Saturday, January 8, 2011

Sometimes it pays to hire a professional

Sometimes you really have to take a step back as a small business owner and look at all the tasks that it takes to run a small business single handedly and wonder what if anything you can pay to have done. In many cases, paying to have a professional handle a press release, branding, design, photos or taxes can really BOOST your exposure and actually your profits. You are paying someone for their expertise and many times they can realize a far better result in a much quicker time frame. When I first started my business i knew i would always pay for professional accounting. That's not to say i don't keep incredibly detailed records of all my expense, inventory, gross v net profits etc, it's just that i realized that for me, paying someone yearly for some coaching about keeping smarter records and for filing made the most sense.

And now, 4 years later, after struggling and struggling, i have finally hired an outside photographer to take my new product photos. I have tried to develop my photography skills over the past several year, but having a consistent place with natural light to photograph as well as getting a model that was not a family member has really been such a strain, and in many cases held me back from a timely seasonal line launch.

the Pros
-having consistent photos for line sheet and web
-having GOOD photos
-relieves the stress and time of scheduling photos, taking them and color correcting!
-increased exposure in treasuries, blogs and stores due to better product photos
-increased sales [one would hope!]
-helps to communicate a "Fashion" brand instead of "I took this photo, can you tell?" look
-frees me up to actually PROMOTE the product launch

the cons
-lack of complete control over angle and art direction of each shot

well you can see why i was easily convinced to spend the money! To combat any lack of control I may feel in the whole process, i intend to keep really good open communication with the photographer every step of the way (not in a nagging overbearing way i hope!)....

I'll keep you posted in the coming weeks as the first batch of new stock heads out to San Francisco next week for photography. Look for an artist bio to come shortly.