Young entrepreneur trying to get some help
Hi, I am 20 this year, and I have recieved my photography qualifications with experience to start my own business off with. I am in the process of starting my business which will offer individual, family, wedding and many more photography packages at affordable costs. I am really struggling to get the finance to start my business up. I need £3844 and can detail exactly what I need it for to the penny. I have already built a client base and have exhausted my own funds in getting the business a good start. I need to better my equiptment which is what the majority of the money will be used on, then marketing and the studio finishing. I have tried every method possible. The banks are not interested as it is such a small venture and I have no assets. I am literally working as much as I can to find the funding for this but without the relevant equiptment I cannot produce the images and photography to the quality I know I can. It is so frustrating knowing how many customers I can attract with the extra funding! I am just wondering if anybody can give me some advice? I am willing to do anything at all in order to make my business work as I believe in what I have to offer. It is different to what all the other photographers do and I want to develop into a massive company, and will do whatever it takes to get there. If you have any advice on how I can get the funding I would appreciate it! I have exhausted the banks methods, I cannot find a business loan small enough to fit the funding I need.
Its unlikely you will get a business loan for this sort of sum (and you would have to put half up in any case) a personal loan is far more likely. However when you are talking about this sort of sum then you probably be as well to "boot strap" it.
Ie do what you can do using the knowledge and equipment you have, make money, put money straight back into the business. Its how almost all real businesses start. Ie view what you are doing now as a starting point, and build for later on. Don’t beat yourself up about they fact that with X Y and Z you could do A, B and C, deal with what you HAVE got and can you can do. If you have customers, then if the business model works, you will presumably be making money.
One angle which might be possible with this, are you able to rent or borrow the equipment? If you approach some well established photographers you might be able to sell the penniless 20 year old approach and perhaps offer to do something for them in return? Ie offer some of your time in return for their old kit? You may well find someone would be more than happy to mentor you and help out, especially if they are not directly competing with you.
I hope that helps
PS do look at the Shell LiveWIRE awards, £1,000 a month. You would be eligible given you are 20.
James Smith [i]Chartered Accountant[/i] www.jamesesmith.co.uk --------------------------- Your indispensable guide to Small Business Bookkeeping, Self-Assessment & VAT
ooshphotography where in UK are you? I have had exactly the same problem. Graduated photographer with no good equipment. I was thinking about starting a business with another photographer to share the expenses. Or another possibility is to make a portfolio of your photographies and try to apply for a job in some photostudio. Difficult it is:/
Well done passing your photography qualifications!
I know a guy who was in a similar position to yourself about 5 years ago. The best and quickest way to raise the money is from your own profits. Provided you are pricing your work correctly and getting a reasonble amount of work, you should have little trouble. In my experience your overheads/expenses should not be excessive so your profits should be reasonable once you are up and running.
Build your profile/reputation/get noticed
Are you a member of a photography club? – a good source of knowledge, you may be able to borrow equipment you don’t have, you may meet a retired photographer who could mentor you
Could you do a charity calendar to showcase your skills and give profits to charity? – is there a local hospice/hospital/animal shelter nearby – produce a few calendars only, get a feature in local newspapers about what you are doing and where people can buy them, then a follow up feature with you presenting the charity with a cheque, make sure your business is mentioned
Could you hire a stand in a local shopping centre on saturdays between now and christmas offering children/family photos for christmas?
Website – would be good – lets people see quality of your work
Advert – on car/van of family/friends – build public awareness
Learn, learn, learn
You will learn so much over the next 5 years. It’s like driving, you only really learn to drive after you pass your test, with experience.
Gain as much practical experience as possible over the next few years a) as a commercial photographer; learn to price quotes correctly and improve your skills as a photographer, and b) running your business effectively; invoice as soon as possible, get paid, know what your sales/profits/cash are and who’s not paid each month. Some naughty people will try to take advantage of you because you are young and inexperienced – get advice from others on how to deal with people like this. Also you may be able to get deposits from people for weddings, this will help your cashflow and also reduce the chance that they will ‘bump’ you for another photographer; if they have paid you a deposit, it’s less likely they will change to someone else.
Feedback – you say you already have a client base – get some feedback – also send a short questionnaire with each invoice after every job – try to learn something from each and every one.
Things to do
1. Get noticed
2. Find help/advice/mentor to gain practical experience as commercial photographer
3. Find help/advice/mentor to run business effectively
4. Prepare a 5 year plan
5. Know my sales/profits/cash/who’s not paid every month
Good luck! Have fun!
GordonRevised on 16/06/2012 12:46FREE Startup Helpsheet FREE Business Plan Helpsheet
You may also want to look at the prince’s trust (or prince’s scottish youth business trust) as the case maybe.
I received a £5K loan from them, and then went on to become a Scottish and UK shell live winner too as it happens, and "won" £10K.
If you are considering self employment, you may also want to check out
Thank you all for taking the time to reply to me.
It is so appreciated that you’ve shared your knowledge and experience!
I’ll take everything that you’ve all said into thought and will also check out the UK shell LiveWire website.
Do not underestimate the power of facebook with regards to you’re advertising, although make a group and not a social profile as you get a cap on how many people you can add as a profile. Facebook combines alot of advertising strategies into one!
Also about you’re equipment is there any chance you can get second-hand cameras? or re-con’d ones? the photography market is not really one iam familiar with but you WILL find a way to do it so please do not give up.
You cannot give yourself the title of "entrepreneur" someone has to give it to you
How many customers do you currently have? Are you already promoting your self through relating inexpensive means such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Blog?
Like other’s have suggested you could try and borrow equipment or buy slightly order equipment. Photoshop is also a good tool, yes you want to get the best photo possible in the camera first and only do small changes in photo editing programs but that could be a sort term solution to not having good equipment.
(Accounting Help) www.accounting-help.co.uk
guys…. more important is to how to get money to buy professional equipment (which is around 5-10.000 pounds) to be able to shoot something at first. then promotion can take the place.
you dont need vastly expensive equipement to start making money from photography, you will need lots of expensive kit to set up a studio etc but you can hire studios by the hour and include the hire cost in your charges to your clients. Start with small jobs and save up for the kit, if you get a loan and buy all the kit you thn have to get the work to make the loan payments, if you start small you can have a part time job to give you some cash as well as develop your photography business, apologies for that pun btw.