Steps an Orange County Photographer can Take to Weather a Recession
Demand for photography services in Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Huntington beach and throughout Orange County is strong. However during the recent recession, demand has tapered off. The following are steps photographers can take to weather the recession.
During an economic downturn, may people start going through their budget to find ways to eliminate discretionary spending. Unfortunately for photographers, family portraits are often categorized as discretionary lowering demand for those services. Photography business owners need to adjust to stay afloat. The following are some suggestions for dealing with lower demand for a photographer's services.
1. Share studio space. When demand is low, it is unlikely for your studio is booked. Other photographers are feeling the same pain. Thus your studio might have enough capacity to service two photographers. By sharing studio space you will be able to lower rent and utilities expenses. In addition you may be able to share a receptionist - although you will have to come to an agreement on how to deal with the situation where a new client walks in the door.
2. Offer Mini-Sessions. A mini-session is simply a short 15-20 minute session which is offered at a lower price. If you can line 4-5 of these up for an evening at the beach, you should be able to make far more than you would on a standard one-and-a-half hour session. Each client will likely order less but since there are four times as many clients, your time will have been well spent. These sessions will bring in those clients who have a tradition of taking yearly pictures but do not have the money to spend on a full session this year.
3. Expand your marketing. While the total demand for photography is lower during a recession, a recession is a great opportunity for expanding market share. Increase your marketing budget. I know this is a difficult suggestion and goes against the natural tendency of one seeing his revenue drop, but it is the key function that will keep your business alive. Cut in other areas as needed, but do not cut your marketing budget unless it is absolutely necessary. If you really don't have much of a marketing budget and are not busy, spend the time expanding your non-spending marketing activities. Build up your friend list on Facebook. Update your website with your more recent (and hopefully better) images. Create an email list to send out marketing materials.
Surviving a recession with an OC photography business can be a challenge; but properly met will leave you well prepared and positioned to take advantage of any economic upswing.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
The Author is a Laguna Beach Wedding Photographer who services all of Orange County. He has created a website that evaluates, from a photographer’s perspective, wedding and portraits sites in and around Orange County.