Start Your 2013 Business Plan With a Set of Personal Goals

Part 2 in a series

Before you can really get started writing a business plan for your photo business, you have to give some thought to your personal goals. This is not Harvard Business School stuff, but especially in a field like photography, your life and business quickly become entangled.

Your personal goals should be the driving factor behind all of your business goals.  I’ve mentioned it before, and I’ll say it again: You should be running your business, not your business running you.

Start thinking now – where DO you want to be in one year, in five years and in 10 years.  Dream big!  Revive the personal dreams you may have had a few years ago but have pushed aside because work overwhelms you.  Take 10 minutes and a blank sheet of paper.  Write down anything and everything that comes to your mind. Nothing is too big or too small!

Here are a few ideas to help you get started:

  • Where do you want to take your family on vacation?
  • Have you always wanted to volunteer at an outreach but said “I’ll do it when things slow down?”
  • Do you want to eat healthier?
  • Do you want to travel more?
  • Do you want to watch your kid’s sports games?
  • Do you want to spend more time with your spouse?
  • Do you want to move and buy another house?
  • Do you want to remodel your current house?
  • Do you want to go skydiving?
  • Is there somewhere in the world you’ve always wanted to visit?

Now you should have a nice, long list of dreams. This is great!  I hope you were truly able to put aside all practical thoughts of not having enough time or money, and just dream as if those are not even in the equation.  After you’ve thought about and written out goals, we’re going to be thinking of the decisions we need to make to make our dreams a reality.

Take one of the dreams you’ve written down – it could be any.  Now write out a list of what you need to happen, personally, time-wise, and financially, to accomplish this goal.  For instance, one of my goals over the next year is to spend more time with my husband, so here’s what I’ve written:

Goal:  Spending Quality time with my husband, doing outdoor activities

  • Don’t work every weekend
  • Shoot fewer weddings for more money
  • Raise wedding prices
  • Don’t book more than three weekends a month during busy season
  • Plan outings ahead of time instead of doing things only if I’m free

Now go down your list and write take that approach to each one. It really could be anything, but thinking through and writing down steps to accomplishing your goals will help bring together the next part of the process: Setting your prices. Next time, we’ll be work on pricing and how to price so you’ll be able to run your business well!


2 Responses to “Start Your 2013 Business Plan With a Set of Personal Goals”

  1. Excellent article! It is incredibally important to bring freshness and life to one's work. If one is overworked with no personal time to enjoy (whatever that may be), a staleness may be reflected in the work. I think it is also important to change the goals every so often: not to be locked in. As I keep moving and changing my focus, I hope my work takes on the new perspectives and excitement that stimulate my photography.

  2. I am not sure what would be my ideal timetable for the new year. If this recession continues, I do not have much hope to survive among people in the photography community.
    I have to wait and see.

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