Could an Autumn Checkup Rake up Photography Business?
Happy autumn, everybody! Are you loving these cooler days as much as I am? I notice that although it’s early fall, I am seeing lots of changes where I am, including shifts in color and light that create new shapes the summer lushness had covered up. And under that, I’m starting to seeing the “bones of the garden,” not only the architecture of the shrubs and trees but of our built environment.
So I’m running this idea by you: Consider taking a tip from Mother Nature to give your business an autumn checkup. Whip out your books and give them a look – how’s your harvest and what’s ripening next month? Feel the pulse, take the temp, check up on trends. More importantly, look at the big bones, to see if the overall the direction builds a strong framework to grow out where you want to be.
Scott Gerber at Inc. has a great video that’s exactly what I’m talking about. If you don’t have time to watch Scott’s video, here are some highlights, plus a few of my thoughts:
- What’s your cash flow this month and next? Do you tend to focus only on the next couple of weeks? Where is it coming from, and how are you doing against plan? Any implications – like a need to revisit marketing or customer relations? Can you differentiate what’s working from what isn’t?
- What’s in your pipeline now and how are you working it?
- What’s NOT working? Is it time to stop throwing precious energy after it and focus instead on something with more potential? There’s a fine art to letting go.
- How is your staff morale, and what’s the energy like in your shop? Are people happy, productive, and in a culture that is supportive and encourages and appreciates their contributions? Keep tabs, and wear your leadership cap. You’re the role model.
- Are you on track with your annual goals and strategic plan? Do you have them? Do you need to make adjustments now in areas like staff or marketing?
I love some of Scott’s viewers’ comments, including suggestions like these:
- Block out time on your calendar to do this checkup. (It’s not a luxury, it’s truly taking the pulse of your business health.)
- “Put your best people on your best opportunities, not your biggest problems.”
- “Ask for the order and say ‘Thank You’ after you get it.”
- Take time each day to place short-range activities within larger goals.
If you’re a creative type, your dream may never have been to run a business. But here you are, and I want you to start thinking about your creativity as such a HUGE asset now that we have tools like social media that let you bring your style, personality, and individual expression so effectively into your marketing and client relationships.
Enjoy your creativity. Use it to build your business. And don’t forget to have fun and take in the fall colors!
All the best,
Guest post by Georgia McCabe – As an author, speaker, trainer and social media and photography evangelist, her perspectives on social media appear in print in her newest book entitled “SocialMorphosis – Transforming Your Business through Social Media”. Georgia is also a co-author of the book “The Relationship Age”, with social media guru Mari Smith. Georgia is a frequent guest blogger for our professional photography lab.