Marketing & Growth

How to Start a Photography Business—and Conquer Future Cash Flow Problems

By Justin Reynolds

Skilled at shooting pictures and video at weddings? More importantly, do you enjoy it? If so, you’d be well-suited to open your own wedding photography and videography business. (If you’re worried about potential cash flow problems, there’s more on that below.)

If you’re starting from scratch, you can set up a legit wedding photography and videography business by spending roughly $15,000. This price includes all of your equipment and software costs (e.g. cameras, lenses, memory cards, flashes, Photoshop subscription, etc.), legal expenses, and incorporation fees—as well as the costs associated with setting up and hosting your website.

Never forget that your business is responsible for preserving memories from the most important days of your customers’ lives. When it comes to buying equipment, don’t skimp on the quality of your camera and lenses. You want to make sure you can provide the best pictures possible.

You’ll definitely be able to tackle some jobs on your own, but if all goes well, you’ll need extra hands to call upon from time to time—if not often. Develop a pool of talent you can tap into when you need it. The more reliable freelancers you have, the easier it’ll be to ensure you get the help you need.

Once you’re comfortable with the equipment you have and the help that’s available to you, start marketing your business. Create a website and establish a presence on various social channels. Claim your listing on Google to make it easy for customers to find you. Ask your friends, family members, and acquaintances whether they know anyone who’s looking for your services to see how much business you can generate organically.

Sooner or later, you’ll land a gig. Do your best, learn from your experiences, and grow your business over time.

Watch Out for Potential Cash Flow Problems

It would be great if wedding photographers and videographers could spend all their time focusing on perfecting their craft. Unfortunately, these folks aren’t immune from the same problems that all other small business owners run into every now and again.

For example, photographers can face cash flow problems for a number of reasons:

  • Some jobs may require additional manpower. You might anticipate you’ll be able to do a gig by yourself only to realize you need to hire an extra set of hands or two you didn’t budget for.
  • Customers might not pay on time. Let’s say you land a bunch of jobs in July. Unfortunately, your customers might not be ready to pay you until September or beyond.
  • Equipment may break. You never want to shatter a lens or knock over lights, but it happens. You’ll need to replace your equipment when it breaks.
  • You may be “forced” to buy new technologies or equipment. To stay competitive, you need to invest in new photography and videography equipment, editing software, and other technologies.
  • You may be overwhelmed with work. There’s always the chance you’ll bite off more than you can chew from a cash flow perspective. Unpaid invoices don’t pay rent or salaries.

Without access to cash, it’s impossible to grow your business. For example, when you’re low on cash, instead of hopping on the next gig that might require a second photographer, you’ll have to wait for a check to come in before making your next move.

The good news is that cash flow problems can be avoided if you take a proactive approach to your finances. By understanding the various funding options available, you’re able to give your business the money it needs to grow—the moment you need it.

Solving Cash Flow Problems with Fundbox 

While your accounts receivables might look nice on your balance sheet, you can’t exactly meet your financial obligations with invoices that are collecting dust. Instead of waiting for checks to come in, you can use an invoice-clearing service like Fundbox to advance payments on outstanding invoices.

Fundbox is easy to use. Set up an account in a minute or two, connect your accounting app (e.g., Quickbooks or Xero), and start clearing invoices with the tap of a finger. Funds will be deposited in your business account within a day or two, and you’ll have 12 weeks to repay the advance, plus a small fee.

Fundbox allows you to take control over your cash flow problems and solve money shortages before they adversely affect your business. As a result, you’ll be able to hop on the next wedding that’s thrown your way—whether you need one extra freelancer or a staff of five.

Ready to move your business forward?

Subscribe to Fundbox Forward for expert insights and tips every week so you can grow.