Last year I promised myself that 2018 would be the year I re-assess my business goals and take my business to the next level. Oh, and blog more, hence this post =)
Tip #1 Find Opportunities to Reduce Costs by at least 10%
First you have to really understand what your total costs are, especially recurring ones. Earlier this year I finally made a complete list of all the monthly and yearly expenses I had – and, boy, was that eye-opening. It made me realize how much I need to make in a year just to break even. If you’re still wondering if you’re charging enough to have a profitable photography business, definitely do this exercise and re-assess your pricing as needed.
Items that are commonly paid for on a monthly/yearly basis include:
- Website: Hosting, domain renewal, domain privacy protection, online gallery hosting
- Storage Backup: I currently use Carbonite Cloud Backup ; additional Google Drive storage
- Annual Report Filing for your business
- Dues & Subscriptions: Creative Cloud, any other service you subscribe to
- Mobile phone bills
- Account Management Tool: Quickbooks
*Note: These are separate from variable expenses such as buying camera equipment, office supplies, gas, etc.
Of these expenses, the account management tool stood out as an area where I could potentially cut costs. I have been with Quickbooks since 2014, when I officially incorporated my business. My current plan costs $160/year and offers the following features:
- Track income & expenses
- Estimate quarterly taxes
- Run reports
- Invoice & accept online payments
After doing some research earlier this year, I discovered that another tool called Wave offered the same Quickbooks features but for free.
I signed up for an account and am in the process of inputting the data needed to manage my accounts with Wave moving forward.
That’s a $160 in savings right there that I would’ve missed out on if I just stuck to what I was already comfortable with and not bothered to do more research. It sounds like a small amount right now, but imagine if you did this cost reduction exercise across multiple areas of your business. You may be pleasantly surprised at all the ways you can save without sacrificing features.