5 Tips for Starting a Business | Coffee with Courtney


Do you dream of owning your own business, but you are thinking “Where do I even begin?”
I get it, friend. You have the drive, talent and passion and you’re wondering, “how do I start?”

It’s a big goal and you are going to want to dive right in, but here are my top 5 tips for the first few baby steps of pursuing your dream.

1) Be VERY Realistic-

You cannot jump in, and expect to make lots and lots of money, first thing. Most people set out on their own because they want to do what they love, and with love comes some sacrifice. Make sure you understand this so you aren’t disappointed!

2) Make WISE Investments-

Save your self the hassle of digging a hole that you’ll feel you desperately need to get out of. Budget wisely, invest in equipment and education that you will get a great use out of for years to come, but don’t think you have to buy every new product or workshop on the shelf, or always have the latest model. Over and over, I’ve seen people jump into buying things they just don’t need before even learning the basics of photography. It’s just not wise to do that… so save yourself time, money and (if you’re like me) tears!

(Above is a photo from ImagingUSA! This is a fabulous place to meet and learn from other great photographers. You will also be able to find and try your ideal style of products to offer!)

3) Respect other Business Owners-

Everyday new dreamers are joining a crowded, creative industry. It can be tough for those who have been around for a while. If you ask someone for advice you should respect their individual wishes, whether that means they don’t give you any advice or that they ask you to pay for the time they spend with you.

#communityovercompetition is awesome, but other people have families and personal lives too. It can be overwhelming to be expected to give the same advice over and over again for free.. Time is money after all!

4) Have a Solid Plan for your Business and DON’T QUIT-

This isn’t just saying “1) take pictures 2) make money.” This is where you are honest with yourself, your goals, the market, your skill-level and what you want to accomplish. This means researching business plans and making your own. It’s the time when I’m sure having a business degree would be very helpful!

I really think this is what separates fully developing photography into your career vs. it just being a side job. There is nothing wrong with it being a “side job”, but if you are like me, then when you are passionate about something you want to do that full time! If it is your goal to have your new endeavor listed as your career, then you need to treat it as such!

5) Give Yourself some Grace-

I’ve failed in the areas mentioned above. Sometimes in small ways and sometime in big ways, but I use it as a lesson each time to get better and teach others to be better. There are lots of ups and downs, but don’t allow yourself get too far down that you think you are just going to fail.

Think about it like this, if you are constantly beating yourself up, you will never be strong enough to grow!

Thanks for reading! I am hoping to do more post like this, because I’ve learned that I cannot expect an industry’s standard to rise if I am not willing to help others. I hope this is helpful to you! ❤️
(PS- These tips have nothing to do with things like taxes, contracts, licenses, etc. because I am not equipped to give legal/financial advice. However, I do feel it’s extremely important for you to contact an expert in those fields for guidance when starting your business!)

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