I read an article the other night and something very interesting was mentioned… what would happen to your business if you ended up in the hospital. At first I thought, well, hopefully it’s not so bad and I can explain to my fiancé what to do and where to find some files on my Mac. After reading the article I realized that if I kept everything -and I mean EVERYTHING, in one simple, labeled, organized place, it would be much easier. So I decided to build an All-In-One Planner for my studio!
I know, I know, they sell amazing templates that as a photographer you can customize and send off to print, but as a new business owner, I knew I can create a planner with exactly what I need and it would cost me WAY less! So I went to Office Depot and bought a binder that matched the color of my logo, and bought two different sets of dividers- a pack of 8 and a set of A-Z.
The very first page is my workflow. This graph contains every step I take which each and every single client. It helps me check off the tasks I have completed, making it not only easier to follow -since I do not have to worry about forgetting something, but it’s physically there, showing me what I am missing to complete. I have provided a free workflow template HERE where you can insert the name of your studio along with your tasks.
Then comes the dividers!
I have my dividers set up to the following:
- Blog Ideas
- Contracts for Mini Sessions
- Contracts for Groupon
- Model Release Forms Signed
A-Z Dividers are right after the last divider “Model Release Forms Signed” and I organize all of my release forms by first name.
My first tab is all about my ideas for blogging. Anything that comes to mind I write it down under the month that it’s suitable for. Although most of my blog is about the sessions I photograph and my clients, I sometimes like to dedicate some posts to certain people and give photographers an insider of what has helped me. Some posts also talks about promotions I am having or new products that I am offering, so all this falls into the “Blog Ideas” tab.
My next two tabs are “Promotions” and “Marketing” which is where I write my ideas on the Promotions I will be having for the year, the start and end date, what I need to do to make this happen and any materials I need for this promotion. My marketing tab is set up monthly and it coincides with the promotion tab, I write in what day an ad needs to go up or a flyer or anyone I need to contact for the promotion.
Then comes”Expenses” which is also set up monthly. I recently stocked up on materials for packaging so under January I wrote the date, the store, and how much I spent. Then the receipt went inside an envelope I have labeled Expenses 2014 and it’s in the front pocket of my binder. (So when taxes come around, all your receipts are in one convenient location)
Last but not least, “Contracts”! This tab is pretty much self-explanatory, I have three different sessions: Normal sessions, Mini Sessions, and Groupon Sessions. I do not mix the three simply since it’s much easier to find a client by the type of session they had.
I know plenty of photographers that have different folders for each individual client and each folder has their tasks and it works for their lifestyle! I would hate to misplace a folder or forget to miss a task since it wasn’t right in front of me so I definitely prefer to have all of my clients together in one simple location and have a workflow client chart.
If anyone has done something similar please share!