to discuss new business. Whist all your marketing efforts are important, the costs and time associated with each marketing tactic will add up, so budget accordingly.
If you’re ready to see how these hidden expenses can impact your overall cost of doing business, the U.S. National Press Photographers Association offers a helpful Cost of Doing Business Calculator to help determine the costs you need to factor into your business plan.
Whether you’re just getting started or looking to grow your existing event photography business, you need a plan. To jumpstart this planning process, download our free guide, “Best Business Practices for Event Photographers”.