Starting and running a successful Photography business in Africa

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Photography is an elegant and a lucrative art that cannot be done without in our digital and modern world.

Experts prove that an image speaks a thousand words about an event; meaning that, no marketing ploy will say no to the great advantage that the use of photo will bring to the growth and development of any business.

Virtually all ceremonial gatherings in Africa and the world at large will ultimately need to be touched by the graphical tentacle of photography.

The use of photo in meritorious events has become an important part of our normal life since the generations prior to ours.

Photography is an elegant and a lucrative art that cannot be done without in our digital and modern world. Click To Tweet

Starting a photography business is amazingly interesting, provided you have the core knowledge and understanding to run it.

Its awesome advantage is that you can run it from the corner of your living home, and it can easily help you to cut across the tail of your budget.

Below are four convincing advantages of photography as a business.

ADV 1:   Flexibility

Photography is an old profession which has been blessed with modern tools and tactics that make it amazingly easy to start and run.

You don’t need a big shop or office to start your photography business, you can easily start from the comfort of your home. It doesn’t demand a hectic managerial effort, neither does it need previous working experience before you can drive its flow to your desired direction.

You as well do not to need to employ any staff to start your mini-photo-company, and it can be started with just one tool  (camera). Amazing?

Photography is manageable by anyone of any level and you don’t need a college degree to rule its amazing world.

Read: 15 profitable business ideas that require no college degree.

ADV 2:   Profitability

Photography makes it easy for every practitioner to earn cool and great money.  It is rare to find yourself in any lucrative business that gives fifty percent (50%) profit. Great news: photography will give you sixty to sixty five percent (60% – 65%) profit.

ADV 3:   Scalability

If not the best, it’s one of the best. Photography can easily be scaled to your preference just at any time. The amazing part is that it has auto-scaling ability; it’s a business that’s capable of growing positively if you’ve chose to run it correctly.

In addition, it requires less effort and financial buoyancy to make it greater.

ADV 4:    Presentability

If doctors, lawyers, pilots, or other professionals are happy to say, “I am proud of my profession”, a photographer also has the grace to tell the public that he is gladly proud of his profession.

The fact that photography is a lucrative business does not stop it from being a presentable profession.

From the aforementioned points, you would have read that photography is a business that can be started and run from home, but the techniques and tactics in this article can best be applied if you have the money to secure a photo office (studio).

Read: How to start a home-based photography business in Africa .

Now, let’s start our profitable business.

The technique you’re about to read is categorized into seven (7) steps.

STEP 1:   Decision Making

If you do not make decision, you may have no driving force to get to the peak of success. This step calls your action to make thorough decision that will help you to determine your strength and limitation.

Below are decisions you must make before starting.

**Decide if you are ready to start – Ask yourself to know if you are ready to start the photography as a business or just as an art of fun. The fact you need to know is that having a camera is not what makes you a photographer.

You need to possess some classified qualities which will best present you as a qualified photographer. The following questions will allow you to mirror your chance.

The fact you need to know is that having a camera is not what makes you a photographer. Click To Tweet

(?1) Do you have the knowledge to handle camera for sharp shooting?

(?2) Do you have the stamina to work on the shooting field?

(?3) Do you have the ability to smile when you are embarrassed?

(?4) Do you know how to break moody and aggressive people?

(?5) Do you have the ability to quickly learn and adopt new techniques?

(=) If you can answer the above questions with YES, then you are simply good to proceed.

**Decide what types of photography services you will offer – A photographer has the grace to sell his service in different events that include, wedding ceremonies, birthday parties, funeral events, house warming, naming ceremony, and so on.

It’s good if you are capable of covering all the available events, but it’s better if you can narrow your service to one or two events to better standout in the business.

Saying for example, you’re a wedding photographer, you’ve built the great chance to get people to book you for their wedding events, because they will have the strong believe that your company is the best photo company that can handle wide and modern weddings.

Choosing a niche or two will also help you to research and devise the best tactics to satisfy the wants of your customers, and it will distance you from disappointing their booking offer.

**Decide where to cover – The earth is scientifically spherical and wide. To hasten your chance to succeed, you need to decide the geographical location or area that your photo tentacle will cover.

Decide if you want to cover your country, state, or city. This enables you to better win and maintain active clients. This aspect needs sensitive attention.

If for example, you’ve decided to choose funeral event as your photo channel, you need to make thorough research to know which geographical area best celebrate funeral, because some cultures or tribes detest the habit of elaborative celebration of funeral.

In addition, it will help you to position your company amidst the right people.

STEP 2:   Branding and Registration

Now you can get and name your company, and hire a graphic designer to get you fine logo, visually appealing color combination (which will serve as your branding color), and graphical papers like fliers and complementary cards (if necessary).

Approach government agencies for proper registration of the company (since you want to be an approved photographer). Register your company with a recognized association in your area.

STEP 3:   Styling and Decoration

Hire professional designers and decorators that’ll best allow your office (both inside and outside) to speak for itself. Your office or company should be attractive and not disengaging.

An attractive office will help to tell your visitors and passing-by people that you are a modern and a creative photographer.

STEP 4:   Getting the needed Gadgets

Now that your office is set, you need to get working tools. There are tools that cannot be done without, and there are series of gadgets that’ll facilitate your work. Below are tools and gadgets you’ll want to look into.

  • Digital Camera
  • Tripod
  • External Flash : Speed-Lite
  • External Hard Drive
  • Reflector
  • Generator (Power source)
  • Air Conditioner
  • Camera Bag
  • Smart TV
  • Desktop or Laptop Computers

STEP 5:   Building Online Reputation

Since you want to standout in the business, the fastest method to be dynamic is to get yourself online reputation and recognition. Build social networking pages for your business.

If you want to be extremely elegant in the business you need to claim all the awesome advantages  of the internet, and the best way to this is to get a business website where clients can view your portfolio, contact, history and so on.

A business website will boost the genuity of your business and will strengthen the link between you and your active clients. It will also fetch you nice clients. A premium website will also allow your clients to book you online, and this will dramatically increase the reputation of your business.

STEP 6:   Employing the right Workers

You surely cannot work alone, you need to employ ready-to-work staff. This aspect alone can annihilate the fortune of the previous steps (if care is not taken).

  Many companies collapse in their early ages because of wrong and unnecessary employment of workers. As a photography company, you just need few workers who can best improve the tone of your company, and not just people that are eager to earn your money.

To satisfy the wish of your company, you need to fill the following departments.

Camera handling, photo editing, managing, internet operation, computer operation, reception, and office cleaning.

To be profit oriented, you need to narrow your employment while filling the departments. Employ one experienced photographer who will help on you on different occasions.

Go ahead and employ one photo editor. To have excess workers, you don’t need to waste your money at the initial stage.

All you have to do is to give out training scholarship on photography (camera handling and photo editing), stating that the course will run for at least two years; meaning that, if you’re blessed to have four quick learners, you will have four fresh workers in the next six months that will heartily work for your company for more than a year. This method can be reiterated.

Employ a manager that will checkmate the activities of the company and the staff. Then, get a good computer geek that’s very good in the internet surfing; he’ll be good to work as an internet operator and a computer operator.

Finally, get one cleaner that will maintain the cleanliness of the office environment. Now, get a secretary that will work as At the end of the employment process, you should be having six dedicated workers: 1 cameraman and you + 1 photo editor + one manager + 1 IT operator + 1 cleaner = six workers, plus those four students, totaling (10), great?

Other workers like electrical engineer and mechanical engineer can be hired whenever the need calls for their services, so, you won’t bother spending lavishly every month end, since their service is sporadic.

STEP 7:   Marketing and Follow up

Someone somewhere needs your service, but he doesn’t even know about your existence. To best widen your chance of getting new clients, you need to reach out to their awareness.

In other word, you need to retain your existence in the heart of your active clients. The only medium to let these happen is through advert.

There are various advertisement channels to reach out to your targeted people, but choosing the best that’ll suit your business status requires extra assignment, else, you will blow your money for nothing’s sake.

Research the location you’re covering or targeting so as to know which advert best reaches them;  if your target is just a local community, a radio advert may the best shot.

Other advert channels include, social media, GDN (google display network), bulk SMS, banner placement, fliers,  radio, television, and the list continues.

You may not be contented with the result that you’re going to get with the use of your chosen advert channel, it’s normal.

You will clearly help your business using the follow-up technique; this entails you to frequently do the followings.

1. Compensate your clients:

Clients love to be acknowledge. They don’t love to be left a sorrowful thought that you don’t value their patronage.

Sharp ways to motivate them is to give out discount on your services, and give out prizes on festive periods. You may even buy the idea of presenting gift items to your active clients on their birthday, just to retain their activeness. Another way to quickly compensate your clients is to give them a bright sense of belonging, just by saying “THANK YOU” on every patronage.

2. Sponsor local events:  

Another working method to retain your clients and, at the same time gain the attention of new eyes, is to sponsor local events like football, boxing, educational shows, competitions, entrepreneurial occasions, and so on.

With this said, you don’t need to empty your bank account to sponsor events, service discount may be enough. You may just decide to shoot at 85% of your normal charge.

Starting and running a successful Photography business in Africa Click To Tweet

Conclusion:

Being a recognized photographer may require your relentless effort. Because you can never get to place that success comes before work, unless you’re in the dictionary realm.

Remember, photography is a lucrative business that’s capable of paying all your possible bills. All you have to do is: WORK-WORK-WORK-and-ADVERTISE-then-WORK. Good luck!

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Adeoti Nurudeen
A Programmer | Chief Editor and Diamond Writer at Mutualpress Magazine.

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