Looking for a more creative and fulfilling career? Look no further than a role with a photography franchise. An investment in the photography sector could be both profitable and rewarding, turning your existing passions into financial gains in a lower risk form of business ownership. Here’s how to make a career change with a photography franchise right now.
The job of a photographer is special, unique and highly enjoyable to many. Being a photographer means being there at special, precious moments in the lives of others, capturing treasured memories that would otherwise be gone in an instant. If you’re the kind of person who would find this type of work emotionally rewarding and gratifying, and you’re not already doing it, what’s holding you back? Why not make a career out of something you feel deeply passionate about?
Why start a photography franchise?
If you’re a creative person looking to make a change, joining a photography franchise is a great option to consider, even without pre-existing experience in the field. Professional, quality photography services are in high demand, and the market size, measured by revenue, is £1.2 billion [IBIS World]. Beyond demand, there are other benefits to becoming a photographer within a franchise network, such as:
- It’s a cost effective investment and usually boasts low overheads
- You’ll have the ability to be your own boss and work flexibly
- You’ll be able to travel, visit new places and meet new people
How to make a career change with a photography business
If you’re thinking about how to make a successful career change and transition smoothly into the photography industry, make sure you cover all of these steps:
1. Assess your creative skills
Photography is a wonderfully creative career, and while most franchisors won’t require you to have previous experience or skills in the field (due to the extensive training and support you’ll receive in return for your initial investment), it doesn’t hurt to check that your existing skills match up. Great transferable skills for photographers to possess include:
- Customer service
- Attention to detail
- Fine arts knowledge
- Tech savviness and computer competence
Individual franchise opportunities will tend to list the ideal skills of a franchisee, so you can get more specific about how well suited you are by visiting profile pages and diving deeper into research. For example, the ideal Venture Studios franchisee would be a customer focused individual with a hands-on approach to marketing. They would be a disciplined and hard-working leader, with at least a basic grasp of money and financial management.
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2. Get qualified
Though plenty of opportunities will be available to you right away, you can stand out and set yourself up for success in an undeniably competitive industry by preparing ahead of time for your investment and gaining some qualifications, whether that be through a University, a College or an Apprenticeship programme. Appropriate courses for a Photography beginner looking to hone their skills include:
- Foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in Photography, Visual Art, Commercial Photography or Art and Design
- NCFE Level 2 Certificate in Photography
- A-Level Photography
- Level 3 Diploma in Photography
- Level 3 Photographic Assistant Course
Of course, there’s more to photography than what you can learn in a classroom, so don’t feel that without qualifications, you’re doomed to be unsuccessful. With passion and practice, you could achieve incredible things.
Photography is an art as much as drawing, painting or music. Knowing the right techniques such as observation of light, balanced composition, color theory, rhythm, aesthetics and form is not enough.
—Tanya Gawdi, Entrepreneur
3. Calculate costs carefully
The costs of investing in (and then keeping up and running) a photography franchise will vary depending on the network you’re a part of, the location you’re operating in, and the size of your operation, but the average cost of starting a franchise in 2018 was £42,200 [British Franchise Association], to give you a rough ballpark of what you can expect.
As a more specific example within the photography industry, Venture Studios requires that franchisees make a minimum initial investment of £35,000, with total investment costs of £70,000. After two years, the expected revenue of a Venture Studios franchise is an impressive £444,000.
Don’t make an investment without fully considering the ongoing costs and outgoings that will go into it, or you might end up in over your head. On the flipside, don’t write off opportunities because you can’t cover the costs upfront. Funding support is available, and it will come from one of two avenues:
UK banks - Most leading banks in the UK are willing to offer loans covering 50-70% of start-up costs for franchisees. To be accepted for a loan, the franchise you’re joining will need to be successfully vetted, and you’ll need a solid credit history to your name.
Alternative funding options - If banks aren’t a possible route for you, other options are available, from sector-specific grants and opportunities to government programmes like the Start-Up Loans Scheme.
>> Read more:
- Franchising 101: The Official Franchise Start Up Checklist (Part 1)
- Franchising 101: The Official Franchise Start Up Checklist (Part 2)
- New Year, New Career: No Better Time Than Now to Start a Franchise Today
- Franchising 101: 8 Signs You're Ready to Start a Franchise
- Starting a New Business Doesn't Always Lead to Immediate Success: Here Are 5 Ways to Change That
- It's Never Too Late to Start a New Business
4. Consider narrowing your field of focus and choosing a specialism
While it’s not always necessary to specialise within the photography sector, sometimes it’s beneficial, as offering a more niche service at which you excel will appeal to, and in turn attract more, customers. There’s a broad range of opportunities for specialism as a photographer, including:
- Portrait photography
- Fashion photography
- Still life photography
- Editorial photography
- Architectural photography
- Sports photography
- Wedding photography
- Event photography
- Fine art photography
- Product photography
If you are looking for strategies to help your business stand out from the crowd and differentiate from rival offerings, it’s worth considering specialising in an industry sector. Industry specialisation can bring a significant return on investment as it holds greater appeal for customers. They recognise the added relevance and customisation industry knowledge brings.
— Extended Thinking
Running your own business in the photography sector could be incredibly rewarding
Leaving this article, you should have a strong sense of how to go about making a career change and entering the photography sector as a franchisee. If franchising appeals, but photography doesn’t seem like the right fit, don’t stop there. Browse Point Franchise’s UK franchise directory to discover a huge range of franchising opportunities in all kinds of sectors.
Cara Squires, Point Franchise ©