Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The small business plan

By Greg Tarr
BLB Guest Blogger

Last month, I wrote a little about an idea I had to use my photography skills to open a small business. Some readers asked if I knew what I was getting into when I announced my plans to start my own business with a heavy concentration on photographing weddings. They didn't question my ability to handle the wedding day assignment, but wondered if I knew what preparations are needed to start a new business.

To answer that question simply, yes. I am aware that the business plan is a very important step in launching a start-up business. I certainly am not taking this step lightly. That's why I'm working with the University of Pittsburgh's Small Business Development Center. I'm also tapping the brain of a friend who developed his own business plan a year ago to start his chiropractic practice. Luckily, there’s another friend who just opened up a bridal boutique in town. That's a great resource for me considering we'll be looking at attracting the same demographic. A lot of time and effort will be put into my plan before I executing it by going to banks and asking them to invest in my idea.

Right now, I am not a business man, but I am learning. Photographers who produce less than satisfactory work can make it if they are great business people, and even the most talented photographers can fail if they are not business savvy. I am preparing myself and not jumping into the deep end without knowing how to swim. I am trying to be cautious and calculated without being afraid of failure.

I am not getting into wedding photography solely to make money. Of course, that will be nice, but I am really excited to document the amazing and happy event of a wedding. I've talked to wedding photographers from other states and they all love it. Sure there will be stress involved and bumps in the road, but like I said in the past, I've worked under stressful situations and feel that's when I produce my best work. I'd also like to add that one of those photographers is from San Francisco and she has invited me out to assist her on a few weddings. I’ll take up her on that offer once I purchase my own photo equipment. She is an amazing photographer and I can't wait to learn from such a talented shooter.

I hope that begins to lay out my plan to anyone who may have had questions. Please feel free to ask me more questions if they arise. Some readers have stated that they have a real interest in entrepreneurship and small business start-ups. I'm looking for any and all help and constructive criticism from people in the know. Don’t hesitate sending me an e-mail with your suggestions. I would appreciate your help.

Greg Tarr previously worked as a staff photographer at the Observer-Reporter in Washington, Pa. The wedding photo above was shot by Tarr in May 2005. He can be reached by e-mail at gmtarr@hotmail.com


  1. Greg, good to hear this part of your venture.

  2. Opening your own business is an exciting venture. One of the first things you should do to ensure your success is write a business plan. Will certainly visit your site more often now.

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