Does the thought of tracking expenses and making financial decisions in your photography business seem like such a daunting task that you’d rather put off?
I mean, who wants to stress about finances, right?
So, whether you feel like you’re navigating your finances like a boss or figuring out where to even begin, I’ve got your back.
This Week’s Voxer Question: What is your biggest struggle right now in your business when it comes to finances? Is there a financial decision you’re trying to make right now?
Below, you’ll see my Top 10 Principles for Making Wise Financial Decisions in your Business.
1. Embrace Your Role as CFO
Regularly check in with your finances. Make this an important part of your job description. I always talk about owning your role as the CEO in your business, now, let’s talk about owning your role as the CFO. (Chief Financial Officer) You need to set aside a monthly CFO date and make sure it actually happens.
Financial Goals: Talk about setting achievable financial goals for your photography business. Discuss short-term and long-term goals, such as reaching a specific income level, saving for a family vacation, or investing in new equipment
2. Set up a Separate Bank Account
Don’t use your business account for personal items. It’s not a slush fund!
3. Distribute Profit Allocations
One of my favorite books on finances that I absolutely recommend is called Profit First by Mike Micalowicz.
If you read his book, he has certain percentages that he recommends for certain allocations, and he does this based on the size of your business, how much money your business is making per year, etc. He also has so many worksheets and different things to help you map all of this out. Here are the 7 things I specifically allocate to out of my business finances:
- Tithe- I title 10% to my church right off the bat. I do this off of the Gross Amount
- Owners Pay- Have you been paying yourself too much?
- Fixed Expenses
- Taxes- 15%- 20% as a good baseline for your business
4. Switching over to Relay
It’s so daunting to think about switching a bank, but Relay has been a game-changer for me in my business. There’s no fee, and you can use my affiliate link to check it out! It truly has been such a huge game changer for me and how I am able to manage my finances, being able to see everything separated, and all of those profit allocations are neatly displayed on one dashboard. It’s incredible!
It only took me 2 hours to switch all of my info over, so definitely don’t let that time investment hold you back when it comes to switching to Relay because it really doesn’t take that much time. But the return on the investment that you will gain from having Relay will be exponentially greater. I seriously can’t recommend it enough. I wish I had found them sooner.
5. Keep Good Records
Use a spreadsheet or accounting software to keep track of your income/expenses
Know Your Fixed Expenses – Keep a spreadsheet of all your business expenses (annual and monthly)
Don’t pay annually for subscriptions unless you’ve used the program for an entire year before and know that you love it and won’t switch.
Regularly check in with you expenses and get rid of anything you don’t need
6. Ditch Your Business Credit Card
I have grown my business from the ground up without credit cards ever. I have several friends who started with credit cards and got themselves into a lot of trouble. While I do think it’s important to invest in certain things, I think you need to be extremely careful about how fast you invest, and specifically what you invest in.
I just want you to be aware that just because everyone says you should have a business credit card does not mean you should I just feel like it is a recipe for disappointment and slow growth.
7. Know What to Invest In:
You have to invest in your business, in order to grow your business. Here’s the order I think you should do that in:
2. Software – I’ll be doing a future episode on my favorite software programs
Whenever I am faced with a decision, I ask myself a few questions to make sure I’m not acting out of fear or making the wrong decision
- What’s the WORST that could happen?
- What’s the BEST that could happen?
- Is doing this thing aligned with my goals or the life I want to create?
Most of the time, the worst that could happen isn’t that bad.
Most of the time, the best that could happen is pretty incredible.
And if the answer is yes to the last question, well then it’s a no-brainer decision.
The principle around pricing is that you need to strike a balance between pursuing your passion for photography, and actually ensuring that your business remains profitable.
There is such a difference between profitability and passion, and while we might want to discount packages for people, we have to be profitable as well.
I’d love to invite you to my new masterclass called The Profit Shift where we’re going to talk all about how to do this well.
9. Business Insurance
You might not have run into this unless you’re a wedding photographer, but oftentimes, venues will ask for liability insurance. Business insurance allows you to not only have your gear covered if it gets lost or broken or stolen, but also gives you an opportunity to add liability coverage so that you have protection against accidents and things like that.
I use Hartford for my business insurance, but there are several different ones to choose from and aspects to consider about covering yourself and your business.
10. Set Up an Emergency Fund
Save up $500 to start and then aim to fully fund your emergency fund with 3 months of fixed expenses. This is just going to give you peace of mind if you are behind, on paying some of your bills, because income is low. It just gives you that cushion and that buffer. I can’t even tell you how much peace and calm I feel just knowing that I have money set aside in case anything were to happen.
- Join Relay Bank
- Profit First Book by Mike Michalowicz
- Business Insurance – The Hartford | Hill and Usher
- Join the Waitlist for my Free Masterclass, The Profit Shift: 3 Strategies to Optimize Your Limited Time and Maximize Your Revenue as a Mom
- Message me on Voxer
- Have a question for me? Or a specific struggle you’re dealing with? I’ll address your question on the podcast. Submit your ‘Ask Ashley’ question here
- Looking for tips and strategies for making motherhood and business easier? Join Our Free Community – The Organized Mom Photographer
- Need support managing your time well and creating systems to streamline your Photography Business? Join the Efficient Mom Photographer (12 Week Group Coaching Program
- Local to Gilbert/Mesa Arizona (For Mom Business Owners) Join our in person membership community