Business Plan: Jules “A” Side Pictures

Business Name:

“A” Side Pictures

Aim:

To take photos at affordable and competitive prices to help promote musicians, venues, and other related events within the local area.

Contact Details:

Address:

A Side Pictures

45 Denver Drive

Bournemouth

Dorset

Bh23 5FG

Email: A_side_pictures@gmail.com

Website: http://www.Asidepictures.co.uk

Phone: 0800 567 456

Mission Statement:

“A picture says a thousand words, Like lyrics to music”

Team Profile:

Initial Profile:

Myself:  current roles include Photographer, Booking agent, Advertisement, Recruitment and Accounting (possibly an outside source to begin with.)

Job Roles and Future Prospects:

Additional Photographers:

Under the command of a head photographer,  since it would be their responsibility for purchasing new equipment to better benefit the company, and taking the photos which would be the service the company is selling.

Booking Agent:

tasked with getting work for the photographer(s), using distance, availability to help justify a cost with the clients for the work required.

Advertising:

Crucial in any line of work it’s their job is to promote the companies name and services into the world to get businesses to approach us. It could involve placing ads in newspapers, magazines, radio, social networks, websites, flyers etc.

Accountant:

Job roles  would involve tracking the companies incomings and outgoings. They would also set a minimum figure of which services could be charged at due to expenditure of the business, as well as sorting out wages and the keeping of records.

Recruitment:

Lastly if the business does take off and more staff are needed, it would be up to Recruitment to hire new people if it was financially viable.

Market Research:

Example 1:

Love Through The Lens:

£15 per hour,  Can hire out their studio for £20ph, £50 half day or £75 for whole day.

Operates within: Beaulieu, Ferndown, Poole, Verwood, Ashurst, Brockenhurst, Lyndhurst, Lymington, New Milton, Barton-on Sea, Salisbury, Weymouth, Christchurch, Sandbanks, Blandford.

Counties: Devon, Cornwall , Dorset, Hampshire, Somerset, Wiltshire.

Contact Info:

Email: lovethroughthelens@hotmail.co.uk

Phone: 07590 200204

Website: http://www.dorsetportraitphotography.com

Example 2:

Studio Shotz:

Band Photography:

From £95, though can be negotiated.

Can do on location, or work in their studio based in Southbourne.

Email: info@studioshotz.co.uk

Phone: 01202 432234

Website: http://www.studioshotz.co.uk

Unique Selling Point(s):

Both businesses listed above have travel option’s with Studioshotz, also having an studio onsite which they can work from and they’re services cover a lot of ground, ranging from weddings to other large events. They don’t specialise in any particular type of photography, where my unique selling point would be that I do one specialised service.

The benefits of this include because I am specialised it makes my target market a lot more easier to identify, targeting a specific demographic, while from an outside point of view, it also means I will get more work because they won’t have to look as far to find what they are looking for.

I have the ability to offer a more competitive price, while still retaining the ability to travel to further locations with my work, with surplus staff adding to the amount of work my business can take on at any one time.

Because I am a specialist in this field, I’m more likely to acquire repeat business, and use these contacts to get recommendations and future contracts.

Cash Flow Forecast:

Attached Spreadsheet

On my attached spreadsheet, I have predicted my cash flow for the year, Starting with an investment of £500 from my savings, and what a £500 investment would do. Roughly each job on average including VAT I would charge a cost of £179.99, with me needing to do a minimum of 3 jobs per month in order to make a profit.

You could have any capital expenditures being paid monthly to save on costs, which would make your monthly outgoings more, but it would leave you with more money in your closing balance, giving you operating costs in months where work isn’t as common, or in case something stops you from doing your work.

However, Paying off your capital expenditures at once means that you would be making more profit each month since you will only be charged your monthly expenditure, but your business would take longer to make a profit, and as a result stay in debt longer.

This then comes with the problem off going into your overdraft which may charge you interest each month your balance isn’t positive. Due to the nature of my business, I have chosen the first option, since I might get more work in some months than others, resulting in me needing less outgoings in order to make the business profitable.

Company Materials:

(NOTE: this is not a real business, just a hypothetical situation.)

Company Materials:

Further expanding upon my Business Plan, I needed to start making marketing materials to help me advertise myself and subsequently gain business. The three main materials I need to produce are a Logo, a Business Card, and an Invoice.

An example of a logo that is synonymous with its product is the Coca Cola logo, almost as famous as the flavour itself.

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Logo Design:

A logo is a graphic mark or symbol, which is used by organisations to get the public to easily identify their products and services, with the following factors being taken into its account when its being designed:

  • Convey the history of the business.2
  • Be used in on many different forms of media.
  • Be easy to understand and memorise.
  • Colour and shape.
  • Its purpose.
  • Your target audience.
  • Why it is needed?
  • Be timeless.
  • Work in black and white.
  • Impressive and Seductive.
  • Keep it Simple

Now that I had established some traits a logo should exhibit, I decided to use the two examples from my business plan and see if their subsequent logo’s showed off any of the previous points.

Business 1: Love through the Lens Photography:

3First off the Logo is simple and readable, creatively replacing the O in “Love” with a heart, with a font type that gives the impression its hand written, further emphasising the love and attention which goes into their work. It’s easy to remember, While being seductive enough to make you want to further explore its works. Due to the nature of its design it definitely seems to aimed more towards a feminine audience, even though what the company does is a multitude of things.

It also works in black and white:

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Business 2: Studio Shotz

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As opposed to Love through the Lens, Studio Shotz have gone for a far more practical logo design, in bold black and white to act a stamp to let you know they mean business. The use of the inverted “Shotz” part of the logo gives contrast and draws the eye, with the black square acting as frame, tying in their business into the logo. The fonts are easy to read, with the main information in a different font so it doesn’t blend in with the rest of the logo.

These two gave me some rough ideas to work with, I decided my logo needed to exhibit both photography and music related imagery, as this would convey what type of business it is, or its purpose.

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Immediately I gravitated towards the idea of using the music stave as a form of film roll, as they both exhibited similar qualities as they both record the events of their respective media, and would be easily identifiable by my target audience.

So with a little artistic license, I created the above logo for my business. I chose to keep it simple by only using two colours, which would mean printing costs wouldn’t be as expensive, plus make it usable on multiple different forms of media easily. In black and white it also acts a stamp for my business, looking professional and could potentially stay in its current form for the duration of the business’s existence, taking inspiration from Studio Shotz.

The name of the business works well with the design too, as the “A” side of a single would usually contain the song the record company where trying to promote, and since my business is trying to help musicians and the like more recognition, works well with the imagery.

Tech LogoBusiness Card:

Now that my logo was created, I moved on to using it on a business card, a common device used during formal introductions to help potential clients remember the services the business offers and how to contact them in the future.

Business cards usually about the same size as a credit or debit card, measuring 85mm length x 55mm width, with information being displayed on either one or both sides. The benefits of having information on both sides means that there is more space for the information to be printed, but may cost more to produce, while having only one side printed means that its cheaper, and gives the option for the client or person associated with the business space to write any additional information specific to that client.

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These cards can range from being multi-coloured and heavily decorated graphic statements, or plain and simple factual devices, but the most common features business cards exhibit are:

  • Name of the person associated with the business, giving the card.
  • Name of the business.
  • Company logo.
  • Company Tag line or motto.
  • Telephone number (both mobile and landline.)
  • E-mail address.
  • Fax.
  • Street address.
  • Web address.
  • Social media address (Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In)

Like before, using the list above, and some examples of different types of business card, I then broke down the strengths of each one.

Market Research:

9On this example, it keeps it simple, a one sided card with 2 main colours and 3-4 spot colours. This card doesn’t have a logo, or a street address, focusing more on the individual giving the card than the business overall.

10On this card, the designer has gone for a two sided design, and has put a bit more thought into it aesthetics. By having just the name on the front, it allows the designer to put more work in the logo, making it stylish and imposing, while having the information on the back.

 

So for my design I’ve decided to create mix of the two about designs, pictured below:

Front:Business Card

Back:

Business Card Back

By keeping the information brief, it makes the card look more professional, while only putting the phone, e-mail and Facebook information, makes it easier to identify and to remember. Keeping with the black-white contrast of the logo, not only does it make it cheaper to print, with the exception of the spot colours, but also means that it is easier to read as none of the colours are similar, so don’t blend together.

Invoice:

Now I had some promotional material for my business, I now needed to make an invoice. An invoice is a commercial document used between a business and their clients and usually contains the following sections:

  • Logo.
  • The services or products that have been sold, so it’s clear what has taken place.
  • The quantity, of the said services/products, so the buyer knows how many services they is paying for.
  • The price of each item, plus overall cost, including transaction fees and other payments, so the buyer knows how to pay.
  • Name and Contact Details of the person buying the goods, so the business can contact them further if any changes’ occur or need to contact them further.
  • Name and Contact Details of the person selling the goods, so the buyer can contact the company if they have any addition queries.
  • The Date the Invoice was Issued, plus what date the payment is due, so both parties can keep a copy as part of their financial records.
  • A Invoice Number, so the business can easily identify who they have done business with, and which specific service or product has been sold.
  • To who and what account the fee should be made payable to, etc. sort code and account number.

I then looked up some examples:

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Both Invoices contain many of the above points, though the overall layout remains the same, following a very linear format to make understanding the invoice as simple as possible, something I have used as a guide for my invoice. (See attached Invoice)

The way they do this is by starting with logo of the business, plus having the word “Invoice” to denote who it is from and what has been sent.

Next they follow with the address and important details such as the invoice number, date it was issued, etc along with the recipient address so immediately they can identify that it is for them and have key dates showing when it was sent and potentially when its due.

What follows is the Inventory List, showing clearly showing what products or services and of what quantity, with a brief description of what was ordered, with the cost of each individual service or product. This is then added up in a total cost section for each item, before a sub-total and total payment section is presented with the figures already calculated, plus VAT or tax.

Finally the information about how to pay the payment is presented, either in the form of a bank transfer in the case of example one, or the payment has already been made in the case of example two.

On my invoice I have followed the above layout, but also added an alternative payment method, being by cheque, which also allows me to put a business address and phone number, giving the client a way of contacting the business about any further queries or payment methods. I also added an additional notes section, allowing miscellaneous information specific to the client to be added to the invoice.

Questionnaire:

Now I have created some promotional material for my business, I now need to create a marketing tool to help get some information back from clients and the public so I know what areas of the business I can best develop.

The idea of a Questionnaire is to acquire a lot of information quickly, where standardised answers allowing the researcher to easily see correlations in data in order to make judgements. It makes sense for a business to use this method as it cheap to create and distribute.

Questions put on the questionnaire need to follow some of the basic rules laid out below:

  • Having statements which are interpreted the same way by different subpopulations of the target audience.
  • Have statements which people with different opinions will give different answers.
  • Each question must only address one piece of information the researcher wants to receive.
  • Use positive statements, rather than negative ones.
  • Don’t make assumptions about your target audience.
  • Not be biased towards a certain answer.

My Questionnaire is going to focus on trying to gather information on how much, what age and genre demographic, are willing to pay for a particular outcome, as well as asking them if they have had any promotional material before and if so, if they were satisfied, and what the end result took the form off. (See attached invoice.)

They also have an incentive to fill out the Questionnaire by adding at the bottom that they will be entered into a prize draw where the winner will receive a free photo-shoot which will be displayed on the Businesses’ website and Facebook Page. Not only does this then promote the group on various media, but acts as marketing material for the business too.

These questionnaire’s could be mailed out to existing customers with their invoices, as their details have already been acquired, or to a select target audience with a free post envelope, or filled in only on a survey website, such as Surveymonkey.com.

By numbering the multiple choice answers, the answers then have set values, which can then be entered into a spreadsheet to create charts and graphs that can be used to measure the required result.

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For example by correlating the amount of people who had previous promotional work to satisfaction level, we can see that only 8% where satisfied.

References:

http://www.1stwebdesigner.com/awesome-rules-designing-perfect-logo/

http://www.dorsetportraitphotography.com/

http://studioshotz.co.uk/

Invoice and Pricing:

This is part of my final major project: click here to return to the main menu:

If I was doing these recordings as a form of income, I would have to take into account multiple different factors in order to determine an price to charge for my services including:

  • Recording, either at a home studio or a rented one
  • Mixing, are they just paying you to record them or do they want a mix?
  • Sound Engineer vs Producer, are your clients asking your input on the track in question?
  • Mastering, do they want the track mastered?
  • Travel, are you going to the band or studio or are they coming to you?

with some of these in mind I looked at Absolute Music for some idea on their pricing schemes, in which a recording would cost you £30 per hour, while if you wanted the track mixed, it would cost you £80 per track.

North Road at Bournemouth and Poole College has a rate of £14 to book a studio for 5 Hours, which means that a 10 hour session would cost less than an hour at Absolute, as long as you are a student at the college.

So If I wanted a recording session of 5 hours at Absolute for then to be mixed, it would cost £150 (5x£30) + £80 = £230, while of you then wanted to get that track mastered, you would have to send it off to a mastering engineer, with Abby road studios, for a master song file being £80 and a CD master at £50. This would mean the final track would come to £310.

This then gives me a rough Idea of how much it would cost professionally to get a final outcome, So if I offered to do everything at half the price, at north road the result would be as follows:

Recording Charge: £15 Per hour

(meaning that if I booked the North Road Studio’s I would be using the first hour to cover the cost of the session, while only being able to earn a maximum of £64.)

Mixing: £40 per song,

(NOTE: I could charge by the hour, but the client won’t know how much time you took unless they were with you when they mixed it, so makes more sense to have a single fee.)

Mastering: £40 per song,

( I could also offer a deal where if they chose to have me mix and master the same track, they get a discounted price, such as 10%)

So if you look at this Invoice FMP Sound the Siren you will see that the band did two sessions with me with a total of 10 hours recording time, plus they wanted a mixed that was mastered, giving them a 10% discount to the overall cost.

However I would be receiving £179 due to me having to pay for the cost of 2, 5 hours sessions in the studios.

References:

https://www.absolutemusic.co.uk/studios/mixing

https://www.absolutemusic.co.uk/studios/recording

http://www.abbeyroadonlinemastering.com/

Music Free Lance World Business Plan Idea:

For an assignment we where set, we had to construct a business plan for a potential self employed job which related to the music industry, detailing how we would go about setting it up, running costs, and being aware of strengths and weaknesses. My choice is listed below:

(Be warned there is a fair bit of writing, might be best to grab a drink or something to eat.)

Self Employment Summative Assessment:

Idea:

Self Employed Photographer specialising in Music related imagery.

 Mission Statement:

“A picture says a thousand words, Like lyrics to music”

 

Motives:

  1. My interest in photography first stemmed from college, where I did an AS Level (half an A level) in the subject, which gave enough information in the subject to pursue it as a career. Through the course I learned how to use both manual cameras which use film, and the more up-to-date cameras which take photos digitally, with knowledge on how they work, It would mean that I know what I was looking for when purchasing one, making sure that I would be getting best value for money on my purchase.
  1. I have an appreciation for well taken pictures, which range from Landscape, Portrait, and Self Portrait work, both Studio and Outside. In particular I have a keen eye from pictures taken from festivals and shows, as well as promotional images for artists, something which I intend to focus on in my line of work.
  1. I am a vigorous consumer of music and music related news and go to many gigs and festivals frequently, taken amateur photos when I do, so  doing it as a full time career would be greatly rewarding, as well as being exiting and fulfilling.
  1. I would also like to get out of my current employment, which I’ve been doing for the last 3 years, and although the income is beneficial, the hours are un-sociable since it is night shift.

 S.W.O.T Analysis:

Strengths:

  1. I currently have some money put aside as a foundation for which to get my business off the ground, paying for initial resources and equipment, Some of which I could claim money back on as capital assets.
  1. I have contacts within the local music scene, so I have work already available for which to start working on my portfolio within that given area, working in both live photos from shows, as well as in the studio and promotional imagery.
  1. I have an existing portfolio of work in my given collective, which could help influence potential clients, showing them examples of my best work to date by pooling them together.
  1. My current laptop computer is a top-of-the-range, which has Adobe Photoshop installed on it, which gives me more options as a photographer, letting me fine tune photos to make sure they fulfil the client’s needs, as well as coming up with ideas which cannot be taken directly.
  1. Bournemouth and the surrounding area is full of beautiful beaches, lush forests, open countryside and more, so as a music photographer I have many different back-drops to compose my pictures in, not only promoting the artist by backing them up against impressive landscapes, but also promoting the area the band is from as well.
  1. Transport isn’t an issue, allowing me to get to the many different locations my line of work entails. This is helpful as it means I can take work which is further away giving me access to surplus income I wouldn’t be able to acquire locally.
  1. Because my line of work entails a broad range of work, and the amount of local artists and distributers trying to promote themselves, weather and seasons don’t effect workflow, as I can go between Studio and Outside work when the situation calls for it. Time of day also doesn’t contribute to how much work I can do either.
  1. I’m very conscientious when it comes to the quality of my work, and will not be satisfied with a “that will do” attitude, hopefully earning me the respect from my clients, hopefully for repeat business.

Weaknesses:

  1. I would require a serious investment being put into the business, which would take some time to earn back, since a fair portion of it would be put into advertising to attract new clients. Even though I have enough money to get the business of the ground, I wouldn’t have much scope for development.
  1. Acquiring all of the equipment necessary would require some time to re-familiarise myself with the gear and work out some of its possible limitations. This would show to what extent I could operate, and therefore what work income I couldn’t achieve, allowing me to use my profits to see if I could branch into these areas in the future.
  1. I would have to do research into the existing competition, especially people working at my level in order to get an idea of how much people pay in this line of work. Some real life examples are as follows:

Example 1:

Love Through The Lens:

£15 per hour,  Can hire out their studio for £20ph, £50 half day or £75 for whole day.

Operates within: Beaulieu, Ferndown, Poole, Verwood, Ashurst, Brockenhurst, Lyndhurst, Lymington, New Milton, Barton-on Sea, Salisbury, Weymouth, Christchurch, Sandbanks, Blandford,

Counties: Bournemouth, Devon, Cornwall , Dorset, Hampshire, Somerset, Wiltshire.

Contact Info:

Email: lovethroughthelens@hotmail.co.uk

Phone: 07590 200204

Website: http://www.dorsetportraitphotography.com

Example 2:

Studio Shotz:

Band Photography:

From £95, though can be negotiated.

Can do on location, or work in their studio based in Southbourne.

Email: info@studioshotz.co.uk

Phone: 01202 432234

Website: http://www.studioshotz.co.uk

 

Conclusion:

As you can see from a quick search above, the price bracket can vary dramatically, as the first place charges by the hour, while the second charges from a fixed amount and then works on top of that. Both have their benefits, by working on the cheaper price you attract more clients, but by having a larger asking price, it means less risk by having the money upfront.

 

Both businesses have been around for a while, with the first quoting 8 years worth of experience, while the second having more than that, with the biography of the owner on their webpage. The first one is a single self employed person, while the second is a fully staffed business, so it makes sense that they would be charging more.

 

Since I’ve only been into photography for the last couple of years, I don’t have the experience that these more established companies, so therefore I would have to step up my game to try and get ahead and make a name for myself.

 

Opportunities:

 

  1. As mentioned before the local area has many different landscapes and venue types, which gives me many different environments to take in, plus being able to drive means I can take on work further afield.

 

  1. Bournemouth is home to many different types of events, not just limited to music, involving businesses and tourism outlets, giving me many different areas I can utilise, even though the principal of my business is to be a specialised music related photographer, I can branch into other areas for increased profits.

 

  1. It is also possible for me to establish contacts with particular venues to be part of a larger team to provide live show photography, which could lead to repeat business.

 

  1. Expansion is also a possibility, as I could take on staff in the future to double the amount of work I could take on, which would lead to more income to go back into the business to help develop it more.

 

 

Threats:

  1. Even though I would be prepared for different weather conditions and seasons, inevitably there would be some quiet spells, such as after Christmas etc. which would mean that I possibly couldn’t maintain my equipment due to lack of funds.

 

  1. If I notice any particular patterns emerging when I’m most in demand, I could take out a Abridging Loan to cover my back and pay back the interest, increasing the longevity of the business.

 

Job Roles:

 

  1. The first and foremost would be the Photographer, since it would be their responsibility for purchasing new equipment to better benefit the company, and taking the photos which would be the service the company is selling.

 

  1. Another job would be the Booking Agent, as they’re task would be getting work for the photographer, using distance, availability to help justify a cost with the clients for the work required.

 

  1. Advertising would be crucial, as it would be their job to get the companies name out into the world to get businesses to approach us. It could involve placing ads in newspapers, magazines, radio, social networks, websites, flyers etc.

 

  1. Accountancy within a business is a must, since this job would involve tracking the companies incomings and outgoings. They would also set a minimum figure of which services could be charged at due to expenditure of the business, as well as sorting out wages and the keeping of records.

 

  1. Lastly if the business does take off and more staff are needed, it would be up to Recruitment to hire new people if it was financially viable.

How it would be managed:

 

At first it would be just myself fulfilling all the job roles listed above, as initially I would not be able to take on a small team when I’ve just started my business. However if I was going to give someone else one of these tasks It would be to liaise with an accountant, as they would be able to advise me on what I could do to save money as well as keep my books in order.

 

If I did have this team this is how the chain of command would follow:

First of all it would be advertising to create the material which would get the word out about my business.

Who would work with the booking agent to go into a deal with potential clients.

The accountant would help the booking agent decide on a price and payment options.

Once resolved would then be up to the photographer to produce the end product.

 

IF the business had multiple photographers, there would be an extra stage when the booking agent, decided which photographer(s) where best suited to the task at hand, with experience, availability and distance being the deciding factors.

 

The Format these photos would take the form off would depend on what their purpose would be, for instance being part of an album sleeve, would be sent to the bands graphic design element, or if they where photos of a gig at a venue, they may wish to have them displayed on their website.

 

Capital Assets:

Car:

Not the actual cost of the car and the insurance, but on the running costs of the fuel and tax required to keep it on the road, and as such it is hard to come up with a figure since it will be entirely work dependent.

Value: Changes:

Phone:

Being able to keep in contact with clients on the go is essential to any business, whether thats accepting phone calls, texts, emails, and messages, therefore for my business I would want to take out a phone plan which suits it needs.

My current phone plan is a contract on an Apple iPhone 5, lasting 24 months, £30 per month including unlimited calls and texts, plus 1G of roaming data, plus an additional £20 which covers the cost of the phone overall.

My current plan suits this very well, as the unlimited calls and texts would keep me contactable most of the time, plus the 1G of internet allows me access to my emails, but also browse the web for new clients, check on rival businesses. etc.

Value: £50 per month

Laptop:

A laptop is a vital tool for a photographer as it has many different functions which can suit many different areas of the business.

My current laptop is a Hewlett-Packard G6 Pavilion Notebook PC, valued at roughly about £400. This laptop has a internal memory of 500GB, a large enough amount to store photos, plus an additional external hard drive with a memory capacity of 1TB, for any overflow.

It also has 6.0GB worth of RAMM, which is enough to do multiple tasks at once effectively, or single tasks without any issues.

In addition to this, it also has Microsoft Office installed, giving me access to word processing, spreadsheets’, and databases. (installed on most computers on purchase, but RRP of £109.99)

I also have Adobe Photoshop CS6 installed, which as mentioned before increases the amount of techniques I can employ to get the perfect picture. (Valued at £100)

It also provides a tool for browsing the internet in the same way the iPhone is capable of doing so.

Currently this suits my needs perfectly, since it has all the software to do my work, plus the hardware to keep it running smoothly and effectively.

Value: £400 by itself, +£100 for Adobe Photoshop CS6 = £500

 

Printer:

Obviously most of the images unless being used for big promotions are going to need to exist in a physical form in order to show the clients what the finished product might look like, as well as the numerous invoices, and letters and business needs to keep itself up and running.

 

My current printer is a Epson XP 305, which also has a built in scanner for uploading pictures into my computer, plus a photocopier for mass distribution of documents.

It has a built in LCD screen, which allows scanning in and photocopying without the computer or laptop being present, which also being able to print documents over a WIFI or Bluetooth connection. Documents can also be emailed to the printer for ease of access.

With the many different printing options within Photoshop, the printer can be set to print glossy, high quality pictures, which will be representative of the final images sent to the client.

The alternative to this would be going to a printing shop, which would be better suited for larger pieces, but obviously would charge per picture. By buying the printer outright means that it’s just one payment which would earn its money back the longer the business endures.

 

Value: £35

 

Camera:

The Camera’s job within the business is pretty much self explanatory, as the camera will determine the resolution of the pictures, plus the more features the camera has to begin with the less work needs to be done in finalising them.

The camera I would be using for this endeavour is the Nikon D3200, which is a lightweight portable camera which features which suit the needs in the environment.

Value: £319.00

Stationary:

Having a surplus of stationary supplies, such as envelopes, binders, pens, paper, paperclips etc will make the day to day running of the business easier, for the inevitable invoices and letters.

This cost would vary depending on how much work the business was taking on.

Value: Varies.

 

Lighting:

Stage lighting is vital for studio work, as it allows you to add artificial light to a object or person to make the subject look more aesthetically pleasing.

A set of stage lights as part of a studio kit would cost around £147, which includes 3 lights, a white backdrop, and reflective screens, they benefit of these means I can set up studio space on location, or have it in my own business space.

The alternative would be to rent a studio space, but this would mean we would have to charge our clients a higher rate since we are using an area which isn’t part of the business.

Value: £147

 

Utilities:

Since I would be running my business from my home, I would be using the gas and electricity for lighting, phone connections, internet connections, heating etc. Since I don’t own the house, I would have to come to some form of agreement with my parents on how much money they would be asking for in return for me running the business from my bedroom.

The alternative would be setting myself up in a industrial unit, but this would be far more costly, or renting a property, where if I was at home I would have more money to develop the business with rather than paying overheads.

Value: Varies

Financial Responsibilities:

  1. First off I would have to register for self employment with the Inland Revenue which can be done by going to http://www.gov.uk/workingforyourself/overiew.
  2. Once here I would want to sign up to the HMRC (HM Revenue and Customs) Online Services, as they would provide you with a unique reference number which would be used every time you would want to liaise with HMRC.
  3. Because they have your financial records, they also would let you know what Taxes you have to pay, such as Class 2 Income Tax.
  4. You become eligible for Class 2 Income Tax as soon as you have merchandise or services to sell, which you don’t have to pay if your earning under £5,885 with a small earnings exception certificate.
  5. You also don’t have to pay if you are: Under 16, Over the Pension age, or are a Widow.
  6. If you are earning about £5,885 a year, you pay £2.75 a week which covers your Class 2 Income Tax.
  7. Class 2 Income Tax contributes towards your Basic State Pension, New State Pension, Support Allowance Maternity Allowance and Bereavement Benefits.
  8. You also may have to pay Class 4 Income Tax depending if your earning for the overall tax year is over £7,956, for which you will pay 9% of your earnings up to £41,865, and then an additional 2% if your earnings are above that.
  9. Class 4 Income Tax doesn’t contribute to your state benefits.

 

I would also set my business up as a Limited (LTD) Company, which shares similarities between being registered as a sole trader and a partnership, which means that if the company loses money I dont loss my own, which limits the risk. It also means that if the company owes money, it’s from the companies resources not the owners.

 

I would also create a business account for the company, which wouldn’t be directly linked with my own bank account, so money couldn’t be taken from my personal finances.

 

Self Development and Training:

 

I think my current skill set for this company could be improved by studying subjects such as Business Studies, Graphic Design, or Photography at degree level, as this would let me study industry techniques in a greater depth which would help give me a better understanding of the different ways I could develop the business.

 

If I chose to do a “Sandwich” Course at University I could spend a year in industry watching how larger companies work and taking some of their methods over to my own business, as well as building up industry contacts to help me get work or go into partnership with them.

I hope ive gone into a fair bit of detail with my strategy, but welcome to comments and criticism, any improvements would be welcome.

Fli.