Every business in the world needs paperwork to organise a business. Even in professional photography one needs to create invoices, quotations, bills etc. However, day to day running of a photography business can leave you with almost no time for the organization of your paperwork. This can leave you in quite a mess at your workplace which, quite frankly, doesn’t look nice especially if your clients visit often.
Organizing your workplace is indeed a tiresome job. Nobody wants to be stuck handling paperwork, not if you could be spending this valuable time with your family or behind the camera. Organizing your business can not only save you time, but can provide you with a true and fair view of where your business actually stands and where it is headed in both near and far future.
Here are the top 10 tips that can help you organize your studio in a fashion which looks better and is more convenient.
Use file cabinets or hanging / suspension folders.
Even in this modern era of “soft copies” there are tons of things that a photographer needs in hard copies. Correspondence, portfolios, equipment manuals etc these are all hard copies and can create a mess unless you use a file cabinet or hanging folders.
Always use separate files
You should always use separate files to keep specific documents and reference to them as it looks better than one bulky file. You also save a lot of time and reach your desired document with more ease as compared to searching through one file.
Clear out assorted folders or miscellaneous folders
Everyone has at least one folder labeled “Misc”. This is the folder where you put everything you don’t know where to put. There is a good chance that you could do with clearing out the whole folder. If you haven’t required something from the folder in one whole year, it is highly unlikely it is of any value.
If you are a digital photographer, you are likely to have your images on a computer. However if you are a non-digital photographer (which is highly unlikely), you could always use a scanner to transfer your prints onto a PC. As we all know, hard drives take less space than albums and catalogues.
Reference your work
You are likely to have a lot of images on your computer and it can be a tedious job going through them to find a specific shot you are looking for. It is always a good idea to make a referencing index of your work which allows you to see where specific files are. Such a list can be very useful for saving time when you search for files.
Use spreadsheets and database management software
Spreadsheets and data management software (www.fotosf.com) are an amazing way to organize your contacts, equipment lists, things to do, sales, purchases, jobs, etc. Such software can easily be used to fit your business needs and can help you save time over trivial jobs.
Keep a diary to track your appointments
A diary is the best way to make sure you fulfill any appointments that you have made. Diaries or journals also help to ensure you meet your deadlines. You can also program your diaries with reminders and alarms to keep you on your toes. Syncing your diary to your smart phone helps photographers who are out and about on-location quite a lot.
Maintain proper accounts
Proper maintenance of accounts enables you to properly allocate expenses to specific jobs. That way you can work out a more accurate cost of a project and also exercise better cost control.
Maintain short-term and long term budgets
Maintaining proper budgets can help your forecast your state of affairs and later compare the actual figure with budgets to properly assess your performance. It is a good method for self assessment and provides information for you to make proper decisions.
Label your equipment and designate a proper place for everything
Write serial numbers for your equipment & software and designate a proper place for everything. Make a file of this information. This file can be used as a reference to find out where a specific piece of equipment is. You must know each and every piece of camera, lens, computer, software & accessories to help insure your equipment for the right amount year on year. Never guess and insure for your business assets. These tips can increase your efficiency, effectiveness and profitability. You can either do this manually or automate the whole process by using a dedicated photography studio software like Foto SF Lite which costs only £60 / $90 (approx.).
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