Adapting Our Businesses in Times of Change

Whether we like it or not everything changes in time.  The truest words ever spoken were, “this too will pass!”  Whether you are struggling or making money “hand over fist” this too will pass!  The problem is that we like things to stay the same, at least when they are good and when times are good we never allow ourselves to think that our good fortune will end.  You see photographers finally get a point they can afford to build their own studios and what do they do.  They build a custom building that has little or no use for anything except a photography studio building.  The entire layout is set up and built to be used “as is” rather that thinking toward the future and designing it in such a way that it is possible to downsize and take up less space if the photographer’s business were to change.  In our 23 years in business we have used from 1200 to 6600 square feet of studio space and it has gone up and down over the years and has been increased and decreased as our work-flow has changed.  This is being adaptable, this is being able to change with the realities of your business.

I have seen some photographers actually build a large studio building on to their own homes.  Talk about commitment (or foolishness), these photographers and their crystal ball (to be able to see 30 years into the future, the length of the typical mortgage!) have just decided to not be able to adapt their businesses for the next 30 years, because no one will want to rent a building attached to someone else’s home or even rent a portion of the building if downsizing is needed.

We have to face it, our profession has changed.  I was driving home the other morning and while driving down one 3 mile stretch of road I passed or was behind three different cars that had graphics on them about the owner’s photography business and these were just the cars going the same direction as me!  My last Saturday session at the park I think there were more photographers and “want to be” photographers at the park than children at play.  This is a reality that we can’t change.  Some younger photographers get so upset when I bring up such facts, but it is reality.  This is a business, not a fairy tale which everyone lives happily ever after.  Wake up Dorothy, reality is calling.

Only when you except that everything changes can you structure your business to succeed.  Downsizing isn’t the end of a career but a way to get through times of change, to be able to restructure your business to gain back whatever the economy or competition has taken away from you.  If your sales drop, your volume decreases or your over-all profit tanks, look at every business you do business with, for ways to reduce costs.  Look at your phone bill, your power bill, even your insurance as ways to reduce the pressure on your business to produce profit.  If you rent space, which is a god-send in times like this, look at how to do with less space when your next lease comes up.  Do whatever it takes to run your business as lean as possible.

Always remember this too will pass, if it is hard right now, this too will pass, if you say with it and run your business as a business and not think that talent insures you success, it will get easier.  If you are having a great year and making more money than you know what to do with, just remember, this to will pass, there will be days ahead that you will have to make cut backs to insure your business produces profit, just plan for it, because it will happen!

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~ by jeffsmithbooks on February 8, 2011.

One Response to “Adapting Our Businesses in Times of Change”

  1. Great stuff on here Jeff. Keep up the great work.

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