As a mom starting my newborn, family and senior photography business, I have taken dozens of classes, read hundreds of books and articles and listen to Podcasts regularly in order to improve and grow my business. It can be overwhelming to decide on which book or strategy or idea to really go with and how to implement the ideas of differing experts. Even though there are thousands of books out there in the world offering help you start a new business, I found Business Boutique by Christy Wright to be the best choice for women. Her book is directed specifically to women entrepreneurs, and as a female wannabe entrepreneur, I devoured her book. I loved her stories and anecdotes for success. She breaks down a very complex concept into bite-size, attainable pieces. Since I am a huge planner and I love to do lists, her style and breakdown of tasks at the end of each chapter, made this the best book I have read about business to date.
Starting with Tier 1, “Build Your Foundation,” she delves into the “why” behind starting a business, overcoming the ever-present nagging fear we all have before starting something new, and gives you confidence that your ideas matter and you have something to offer the world. Again, each chapter ends with specific steps that need to be taken before moving on. This was incredibly helpful for me to apply each idea and action item she covered and to feel like I was actually taking necessary steps to progress in my business journey rather than just reading an interesting and inspiring book. My favorite quote from this section was:
"Fear isn't a sign that you are doing something wrong. It's a sign that you're doing something new. It doesn't mean you are not capable, qualified, or ready. It just means you're doing something that matters to you. Fear doesn't mean you are doing something bad. It means you are doing something bold."
Tier 2, “Make It Yours,” and Tier 3, “Up and Running,” concern more concrete matters, such as discovering your strengths, overcoming weaknesses, managing your time, investing and earning money from a business, the resources necessary to run a business, and operational issues. She also encourages women to build the business around their life, and making sure that money, time, schedule and space is planned ahead of time. With my tendency to put myself and my needs on the back burner, it was so refreshing to make a plan with my needs (even if those needs involve taking care of my home and family, etc.) first before taking other steps to create a business. She had some incredibly poignant points about allocating personal money towards your business, which is a trap I fall into regularly (ie: buying newborn photo props on the same Amazon order as deodorant and toothpaste which confuses the "business" budget and the "personal care" budget and can cause financial trouble down the road).
Tier 4, “Put Yourself Out There,” is a valuable section on marketing a business, which might be my favorite topic. With a degree in PR and an overall fascination with business marketing, I love tips for marketing business. Her book highlights four areas (Who you are, Who your customer is, Where your customers are, How to talk to your customers), and covers essential information about branding, target audiences, content marketing, customer cultivation, and the sales process.
Chapters within the four tiers are brief yet informative and very easy to read. At the end of each chapter are “action items;” where she asks relevant questions, encourages list-making (yay for speaking my language!), and includes tables and charts to be filled in. Once completed, these exercises form the basis of a customized business plan.
Bottom line: if you are a woman considering starting a business in 2019 or beyond, I highly recommend this book. If her Goal Planner Workbook wasn't nearly $50, I would be purchasing that in a heartbeat!
The month of January, my planned material is specifically for photographers wanting to start their own business, or improve their photography skills. If you have been thinking about starting a business in
senior photography, and or
Especially if you are in the Portland, Oregon area...stay tuned for more great tips and advice coming your way. If you want more ideas to come straight to your inbox, put your email address in the box below to be the first to get tips, tricks and notifications of photography business education blog posts.
In the meantime, order this book!