How to Start a Photography Business with a Franchise

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Start a photography business

The demand for professional photography services is greater than ever before, and talented photographers are now able to find work wherever they go. However, if you want to launch your own photography business, youll need to consider the easiest way you can build a successful brand. In this respect, franchises may be the ideal solution. With this in mind, we thought it a good opportunity to take a look at our nine-step programme for opening a photography franchise.

Photography business ideas

If you've always had a passion for photography and are looking for ways to turn your hobby into a fulfilling and profitable business, your best option is likely to be a franchise. Not only do franchises allow you to get into business quickly, but you'll also receive help and guidance from an experienced franchising team.

Photography business plan

Franchises are ideally suited to those who want to benefit from an established brand and an existing customer base or those who are unsure of their business management abilities. If this sounds like you, perhaps its time to consider your business plan and think about investing in a photography franchise.

How to start a photography business

There are an almost unimaginable number of things to think about when setting up a new business. In many ways, it's an overwhelming process that has to be broken down into smaller steps to be understood. Here, we share our nine-step guide for starting your own photography franchise.

1. Explore your options and do your research

There is an enormous selection of photography franchises to choose between, each of which has worked hard to develop its niche or unique selling point. This means that every franchise you encounter will be slightly different. Some, like Photography for Little People, specialise in photographing babies, parents, and pregnant mothers. Others, such as Barrett & Coe, require franchisees to develop their own studio and offer more general services. Until youve gone out and done your research, you wont be aware of whats available, and you wont be able to make an informed decision.

2. Look for a franchise that suits your needs

Once you have a better understanding of what kind of photography franchises you can invest in, its time to think about what you need from the franchisor. This will help you narrow down the number of franchises you have to choose between by removing those that do not meet your criteria.

You can do this by thinking about what skills you have already developed and cross-referencing them against the franchisors description of their ideal candidate. While not all photography franchises require the franchisee to have previous experience or practical photography knowledge, some do. Consequently, its a good idea to check what requirements the franchisor has, too.

3. Talk to franchisors

Theres only so much you can learn from a franchises marketing materials, so youll have to look for other ways to find out more about your potential new business. One of the key ways you can get a better feel for a franchise is by contacting the franchisor directly and arranging to either talk over the phone or meet in person. Most franchisors will be more than willing to do this and will ensure that they make time for anyone considering becoming a franchisee.

4. Request contact information for existing franchisees

Another way to get the inside information is to talk to the franchises existing franchisees. This will typically give you a much more balanced account of how the franchise is managed and whether the franchisor is good to their word. Though most franchisees will be completely honest, its a good idea to watch out for franchisees who are cheerleaders for the franchisor or that have obvious personal gripes with the franchise management.

5. Do the maths

As with all business opportunities, it's vital that you take the time to do the maths and work out exactly how much you can expect to invest over a given period and how much you can expect to earn. With some photography franchises, by the time you've added together the franchise fee, working capital requirements, start-up costs, royalty fee, and marketing fee, there's not enough left to support a single individual, let alone an entire family. Consequently, you need to guarantee youre working with accurate figures and then ensure that youll be earning enough to make the franchise worth your while.

6. Look for professional guidance and assistance

No entrepreneur knows absolutely everything about running a business. Its why we have lawyers, accountants, and management consultants. If youre going to succeed as a photography franchisee, youll find it necessary to utilise all the expertise at your disposal. This means surrounding yourself with a team of experienced specialists.

7. Consider ways you can finance your photography franchise

Even though franchisors typically establish strong working relationships with certain banks and providers of finance, acquiring funding is still a complicated process. While the luckiest franchisees may be able to raise the required capital from friends and family, the vast majority of franchisees will need to go to a bank to get what they need. This means demonstrating that your franchise is relatively risk-free and that youre a sensible investment yourself. To do this, youll need a business plan.

8. Work with the franchisor to develop a business plan

Most photography franchises will be able to assist you in the process of crafting a business plan. They should have considerable experience in this particular aspect of the franchise system and should understand precisely what it is you have to do to meet the lenders criteria. This is an important moment on your path to ownership, so its vital that you dont rush anything and are as comprehensive as possible.

9. Prepare to launch your franchise

Finally, with all other steps complete, its time to consider the actual launch process for your business. How are you going to market it? Where will you advertise? How will you get new customers through the doors? Will you hold some special event to mark the occasion?

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