Sunday, August 30, 2009

How to Start a Photography Business

Are you intrigued by the idea of using photography to make time stand still, and creating keepsakes that will be treasured for generations?

Click Here to Discover How to Become a Professional Photographer

Maybe you love being part of the excitement that comes with important moments in human life: weddings, comings of age, and celebrations. You want to be there to record them forever. You can get paid to do what you love when you start a wedding photography business or a portrait photography business.

When you start a photography business you will be able to earn a living creating unique and creative images of people's cherished moments. Professional photography has been around for decades, yet it continues to be one of the most innovative and creative art forms in the world today. Being your own boss and determining your own schedule are just a few of the perks.

The family and wedding photography industry is booming right now. The real emphasis placed on the importance of family has seen a surge in portrait photography, and couples in love are spending thousands of dollars on their wedding photography.

Add in the fact that professionals of all types need headshots for business use, and there is no shortage of work for the aspiring professional photographer.

It's not difficult to start a photography business - all you really need are a good camera with the necessary lenses and equipment, and an eye for composition. But in order to attract clients and create a thriving photography business that you can call a true career, there are a few other things you'll want to do.

Here's some advice from the FabJob Guide to Become a Professional Photographer that will help you achieve your goal of starting a wedding photography business or a portrait photography business.

1. Plan and prepare

Before setting up studio space, buying equipment, or looking for clients, you'll need to plan what type of photography business you'll be running. Will it be wedding photography, portrait photography, pictures of young children or high school graduates, or some combination of these? Think about the type of photography you're most passionate about, the services you'll offer and the type of image you want to present.

To build your photo-taking skills, you can take photography classes at a local art school or community college, buy some good how-to books, and most importantly, practice by taking pictures of friends and family. Getting feedback on your work from other professionals will also go a long way to helping your build your skills to the professional level.

2. Get the right tools for the job

As mentioned, professional quality digital photography equipment is a must. This includes at least one digital camera with a few interchangeable lenses, and digital memory for file storage. Additional lighting and backdrops are a great addition if you plan to shoot portrait work inside. If you need to shoot onsite (at weddings, for example), a durable-but-lightweight camera bag will help you protect and transport photography equipment.

Many photographers find it difficult to work without the help of a computer editing program, and a website to attract customers is important too. A good training book and some business planning will help you start a photography business knowing exactly what tools and equipment you'll need for the services you have in mind.

3. Set up your studio or office

Starting a photography business requires a studio or an office where you will be able to greet prospective customers, review prints, fill out forms, and conduct other in-person business. When you set up your space to start a photography business, keep in mind the services you're planning on offering. The reception area of someone who plans to work primarily with weddings will be very different for someone doing headshots for aspiring models and actors, for example.

When deciding whether or not to invest in things like studio space, consider the advice of Mike Copeland, an official photographer for the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics: "If you have the space, it's great to run this kind of business from home. We have our living room set up to meet with wedding clients, and a workspace in the basement." If you don't have the funds to equip a studio, you can still shoot outside or on location.

4. Find customers

When you are ready to start your photography business, you'll want to let the public know you are available for their photography needs. You can pay to advertise your services, although display ads may be too expensive when you first start a photography business. Instead, consider press releases and other low-cost marketing strategies such as referrals.

When your market your photography business, show how your work is unique, without moving too far away from the traditional expectations of your target market. Online directories and a website for your photography business will also help generate and increase sales.

Click Here to Discover How to Become a Professional Photographer

This article is based on the FabJob Guide to Become a Professional Photographer by Jennifer James. The complete guide offers detailed step-by-step information about how you can start a photography business and become a professional photographer. It is available online.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Business Consulting- Home Based Business

Could You Have a Career in Consulting?

Click Here to Discover How to Become a Business Consultant

Most people have no difficulty noticing problems in their workplace. When faced with something that makes their jobs more difficult or costs the company money, typical workers shake their heads, grumble to co-workers, and hope that "someone" will do something to fix the problems.

If you're the type of person who not only notices problems, but you can also come up with solutions to those problems, you may have what it takes to become a business consultant.

Business consultants are respected and relied upon in every industry in every country. As a business consultant, also known as a management consultant, you could have a high paying career where executives turn to you for direction in running their businesses.

What specific types of problems do business consultants recommend solutions for? The answer is any type of business problem. Some business consultant, somewhere, right now, is probably working on a business challenge in almost any area of business you can imagine. If it is part of running a business, sooner or later, it will need a consultant to fix it.

Some consultants specialize in working with businesses in particular industries, such as health care or manufacturing. Others work with clients in a variety of industries, but specialize in particular business functions, such as marketing, human resources, or information technology. Others specialize in helping small businesses achieve success.

With all the demand for their services, it's no wonder there's an old saying that if you become a business consultant you'll only work half days - 12-hour days, that is.

Even with potentially long working hours, consulting is a hot career. A recent poll conducted by Harris Interactive for The Wall Street Journal's executive career site, named consulting one of the eight "best careers."

One reason is because it is among the highest paid professions. A 2006 survey by the Association of Management Consulting Firms found entry-level consultants earn an average of $65,000 annually while senior partners earn an average of over $300,000 (including bonuses and profit sharing).

While many consultants are hired by large consulting firms, it is an attractive career choice for those who want to have their own business.

You can operate a consulting business from home, without large start-up costs. In fact, you probably already own the equipment needed -- a computer and phone - and much of your business is likely to come through low-cost marketing such as networking.

You can also start on a part-time basis, while keeping your current job as your primary source of income. Then as the demand for your services grows, you can commit to consulting full time.

Unlike some other professions, there are no specific educational requirements to become a business consultant. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 28% of consultants do not have a degree of any kind.

However, that doesn't mean it's easy for someone with no credentials to become a successful business consultant. Those who are most likely to succeed usually have either a formal business education or a wealth of business experience.

They also have the skills needed to solve problems and work with senior management.

To see if consulting is the career for you, here are some questions from the FabJob Guide to Become a Business Consultant. Note all that are a "yes" for you.

1. Do people frequently ask for your advice?
2. Do you enjoy finding solutions to problems?
3. Are you a critical thinker?
4. Do you know a variety of problem-solving techniques?
5. Do you enjoy doing research?
6. Do you have a good vocabulary?
7. Do you avoid using jargon or technical terms that others may not understand?
8. Do people consider you to be a good listener?
9. Do you understand non-verbal communication such as body language?
10. Do you have excellent written communication skills?
11. Are you comfortable speaking in front of a group?
12. Do you have project management experience?
13. Can you see the big picture and break it down into manageable components?
14. Are you well organized?
15. Do you meet deadlines?
16. Do you have experience leading teams?
17. Are you ethical in all your business practices?

If you answered "yes" to these questions, you already have qualities found in successful business consultants.

Now look at any you answered "no." Questions 1 to 5 relate to problem-solving skills, questions 6-11 relate to communication skills, questions 12-16 relate to management skills, and question 17 concerns business ethics. Fortunately, many of these skills can be learned through business courses, books, and experience.

So the next time you notice something that's a problem at work, try coming up with a solution.

Click Here to Discover How to Become a Business Consultant

This article is based on the FabJob Guide to Become a Business Consultant. The complete guide gives detailed advice on how you can get hired as a consultant or start your own consulting business.

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