a little help boosting your numbers? Have you considered PPA's Studio Management Services (SMS)? You should.
could tell you all about SMS, but why not hear it from someone who has actually
been through the process? Arkansas photographer Clark Sanders, CPP, knows well
the benefits of SMS and shares his experience below. It's the first in our new
PPA Member Story series.
How was your business
doing prior to signing-up for SMS?
was going well, but I knew I needed to make some changes if my business
was going to continue to grow and become more profitable.
Why did you decide to sign-up?
attended Imaging USA in Atlanta in January and visited the SMS booth. I had
already been interested in a consultation for a while. I knew that many
profitable studios in the country had already benefitted from an SMS
consultation and knew if I didn't seek the advice/counsel of SMS my studio
might wind up being less than profitable and I didn't want that to happen.
What were your emotions going into the
was excited and nervous all wrapped in one!
Can you take us through your mentoring
to visiting on the phone with Bridget Jackson, CPA, and Allison Rodgers,
Cr.Photog., CPP, I completed a comprehensive list of items they needed to
better help me out. Just going through that task alone really opened my eyes! I
thought I had all my numbers in my head, like the number of sessions, average
sale of those sessions, who I photographed the most, was I really pricing my
work to make a better profit, etc. Boy was I wrong!
the numbers on paper (actually in excel) really took me back! WOW. Bridget
helped me set up a budget, set a plan for how many sessions I should book
during a month and more. Allison helped me make sense of my price list and gave
some amazing suggestions to improve it as well as advice on some of the
promotions I was working on.
big thing I learned is I don't have to photograph everyone in my market! There
are lots of prospective clients in my area, and surrounding area, that are who
I consider my ideal clients and who aren't afraid to invest both their
time and money in me. That's who I want my business to benefit from. The
numbers Bridget helped me understand who my ideal client really is, and helped
me to make a "road map" of sorts, not only for 2013, but one that will
help me be even better and more profitable in 2014 and beyond!
How did you use what you learned?
my consultation with my SMS mentor Allison Rodgers, who I think she's the best
thing since sliced bread, by the way, I made lots of changes to my price menu
and have even more planned for 2014. I love that the Rodgers' provide such an
amazing experience for their clients from the moment they call and have a
session consultation until they come back to pick up their portrait order.
The experience you provide your client with will determine the outcome of your
sales session and will lead to future business with them and their friends that
they're going to talk to you about! We discussed some of the mini-sessions I
had planned and Allison again gave me some amazing advice for them.
How has your business changed since your
raised my prices after my consultation and will be increasing them again soon!
I had always been scared to death to raise my prices to a point where I would
lose clients, but as a lot of successful studio photographers have said in the
past, you'll attract the clients who value what you do and will make up for the
ones that don't. And that has rang true! I'm able to prequalify clients based
on the price of my session fees and my collections.
Why should someone consider an SMS
old saying, "don't reinvent the wheel," comes to mind when seeking
the services from SMS. If you're currently operating a studio or
thinking of starting one, there is a wealth of knowledge from the SMS mentors
that can help get your business off on the right track. My SMS mentor was able
to take a look at my pricing and other aspects of my business during my
consultation. The suggestions she made have helped steer my business down the
right path. If anyone is struggling with their business and don't know what they
should do to turn it around, an SMS consultation is a no-brainer!
what's your number? Do consider PPA's Studio Management Services (SMS) if you need
help finding it.
PPA Member Stories:
series serves as an opportunity for you PPA members to tell your story. How has
PPA membership helped you and your business? It could be PPA's Studio
Management Services, copyright protection, PhotoCare equipment insurance, the
Indemnification Trust, Imaging USA--whatever! We want to hear from you, and so
do your fellow members.
a story you'd like to share? Shoot John Owens an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.