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Ack! Im so close! Nobody said it would be easy!

YvetteMarieYvetteMarie subscriber Posts: 8
edited April 2007 in Business Planning
Ok. I am attempting to make this a WHINE free post.  Going to stick to facts here in hopes that some of the amazing brainpower on here can help me see past my own disjointed nose.
I have successfully operated a photography business out of my house, but since I live out in the boonies, it was unable to grow. It was moreof a hobby then,  but I stumbled across a deal I couldnt pass up, and maybe a little impulsively, I have started renting a studio in the larger town which is 45 miles from where I live, and decided to go full time with a storefront.  It is 1500 sq feet on a decent location for only $500 a month.  It needed a facelift, and I have been able to do most of it, myself. I am entering month number three of paying rent and not shooting pictures in the studio.  The bathroom needed a major overhaul to be presentable, and being a single mom to 5 kids, and living so far away, if I have enough time, I don`t have the money to put into it.  If I have some extra money, then time seems to be an issue.
I recently had a situation where I was renting out part of my house to my ex husband (( yeeks, weird I know but it worked)) and that was what I used to pay my rent for the studio.  Well.. we are exes for a reason and he is gone again.  Rent is due on the studio before the 5th and I`m scrambling.
For the last three years, I have made on average $400 per sitting.  If I were able to acquire just 1% of the population in the larger city, I would average about 500 clients.  I absolutely KNOW I can do this much.  But I cant seem to get from here to there.
There is a job opening here in my small town for $6.50 an hour.  I am not above doing whatever it takes.  I could accept the job and have it cut into the time I have to spend getting my studio up and running. With 32 hours a week dedicated to this job, I would make the rent for the studio, but getting started would be slowed down considerably.  And part of me questions this approach, because I know, that in 8 hours, I could make more at the studio than I could make at this small time job in a month.
I COULD take the money I get from child support at the first of the month and on a leap of faith spend it on the rent.  But thats grocery money for my kids.
What would you do in my situation?  Please dont suggest running off to Greece and changing my name to Velvet... Ive already thought out THAT one.


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    YvetteMarieYvetteMarie subscriber Posts: 8
    Thanks Nikole, ;c)
    Presentable means... it used to be a taxidermy shop.  The bathroom floor was so waterdamaged that when you sat on the very NASTY toilet the floor would actually bow... it was scary.  I`m going with the bare minimum here... nothing fancy. I figure I can work my way up to that, and besides... Im fortunate.  Most ppl dont care where you take the images, they care what they look like when you`re done.
    Thank you for taking the time to read my post. ;c)
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    crazychixcrazychix subscriber Posts: 5
    When I was doing decorative painting I worked out a deal with the local photographer. I painted a background wall for him and he took senior pics of my son for a extreme discount. Maybe you could work out a deal with someone in the carpentry business to at least get the bathroom to a point you could take over. There are quite a very occations coming up that you could take advantage of: prom, weddings, engagements, graduations, etc.... Good Luck!
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    jamespalmerjamespalmer subscriber Posts: 0
    Hi, Yvette,
    That`s quite a dilemma, but I believe it can be surmounted. First, go to your list of past clients. There`s money there. Offer a special half off deal or a bring-a-friend special. Have them bring in someone whose never been in for a sitting before. That will grow your list even more!
    I have a friend who is a photographer, and she has been very successful in our growing small town.  She sells other things in her shop, such as work by local artists, Bert`s Bees natural products, things like that. She`s more of an art photographer though, so that may not work for you, but offering ancillary services is a great way to make money when people aren`t that interested in getting their pictures snapped. 
    Teach a class.  Teach a photography course for adults, or even for kids.  You could show them how to make their own shoebox cameras!
    I don`t know if you do any location shooting, such as for weddings, but if not, get into that as well. Also think about seasonal things, such as Valentine`s Day or prom, where people like to get their pictures made. Are there any local artists, authors or entertainers that might need a head shot? Think about reaching out to those people too.  My friend is the "official photographer" for a local Celtic band.
    Don`t take that $6.50 an hour job.  It just isn`t worth your time.
    I hope this helps.
    James Palmer,
    Freelance Copywriter
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    jamespalmerjamespalmer subscriber Posts: 0
    James here again. I just thought of something else. Can you share the rent on your space with someone else? Perhaps a portrait artist, or a videographer (the latter would be perfect to partner with to do weddings).
    Just another thought.
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    YvetteMarieYvetteMarie subscriber Posts: 8
    You guys are awesome!!
    Thank you so much... so much to think about, stuff I never considered! I`m going to print these out and see what I come up with.  On my way out but Ill respond more tonight.
    Man I love this place.
    Thanks everyone!
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