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Checking-in with the PPA Business Challenge: - PPA Today

Checking-in with the PPA Business Challenge:

by James Yates
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It's now been six months since the inaugural class of PPA's Business Challenge started on theLoop. Since then a new group has started each month and those participating are making changes that will affect their businesses and their lives as they continue their entrepreneurial journey.  

One of the first things Challenge participants are tasked to do is define their personal idea of success and then create a sales and session projection using the online tool, Square One. It helps point every small business owner in the right direction and kicks off your Challenge-year with a firm understanding of what you need to accomplish in the upcoming months. Here are just a few comments pulled from the Discussion Threads on how things are going for our current participants:

"I did the square one projections for my business.  Wow.  I had to go thru it a few times and it was eye opening.  Not charging enough!!!  This was so helpful... "
Kim B. 


"Just realized I misunderstood net income.  This changes things...  YIKES.  Now I'm getting that crazy scared feeling in the pit of my stomach... This is such a huge kick in the rear.  I did a few breakdowns - with and without (a physical) studio.  (End goal is to have a studio space of my very own, so I wanted to see what needed to be done.)"
Later...
"Happy to report that I finished my projections yesterday.  I did one for a home based studio and one for a retail space.  I figured that my goal would be to aim for the retail space numbers since I want to end up with a studio.  If I fall short and hit my home based numbers, that's ok - just means I landed among the stars, right?  I'd be happy with either number right now, as long as eventually I get to the retail numbers!  :)...And now that I've done my a la carte pricing, I'm seeing clearly how that will help me reach the projection numbers.  It's all starting to come together in my brain." 
Karen C.

"I just used the square one tool, and it really gives me a starting goal for what I need to do.  So far I am working well towards my goals and getting the sales per session mark.  I just need to do more sessions. More sessions will come from more marketing and better time management." 
Jennifer J.



"I love the square one tool.  It makes it so easy to help in sales planning.  I have used the tool several times to get sales targets for various different goals, then I exported each so that I could have a copy in excel to do further planning.  I created a long term goal (for the target end sales goal) and a short term goal (basically for the remainder of this calendar year.  My business is only 2 months old and I do not have any clients yet, so I figured this would be a good way to start off on the right foot.  I have also used the sales and session projection sheet to try to plan out how many sessions and the price points I need to have each month in order to hit the goals I have set.  This also makes it very easy to compare where you are at with where you need to be each month.  You can see if you are ahead of your projections or if you need to work harder in a product line to be able to make the goals.  A very good tool to measure the health of your business and allows for some future planning such as sales or even moving into a retail space rather than a home studio, if that is your goal.  Personally I would rather work from home as long as I had space in my home for a decent studio."
Paul P.


"I like how the Square One tool works. Especially when you can change the cost of sales or general expenses to fit your actual situation, then see how many sessions you need to book to meet that goal. 
Christopher T.


"Square one is certainly an eye opening tool of what I really need to do at my current session fee to make things happen.  I am definitely starting the week with refining some of my sales knowledge.  That is currently where I know I am most lacking in knowledge!  Thank you for putting all this together!"
Katherine J.


"Wow this was a huge eye opener for me. I'm just starting out in my business and with my current prices I would need to make well over $1000 per session if I want to stick with my current number of sessions per week and still make the amount of money I need to earn. I definitely need to consider booking more sessions (which is hard because I struggle to find clients)."
Kendra R.


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James Yates is an Atlanta-based writer/actor and the Communications Specialist at Professional Photographers of America (PPA). A graduate of Georgia State University, James has worked in the non-profit sector his whole life and is proud to be able to help artists achieve their goals. In his spare time he can be found walking his dogs on the Beltline or partaking in the nightly theater and comedy scene in the ATL.


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This page contains a single entry by Professional Photographers of America (PPA) published on June 27, 2016 9:54 PM.

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