PPA Today: Benchmark Financial Survey Archives
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Think about it: how useful has filling out a survey ever been to you? Well, for Heather Sams, CPP, from Fountain, CO, not only has it helped her business be more profitable, but she also won an iPad mini. How?
PPA's Benchmark Survey, of course. The industry's only complete financial snapshot, it's been helping businesses get a better idea of where they stand and how they can improve their bottom line. Survey participants get a free side-by-side comparison of the results to their financial data. With that kind of valuable info, the monthly giveaways for survey participants only seem like an added bonus!
Sams has been in the photography industry for over a decade, and previously used the Benchmark to put together a business plan when starting her portrait studio seven years ago. "What's great about Benchmark is that it puts all the industry information in one location that businesses can easily use," she said.
Since building up her business, Sams knew the importance of the survey to her success. "I was excited just to have been able to participate in the Benchmark Survey this year! It's such an extensive tool that the industry has access to that it just made sense for me to take the time to do it."
She never considered the fact that she could win the monthly giveaway. "When I found out that I won, I thought it was the coolest thing ever. It was super easy to participate, but winning an iPad really takes the cake. I was on cloud nine!"
And as a true dedicated professional, Sams already has plans to incorporate the iPad mini into her business. "I photograph executives, and they like seeing portraits and galleries immediately. Having a device that can make this happen will be great for my business," she said. "I'm grateful that I had the chance to participate in the survey."
Want to get in on all the Benchmark awesomeness? Check out PPA.com/benchmark and enter for your chance to win this month's prize. And don't fret! There will be more through the end of the year!
• Grossed a minimum of $25,000 in sales in 2013• Received at least 50% of their business from portraits (including high school seniors) or from weddings
• You get your very own, personal, tailored copy of the Survey results and how they compare to your business.• You'll see in plain English where you're falling short and where you are kicking business butt.• You'll be able to fix the items that need a little love and you'll be sure to be raking in the profits!
- First, you'll start by deciding how much you'd like you're annual net income to be each year, then the tool works its way back to show your cost of sales and overhead and how they impact your profitability from get-go. All of these calculations come from past Benchmark Surveys, so you know they're based on real life examples of what's worked and more importantly, what hasn't.
- Second, the survey will help you sidestep common mistakes many photographers unknowingly make. It will help you understand how to determine or adjust your pricing (and it's not based on what the guy down the street is charging)! You'll also be able to determine if it's financially realistic to hire an employee or if it makes sense to move into a retail space. And the best part is, you'll be able to make sound calculated decisions, not just based on your "gut" feeling!
- And third, we understand you don't know what you don't know. That's why there are additional Benchmark Resources--resources, tools and guides that can quickly impact your bottom line! You'll get things like a comprehensive guide to the results. This will allow you to get the most from the survey by breaking it down to plain English and extrapolating the results into things you can do to change your business for the better. It will also give you access to comparison tools that allow you to size your studio up to the top performing studios in the nation (and learn from how they do business), along with how to see where you fit in the bigger picture of the photographic industry.
This isn't a promo video--it really can show you what you can make of your numbers. Best of all: It's free (if you're a PPA member)!
In fact, the response has been so great to this announcement that we already filled up the Oct. 25 webinar. That's why we added that new date (Nov. 5)--we want to accommodate more of you who want to ask your questions!
For an opportunity to ask your questions about the Benchmark Survey tools in the Q&A, register & save your spot pronto! There's only room for 70 attendees during this live webinar.
One of the most useful byproducts of the 2011 Benchmark Survey is the evidence of how the benchmarks could guide studios through a difficult economic period. From 2006 to 2010, the combination of a nationwide recession and a massive influx of new photography studios into the marketplace caused a significant drop in sales for most existing studios. However, the studios that followed the benchmarks performed much better than those that missed the targets. Some even managed to increase their bottom-line profits despite an overall decrease in sales. In our ensuing coverage of the Benchmark Survey's latest results, we'll detail how these studios kept profits high even when sales were low.
In the coming weeks, PPA will roll out a series of member-exclusive articles and financial tools to help members take advantage of the 2011 Benchmark Survey:
- We'll boil down the exhaustive analysis into easy-to-understand summaries and follow up with clear action items for your studio.
- We're working on some interactive resources and handy guides so that you can keep your critical numbers in mind without losing your mind.
- We'll explain why SMS opted to adjust several of the key benchmarks.
- We'll discuss what you can do to enact positive change at your studio.
Now those are some results that we can all applaud.
Want to learn more? PPA members can peek at the key findings and new benchmarks here.
Remember that PPA's Benchmark Survey details are only available for PPA members, so see how to join here: www.ppa.com/joinppa/