What to do for your photo business before year-end

Year-end will be here before you know it. Was it a good year for you and your photography business?

As in any business, it’s a good idea to evaluate where you are and what you might need to do to wrap up your year. And also to plan for next year. Here are some things to consider as the year comes to a close.

Year-end annual review

Hopefully, you’ve kept track of insights from your business on a regular basis throughout the year. If not, it’s a good habit to get into so you can save yourself some time trying to recall what all happened.

Reviews should include going over the following questions if they apply to your business:

  • Revenue — did you meet your income goals? If not, why and what will you do next year to ensure you do?
  • Review your pricing strategy if you feel it worked or not
  • How many new inquiries were received?
  • What is the number or percentage of conversions to sales?
  • How does your website traffic look and where is that traffic coming from?
  • Have you increased the number of email subscribers you have?
  • Have your social media numbers increased? Is that important as part of your marketing plan?
  • What worked well?
  • What didn’t work?
  • What do your clients say? Are the reviews good or bad? Do they refer you to friends?
flatlay computer phones camera notebook year-end
Photo by AltumCode on Unsplash

Answer these questions

  • What did I achieve?
  • What worked well and why?
  • Where did I not do so well and why?
  • Is there anything holding me back?
  • What can I do better or change for next year?
  • What was the biggest disappointment?

Be honest with yourself when you answer these questions. Also, give yourself some grace and focus on what you learned throughout the year even if things didn’t go as planned.

What are your goals for next year?

Once you’ve done a review of this past year, set new goals for next year. This can be anything from earning more money, learning something new to incorporate into your business or building up your local marketing efforts. 

Use the SMART method to set your goals (Smart, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, Time-bound). Be specific. Put numbers to the amount of income you want to increase. Same with clients. Don’t just say you want more clients, decide on how many more you want.

Once you have your goals written down, make a plan and figure out what steps you need to take to achieve those goals.

Check over all of your gear, electronics and software/apps

Obviously, you need everything in good, working order. Is anything in need of repair or replacement? Year-end is a good time to figure that out. That way you’ll be ready for the end-of-year sales that tend to happen if you need to purchase anything. 

Start working through what needs to be cleaned. If you’re not doing this regularly though, why aren’t you? 

Is your computer up-to-date? Is it working well or do you need to clear off some hard drive space? This includes your mobile phone as well, does it do everything you need it to do to help you run your business? 

Have you checked for bug fixes and updates on any software and/or apps you use? Is your backup system working properly (please tell me you check this more than once a year)?

Don’t forget your website. Update your SEO with any new services you offer. Make sure images are not outdated. Update the platform to ensure any plugins you use are working properly. 

Thank your clients at year-end

I’m sure you do this generally as you work with clients, but during year-end, go back and thank them again. This helps keep your name in front of them, gently remind them you’re there if they have any photography needs.

This could include figuring out what type of holiday gifts to send or drop off for them as well. It doesn’t hurt to have ideas and start looking this far in advance so you’re not rushing around during the holiday season to find options.