Davevw3 wrote in post #16981707
1.Did you go to school for photography?
...yes. I made the decision first that I wanted to make photography my career quite late in life and I didn't want to spend 10 years learning stuff and starting slowly. I did a SWOT analysis: and determined firstly that my photography knowledge wasn't up to par, and secondly that the majority of competition were at about the same skill level as what I was at that time. I wanted to really understand my camera, so I took time out and went back to Photoschool. The investment of six months of my time was the best thing I did for my business.
2. Where did you acquire your photography skills?
A mix of prior knowledge (used to own a film camera back in the 90's), youtube videos, and photoschool.
3. Where did you acquire your business skills?
15 years of experience in the hospitality and event industry. (Hence the name Banquet Bear). I was a Duty Manager at Sky City, Functions Manager at Bellamys (New Zealand Parliament), and Conference Co-ordinator at Te Papa. Worked for a recruitment agency for a year. I also ran my own catering business for a couple of years.
4. Where did you get yourself noticed?
My business plan initially focused on the conference/events industry: as I had networks and contacts here and the local photographers tended to ignore this market segment. I soon touched base with some old friends, and the convention bureau, and I ran an advert in a nationwide trade paperback, and things got busier from there. (I now no longer need to advertise.)
5. What were your first sales?
This wasn't my first sale, but I'll never forget my very first enquiry. Going into business was a relatively long process for me. From the first decision that I was going to do this, to preparing the business plan, to going to photoschool, raising enough capital to get a base level of gear, the whole process took about a couple of years.
I had a particular launch date in mind: so I scrambled to get everything ready: website online, running a few adverts in industry trade magazines etc, and on the launch date I was finally ready. I remember sitting down behind my desk in my home office and thinking "The imaginary doors to my business are now open for business!" I then stared at my telephone and thought: "Now just have to wait for the phone to ring!"
And it rung.
I literally jumped out of my seat. It was an enquiry to cover a government event sometime in 2015: this was two years ago and I really hadn't put any thought into pricing things long term, but I managed to put through a fairly solid quote. (And this thread is a reminder that now is a good time to follow up on that quote!) My first actual sale was the next day: another enquiry from an advert I placed in a trade magazine. (These were sales outside of my close family and friends).