Let’s get down to business.

This past week, my brain has been swamped with so many business-related things. I put off starting a business the year after graduation because of unusual circumstances, but now that I am settling into one place for the long-term (Charlottesville)… it is time to get down to the nitty gritty business. This means figuring out sole proprietorship, business bank account, professional lab printing, business cards, a website where I own the domain, proofing website, setting prices, acquiring camera equipment, etc etc and more etc. In the past couple of weeks, I have become a client of SmugMug, Moo, and WHCC (so I can provide my own clients professional products and services). I have even made an Excel spreadsheet outlining expenses that I foresee for 2013, actual 2012 expenses,  and how much my business will need to bring in to meet business expenses and personal expenses. I broke expenses down by yearly, monthly, and weekly to help determine the sales I need to make each week. (The auto sum formula is the handiest little option ever in Excel!)

Another thing that has come up is a need for more camera equipment. With lenses easily being a couple thousand dollars each and the camera bodies, batteries, memory cards, flashes, and more adding up, it is a slow go for expansion. It is definitely not desirable to me to pull out a small business loan (I mean, who likes being in debt?). Luckily, there are affordable places like borrowlenses.com that offer an affordable way to rent equipment for the short-term. If you know anyone in the Central Virginia area with professional level equipment that is lightly used and for sale, please put us in touch!

I am really glad that I have been reading up on photography business-related issues. There are some great professionals out there blogging about their experiences in business and it helps tremendously. Some of the issues they address are taxes, managing finances, branding your business image, marketing, getting a domain, and networking. Two professionals that are really great are Katelyn James and Jasmine Star. I have also been consulting with a friend who has lots of small business know-how. (It is really great to have people in my life to talk to about how business licensure, EIN number, and sole proprietorship affect taxes and which applies to my current situation.) It is so important to know first thing that you need to keep business and personal finances separate. This helps not only with budgeting but also tax season. On this week’s to do list is *open a business bank account!* I have my receipts in one place for this year’s purchases up until now (and they are also recorded in my Excel spreadsheet), but I need to start consolidating income and expenditure into one account.

So that is all for today’s business post. It is probably really boring most of my readers, but I know that in the future I will be glad to have  this documentation of my voyage into business. Thank you for reading and I hope you will stay tuned for an upcoming post featuring a horse farm and possibly a new business logo.

Out of the five or so public websites where I share my work, I find that the best image quality is on SmugMug, the easiest way to follow is Tumblr, and the best way to know me is WordPress. My domain name for all is sarahderrphoto.[website name].com.

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