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4 Steps to Success with the PPA Business Challenge - PPA Today

4 Steps to Success with the PPA Business Challenge

By James Yates

You may already have the art of photography down, but is your business where you'd like it to be? If you find yourself wanting to learn how to boost your bottom line, the PPA Business Challenge is for you! 

The Business Challenge provides photography business owners with the information and tools they need to develop the foundation for a more profitable business over the course of one year. Not only do they receive the tools required to make changes to their business, but also step-by-step instruction and support from PPA mentors as they implement these changes. 

We all know that photographers are entrepreneurs, small business owners with a passion for their craft. We also know that, more often than not, many photographers open their studios as artists, not having gone to business school, nor carrying a finance background. It is part of PPA's mission, as a nonprofit, to help our members understand and implement the basic business principles needed to maintain a sustainable studio. 

The Business Challenge is meant to be a fun, interactive way for PPA members to integrate as much business acumen as they can in one year's time. There is work involved, as this "challenge" is meant for photographers who are serious about wanting to take their business to the next level. Participants will have tasks to complete and the opportunity to be active members of accountability groups and peer-to-peer mentoring. 

"PPA's business advice is based on years of experience and successful business mentoring," says Angela Kurkian, M.Photog.Cr., CPP and Director of Education at PPA. "The Business Challenge helps our members be more business-confident. It helps them think and strategize as a savvy business person." 

Kurkian led a presentation on the Business Challenge (pictured above) and its first year at this year's Imaging USA in San Antonio. Titled "4 Things You Need to Know to Be Successful", the group panel included Gregory Daniel, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, F-ASP; Mary Fisk-Taylor, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, ABI, API; and participants from the previous year's Business Challenge. 

As an example of the kinds of takeaways you'll gain from the Challenge, they presented these four steps to success... 

1. #CreateABusinessModelThatWorks: Their first word of advice, and the guiding plan for the upcoming Business Challenge, is to define success for YOU. Making a business plan that works for you and your needs is step one on the road to a successful photography business. Separate qualitative and quantitative goals. Use the Square One tool available through PPA to figure out what your pricing needs are going to be for profitability and sustainability. Remember: the goal is to pay yourself. You are not your business!

2. Use Your Time Wisely: Your time is limited. There are only so many hours in the day. Know how much time you need and respect it because it's precious. Use PPA's Benchmarks to track where your studio is and trust them to help you prioritize and understand your needs. 

3. Understand Your Customer's Needs: Begin with the end in mind. Photography is not about the image, it's about what you're going to do with the image. Develop products to sell to your clients that have a purpose. Products that will surprise and delight them. And, finally...

4. Do the Work: Sounds easiest of all, right? Wrong. You'd be surprised how many people fall down on this sword. But you can stay accountable and get the support you need through PPA's Business Challenge

The Business Challenge is free to PPA members and includes tools to understand and develop the foundations of a profitable business with:

  • A step-by-step support system 
  • Answers to the most vital business questions 
  • A personalized success and business plans
  • Lists and guidelines to help prioritize 
  • Inspiration and help to stay focused 
  • A framework to avoid getting overwhelmed 
  • Accountability partners with other photographers with the same challenges 

Want to join the Challenge? Sign up today at Beginning April 1st and for the next 12 months, you'll work on your personalized success path. Sign up today to begin your Challenge Group and Be More Business Savvy!

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Professional Photographers of America (PPA) published on March 3, 2017 2:07 PM.

Learn How to Better Pose Couples with This Month's Free PPAedu Video was the previous entry in this blog.

The World Photographic Cup, LEGO Portraits of Your Face, and Improving Your Photographic Eye: Our Top Blog Posts From February 27 - March 3! is the next entry in this blog.

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