Starting a Small Business: Tips on Invoicing and Pricing
Remember when I was talking about creating multiple income streams to help me be able to quit my job and do things I love? Well, I have some good news! I’ve actually had a few photography clients that booked me for photo sessions, and one family even booked me again! The first time I took family portraits, and the second time I took prom pictures for their daughter. It was nice to do something I love plus earn a little extra money. Awesome! There are a few things that I’ve learned from this experience that I have learned from. Hopefully if you’re looking into starting your own small business, you can learn from my mistakes!
Under Charging for Time and Work
One of the families I took pictures for was my best friend’s mom. When I went over there, she asked me how much I was going to charge her. I honestly had no idea, so she said “two fifty?” I told her that she could look at the pictures after I shot and edited them and then decide how much she thought my time and energy was worth. Instead of having her figure it out, I should have set a price before hand and we should have agreed on it. Luckily, this was a friend’s mom, so it wasn’t that big of a deal.
Not invoicing quickly
She was willing to pay me when I did the family portraits, and then said she’d like me to take prom pictures as well. I told her that she could wait to pay me altogether. She said that she thought $100 was fair for the family portraits, and I agreed. I then planned on charging her $25 for the prom pictures. After I shot the prom pictures, she asked me how much I owed her, and before I could stop myself, I told her $100. I didn’t want her to feel like she was getting ripped off. I should have charged her $125 like I was planning on. I worked hard taking and editing the photos.
Not treating it like a real business
If I really want to get serious and start doing more photography for other people, I need to treat this as a real business. I need to invest time, money, and energy into it. After all, people need to realize that I’m serious about this. At this point, I’m not sure that I want to go full force into photography, so I’m not going to put forth the same amount of effort as I would if I knew that’s what I wanted to do.
Starting a small business can be pretty tricky. I think there are a lot of lessons to be learned, and I’ve already made some mistakes, so at least I got them out of the way early, right?
Would you ever start a small business? What kind of small business would you start?