Spring often breathes new life and new hopes in many volume sports photography businesses. At this time of year, you are back from some of the country’s largest conferences of the year, full of ideas for new technology and products. You’ve just finished setting your business’ annual goals. Now is the time to execute. Just like that first big completion in the football game, many sports photographers hold their breath as they look to see if the market is going to accept these new ideas, and hope sales will go up because of it. At H&H, we want to help you continue to innovate and grow your business. Regardless of what your goals are, there are a few key steps to help you avoid fumbling the first snap.
STEP 1: FOLLOW THE 6-WEEK CHECKLIST
The first step to having a successful spring is to prepare for one. Sounds like a no brainer, but what does that actually look like? At H&H we want to help you have a good spring season and help you grow your business. So, we put together a 35+ point checklist to take the stress out of preparing for the spring season. This checklist will help you:
- Confirm picture dates for spring.
- Design & print your spring sports flyers.
- Set up hhimagehost online sports price list & events.
- Order new picture day samples.
- Test and check your systems.
- Have a successful spring.
Don’t have the check list? Get your free copy here!
STEP 2: MAKE SURE YOU HAVE AN EFFECTIVE MARKETING PROGRAM
Spring sports, especially school sports, can be difficult to market to the parents. In the words of our friend Lois Alberts at G. Michael Photography, “It’s not just about the photos!” That’s right, not every successful business is going to have the “Field of Dreams” model where if you build it, then they will come. If you like to be financially rewarded, A.K.A. “paid” for all your hard work, your planning ahead needs to involve making it easy for parents to buy photos. We hear it all the time—it can be hard to get the coaches, players and parents all organized and excited for school sports photos. This can equate to not getting the sales needed to justify the time spent photographing their sports. To make it worse, coaches often forget about or simply feel like it is not their job to hand out order forms. I don’t know about you, but I’m not so sure I want my coaches to be my chief marketing officer anyway. But, for one reason or another, parents don’t find out about the upcoming sports photo days until it’s too late. At this point you have a decision to make. Either change your business model or change your marketing plan. At H&H we see studios with consistently higher participation and total sales are those that engage multiple marketing channels.
Not sure what that looks like? Check out how our friends at G. Michael do it.
STEP 3: REHEARSE YOUR WORKFLOW BEFORE PICTURE DAY
OK. Let’s be honest here, the only way to maintain healthy growth of a volume business and not get buried by the mountain of orders and clients is to have scalable systems or work with partners that do. But before you turn on that mountain-climbing-machine, you need to make sure all systems and tools will produce the end result you are looking—happy parents and cash in your pockets. Whether you have 1 contract or 100 contracts, the businesses that we see most effectively and consistently get to this point run full loop tests to check all of their systems and rehearse with their teams. You want to make sure everyone on your team has the ability to assure parents are consistently getting the exceptional products and service you have built your company on.
Questioning if you have the right workflow in place? Take this short quiz.
Bottom line is if you have big plans for your business, don’t leave it up to chance. Have a plan that will get you there. And it goes without saying, partner with a team that has solutions to help you grow your sports photography business.