And the what nots!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Or do I mean, the evil behind the scenes of a business.

Forewarning, this post is mostly vents on the ugly side of owning a business rearing it ugly head.

Let me begin with....when I started this little venture, I thought how great it would be to turn my love for photography into a career. In my naive mind, there was nothing to it. But then, then when I made this business official in September of 2008 with my pricing increase and other paperwork that made it "official" eyes slowly started to open.

Over this past year, my eyes are opened to:
the never ending paperwork
monthly tax reports to the state revenue department
data entry (super boring and tedious)
and the non-stop organizing
and ULTIMATELY answering to Uncle Sam in April!

While this isn't a super long list, let me tell you each of the three things on this list requires hours upon hours of attention. Right now, I have a huge appreciation for small business owners and would probably sell a limb just to hear how they found a way to tick and tock through the daily and hourly requirements a business needs.

And today, my eyes are WIDE open and often I have to force them to shut and try hard to not think of my business every single second. It's incredibly hard. I think about where I am, where I'd like to see myself, what's best for my business and the bulk of my thoughts go to ... what's best for my clients.

There's one thing that makes it hard for my mind to veer from thinking about business and it's THIS post I read a while back. And even though I read it almost two months ago, it's fresh in my mind every day.

I think it's still fresh as it deals with pricing yourself and what it takes to actually make it in the business. Believe me when I write, that I totally understand that I'm not the cheapest photographer in the valley. And that my pricing is high for some.

I want my photography to be reasonable. But, I have to remember in the end I answer to the tax man. And while many of my products are priced high, it's because their high on my end.

But I always giggle when I hear the comments on my pricing. Why? Most people think that I pocket each dime that I'm paid in services and orders. Oh, I wish...I SO wish! That would only be in my dream world.

Sadly, a good portion goes to all that it takes to run a business and a HUGE portion to Uncle Sam.

While the post was incredibly helpful and insightful, I felt like a dark cloud was following the days after I read it. A few of my friends and I kept a strong email chain going, long phone chats at night and the occasional vents with tears on how to get to where we need to be to truly value our time.

If you're at all interested in the reasoning behind pricing, this post would be a great read. Or, if you're starting a photography business or even thinking about it...STRONGLY believe you should read that post.

The only relief I had after reading that post was knowing that I'll be prepared when I have to write that check out to Uncle Sam come next year. Because, honestly, I'm TERRIFIED of the tax man and the word audit literally makes me have nightmares. Taxes and audits are probably what I fear most in life...I have no idea why. Maybe one too many news stories of tax evasion and audits that won't stop haunting...I don't know. I just know it scares me.

Now, I'm sure you're wondering where this post came from. It came from me sitting here for the past 4 hours doing only data entry and organizing my papers to have some semblance of a system. And me needing a huge vent on the side of this business I'm SO not a fan of. That in my perfect world, I would only take pictures and edit...oh, but I think that will stay in my dreams.

And...this is a photography blog right? Here is just one sweet moment caught between my girls...
And as always, thanks for reading as this post...despite the ramblings and as boring as it may have been.


Jodie Allen said...

i finally went through and recorded our sales from oct/nov and while we were SO excited about the numbers it wasn't until I took out ALL expenses that we realized we are making LESS THAN $200 each on orders! UGH! That means all that work and time and missing the kids was for practically NOTHING! we're going to talk after christmas to see what we can change to actually be profitable and make our time worth it!

NP said...

Thank GOD you put such a darling picture of the girls after that. I read the article which I thought was wonderful, and thought . . . do you realize that your two professions you chose involve TONS of paperwork, and many times pay less than minimum wage? Sorry, love you. But just so you know, you are exceptional at both professions! Love you lots, N

Leah said...

Oh no!! This is not what I want to hear...I am so at this type of stuff...dang...maybe I am rethinking your post btw...