Being dissatisfied with the corporate setup in America and also wanting to be your own boss are the two main reasons why people are starting small businesses in 2022. Moreover, for those in the creative fields, such as photography, there are so many avenues to capitalize on, one of which is pet photography!
Imagine having a business where you can be embraced by soft, cuddly, furry little friends. Sounds like a dream, right? It can become very real if you start a pet photography business.
The market for this niche is predicted to boom from 2022 to 2028 worldwide, so it’s also a great idea if you’re looking to make a good living. But, where does one start? This guide will help you out.
- 1 How to Start a Pet Photography Business?
- 2 How to Market Your Business
- 3 Perfect Your Customer Service
- 4 Learn the Basics of Pet Training
- 5 Determine Your Competitive Edge
- 6 Wrapping Up
How to Start a Pet Photography Business?
01. Create a Business Plan
The first step when starting any kind of business is to create a business plan. This helps you in several ways, such as when you need to pitch to investors and get business loans, understand your target market better, determine short and long-term costs, and specify your business objectives, among other things. Here is all that you need to do to create a business plan:
02. Plan the Costs
The major concern of every entrepreneur is what the main costs of running the business will be. This includes major investments, such as camera equipment, rent for the studio, props, and more.
You will need to be precise, and calculate exactly how much capital you’ll need to get started, as business investors and loan sharks will want to know this first and foremost.
03. Identify the Target Clients
After you’ve identified how you’ll start your business, you need to specify who it will target. Though this will take a lot of market research, and for you to check out the local competition, the main kind of clients you should focus on attracting are:
- Pet shops
- Vet clinics
- Animal shelters
- Pet owners
04. Consider the Ongoing Expenses
Besides the main investment you’ll need to get started, you have to figure out the money that will be needed to keep it running on a daily basis. This will include:
- Cost of commute
- Equipment repairs
- Animal treats
- Marketing costs
- Overhead costs
Ensure that the expenses you list down are crucial to keep the business running and how you’ll account for them.
05. Determine Your Rates
After taking all your expenses and the cost of running into consideration, you will be able to determine how much you should charge for each photo session. You will also need to take into account the amount of time and the skill you’re providing, so you can charge a reasonable amount for the cute pet photos you take.
06. Pick a Name and Establish Your Business Legally
One of the most important aspects of a business is the name! After doing some research and considering the kind of theme you’re going for, you can select a snazzy name that clients will attribute to you and recall easily. Then go ahead and register your business legally!
07. Get Licenses and Insurance
To ensure you are running your business legally and protecting yourself from extensive loss, acquiring the necessary licenses and permits, and getting your business insured is very important.
08. Permits and Licenses
It’s important to get the necessary licenses and permits before you go ahead and start your business, as otherwise you may need to pay hefty fines, or might even have your business shut down. These often differ depending on the state you’re in, but you can check what you’ll need for a pet photography business on the Small Business Administration website.
Moreover, if you are set on renting out a store to make into a studio and office, then you can get a Certificate of Occupancy, which is meant to confirm that you’re meeting all government requirements, zoning laws, and building codes.
This is usually the responsibility of the landlord, so you’ll have to check if they have a CO or if they can obtain one that can be applied to your business type. Additionally, every time any major renovation takes place, the CO has to be reissued.
09. Business Insurance
To protect your business’s financial well-being if you undergo a loss, taking out insurance is important. The insurance policies will be contingent on the types of business you have and the kinds of risks involved. The easiest way to go about this is by purchasing General Liability Insurance.
It covers all the basics all SMBs need. The other one to consider is the Workers’ Compensation Insurance that will be required (depending on the state you’re in) if you are hiring people to work for you.
How to Market Your Business
After your business is established, the most important thing to worry about is letting people know! Market your business proficiently on various platforms, such as Instagram, TikTok, and official websites.
Moreover creating a Google Business Profile is integral, as it not only makes you seem professional, but people in the locality will be able to find you a lot more easily!
Perfect Your Customer Service
Excellent customer service is integral for every business. Learn how to deal with clients to improve your reputation in the industry. You can do this by either taking online courses or hiring experienced customer service personnel to ensure that your clients feel heard and get a good rating online!
Learn the Basics of Pet Training
Pets are not the easiest subjects to work with. So, learn the basics of pet training to make the process easier. Moreover, being in the pet photography business will mean that you’ll need to work with animals every day, so make sure you keep up with lessons on how to handle them.
You can do so by taking classes in animal behavior and training, asking people who have had lots of pets, or through your personal experiences. To make clients trust you more easily, it’s a great idea to become a certified animal trainer.
Determine Your Competitive Edge
Find out what makes your photography unique. This will help you secure more clients. Are you offering cool props, amazing landscapes, or funny editing? What is your niche, and what should your clients expect from you? Really dig deep and make your offering specific, explicitly emphasizing what makes it unique.
Starting up a pet photography business is not only a profitable idea, but can be a dream come true if you’re an animal lover. All you need to do is create a business plan, get the necessary licenses, permits, and insurance, market it everywhere, perfect your customer service strategy, learn how to train animals, and determine your USP.