Keep a Diary
Keeping a Diary for Your Photography Business
One thing that I have learned along the way is to keep a diary of all events and job possibilities. Especially when running a photography business. Double booking is a no-no especially when it comes to wedding photography for example. If you are just starting out it is all too easy to simply try and remember what bookings you have, even if it is just 2 or 3. This is when problems could arise.
Unless you have your bookings and even enquiries written down, you could fall victim to a double booking. This could seriously harm your reputation and ultimately your business. With both clients and suppliers/peers.
To keep a diary, I firstly use a wall planner
This way, when I receive a phone enquiry I can see at a glance whether I have a booking or another enquiry for a certain day. I also use the diary, alerts and alarms on my Smartphone. Works a treat for alerting me one week in advance of an upcoming job.
If you already have an enquiry for that day it usually works in your favour, play them off against each other.
If you do receive an enquiry for a day where you have already sent out a quote, explain this to the new client. Say that you will pencil them in. Then contact the other people and confirm as to whether they require your services or not. If not, contact the second enquiry and make your pitch.
By creating this "sense of urgency" to both parties, you will normally end up with one of them booking you. Don't think that just because it is a small job you don't need to make a note of it. However, NEVER cancel a low paid job in favour of a high paying one. It will damage your reputation beyond repair.
No show is a no no
Also remember to make a note of when you are meeting any future wedding couples or possible clients. Not showing up to a preliminary meeting with a wedding couple will hardly instill confidence in them.
What if you have a meeting planned for a certain day and you receive an enquiry for a paid job for that day also? In the first instance, call the people you are meeting with and ask to re-schedule. If they can't, decline the new enquiry or get someone else to go along:
If you do send someone else along, prime them well and be prepared...and be honest. If nothing else, it will show how busy and "in demand" you are! You must always look after the confirmed bookings that you have over and above any "possible" work.
Lastly, by keeping a diary of both enquiries and confirmed bookings, you are able to work out your enquiry/bookings ratio and measure your success or failings. You can also measure your business's growth at a glance over the months and years.
If you like to be more organised and need more than a simple diary, look into getting a full on diary planner.