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Old 09-03-2009, 08:06 AM
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pathography pathography is offline
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Default Business Plan (RD?)

Patrick Howard Studios


My goal is to give the people of Clifden and the greater Connemara area professional quality photographs for a fair and reasonable price within the community. I believe that I will be able to do this after years of semi-professional work. In the past I have shot weddings, contributed to many publications, been commissioned for head shots, along with interiors and product shots.

In the town of Clifden with its flow of tourism every spring to autumn, I intend to create instant personal post cards. I will do this either within the studio or on site if required. The idea is simple; I take a photograph of a group of people either in my studio or within the town wherever they wish and within two minutes I will print a postcard of their very own. No two will be alike because no two people are alike. I will also have the studio open for the more formal type portraits, be it an extended family or a simple married couple with their new born child. My services will be as varied as my clients are. For the artist in town I will be able to reproduce their works digitally so they will be able show it to a larger audience through the internet. All the local sports teams could also have single or group portraits. I feel that through advertising in the local newspapers, tourist office and on the internet and with the support of the town I should be able to build a client base large enough to cover all my costs.

I would like to be up and running for the Christmas season so as to take advantage of the fact that many families come together after prolonged time apart to enjoy the holidays. I hope to be able to offer them the opportunity to document this. However, as the following months are very quiet in this area, it would be possible for me to use a temporary premises for the holiday season, with a view to then opening the studio proper in early March. From my years working in the catering industry, I know this is when business starts to pick up after the winter period.

The studio itself would be ninety percent self-sufficient, I would only be out-sourcing any required custom sized photo frames. I will have a selection of pre-fabricated frames on site for those who prefer. I will also have an in-shop printer for the finished product to be ready within three working days at the latest. Alternatively I would be happy to post the finished portraits off to those who are unable to collect due to travel reasons.

I would like to add that I have had only positive feedback from all the people of Clifden that have heard about my goal in establishing this business, which has contributed to my feelings that is would be a successful and profitable enterprise.




1.1 Mission

A photographic studio for all aspects of the medium.

To supply top end images for competitive prices.

To provide tourists with personalized souveniers of their time in Clifden.

To provide the local businesses with suitable images for office decorations.

Food images from the local restaurants for their advertising purposes.

To make the idea of family portraits a regular occurence, to encourage families to keep returning as the years pass to document the growth of children and parents alike.


1.2 Target

To relocate to a larger premises with a functioning darkroom within three years.

To be selling works throughout the world with the tourist trade through the area.

To be a well established business in Clifden.

To provide a service that I feel is missing.

Lastly, to be within a clear profit margins within two years.




Company Summary


2.1 Ownership

With over twenty years experience I would be the sole owner of the said
business.

Among other things, I have contributed works to many newspapers, shot weddings, done promotional shoots for bands, I have been commisioned for website images, providing product and interior shots for a cafe chain in Galway.


2.2 Start-up summary

The following are the start up costs in order of importance:

1. Rent of premises – Deposit and first months rent @ € 480 pm
2. Utilities – Roughly €120 pm
3. Insurance - €408 py (+6% for direct debit)
4. Printer/ink - €1000
5. Paper - €120 (200-4x6, 100-8.5x11)
6. Furniture - €200
7. Backdrop - €80 per roll
8. Studio lights - € 500
9. Website/advertising - €500
10. Totals - €3888.00





Marketing


3.1 Overview

Within the greater Clifden area there is an abundance of tourist and local interest in the service I am offering. I will advertise through word of mouth, fliers, local newspapers, websites, promotions and exhibitions of my work.


3.2 Target customers

Tourists will be a main source of income. I will have an instant postcard scheme in place, where tourists will be able to come in to the studio, have an image taken and within moments have a personalized postcard with postage paid to take away with them.

The studio will be open for family, group, or single portraits, with a large number of different combinations of sizes and styles on offer, along with pre-fabricated frames in the shop and special order frames available on request. During the run up to Christmas I will supply customised Christmas cards for local families, likewise it will be possible at any time for people to avail of the service for personalized birthday or greeting cards. For anyone interested, I will also offer the opportunity to immortalize their beloved pets by providing pet portraits, or by simply having the pets included in the family picture.

For events such as the Debs balls, I will be open late to provide my services for the parties involved, possibly working with a Beautician in town by taking pictures of the newly made-up girls.

I will offer the chance for businesses such as banks, hotels and supermarkets to obtain any needed portraits of staff.

My services will be available to the town of Clifden as a whole in the case of any events that are worth recording, such as events during the annual Arts Week, local parades such as on St. Patricks Day, the W.I.O.R.A races and the Clifden Pony Show.

I will also offer one on one or a large group classes to anyone who is interested in learning how to get the best out of the digital camera along with a basic post processing course. Either in studio or in a function room, (amount of interest will determine location).

3.3 Promotion

I intend to be cheaper then my competitors in Galway, with a more superior product. I will provide package deals for larger orders, i.e., 2 8x12, 4 5x7 for near a third off for what all six images would cost, with six or more framed images on special offer as well.

As said above I will work with the local businesses at a discounted rate for their photographic needs.

I intend to advertise in the Connemara View, with the featured add acting like a coupon, offering a discount to whomever brings one in.

For loyal customers I will have a referrals scheme, as in “if Joe Smith sends in Michelle Jones, Joe Smith will have a discounted rate for his next visit” so rewarding positive word of mouth recommendations.


3.4 Competitive Advantage

Being located in Clifden town, my studio will be much more accessable to the population of Connemara, in comparison to the hour drive to Galway city.

I will have two means of collection. Firstly, with nintey percent of the work being done in the studio, my clients may simply call in to collect finished works. I will also use a courier service or An Post for deliveries if needed. Understandably an additional fee will have to be added for delivery service.

Digital copies of all work (i.e. cd’s) will also be available for a minimal fee. I will offer a reprint service, or the customer may opt to have them printed elsewhere. But this will ensure they have copies of their images forever.


4.1 Production

The majority of the images that will be sold from the premises will be printed in house, odd or over size products will be out sourced to Fahy Foto, Galway. The images that I will be printing have a two hundred year guarantee from the manufactures of the printer. The photo frames will be supplied from The Whiteroom Gallery, Galway. I will have pre-fabricated frames in house, and will also offer custom frames if desired, for a slighlty larger fee.

With twenty years of photographic experience behind me I feel that I am capable of offering the finest of images with my own personal touch. Fully trained in the art of dark room printing, and completely proficient with the post-processing computer programs used in digital photography, I feel that no one will be disappointed in my product.

Stated above in my start-up summary: the hardware that is needed is minimal - a printer, which is a one off buy, ink for the printer which I will have to replenish as depleted, re-usable seamless backdrops which do not have to be replaced often, studio lights, which are a one off purchase, the bulbs themselves again have a long life and will not need to be replaced for some amount of time. The amount of business will decide how and when certain products will need replacing. All of the products I will need are going to be sourced from Barker Photographic Equipment, Co.Cork.




5.1 Financial

I feel confident that profits will be high. With most of the work being done in-house and being the sole employee, once all the over heads are paid off the rest will be clear profit. Example: A portrait package will include: two framed 8x12, four unframed 5x7 images, plus sitting fee for €150-€200 (I need to do some more fine tuning regarding certain fees). At the estimated price I will be making a three fold profit on every package. A standard single portrait will be priced around €70-€90, which includes the frame and the sitting fee. And the same three fold profit will be made. By those figures, two packages and two single portraits will bring the company €510 a week.

I plan to sell the instant postcards for €4.50 for the first and €1.50 for every additional copy. I feel that most people would spend a total of €10 each, if I could sell fifteen of those a week that would bring in another €150 pw. I hope to be bringing in around €700 a week.

On top of that I will also be selling limited addition prints of my own through the studio, for a fine art price. The prices will be detemined by the size and limited number of prints I decide to sell. For example: a limited addition set of 25 prints would sell for €125 each, where a set of 10 would sell for €200. Each will be framed, numbered and signed so as to ensure that it is part of a limited supply. I can not say what exactly this will bring in, although any sale of these images will be extra income.






I have to do a few more fine tuning to get all the math right, mainly my prices are to be lowered for the package deals. I will also have a lowered price for the second/third package-


So what I am wondering is that if anyone can see anything that I have over looked. Or needs to be said different. I know that there is a lot of reading in this, but I figure with the amount of people here, I will be able to get a good idea of how it looks.

Thanks a million in advance

Last edited by pathography; 09-03-2009 at 08:09 AM..
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  #2  
Old 09-03-2009, 02:56 PM
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Jim Jones Jim Jones is offline
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I assume this is compiled to procure financing. It sounds optimistic in some respects. In preparation for the annual arts & crafts event and other sales my expenditures for expendables this year have been greater:

$735.63 - ink and paper for for 3800
$526.50 - 45 16x20 frames
$197.29 - 46 16x20 glass for above frames
$198.70 - 50 precut mats
$134.16 - 50 16x20 foam core
1792.28 - total

In some respects this isn't an accurate account. There are several hundred dollars of mat board left over from last year, and there will be frames and foam core left over this year. Small purchases haven't been included. Some of my printing is for personal use. Also, this may be more expensive due to the use of archival material throughout. If you want more detailed information on my costs, let me know.

Remember the Jim Jones fundamental rule of financing: "It always costs more."
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Old 09-05-2009, 10:34 AM
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pathography pathography is offline
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Thanks Jim,
I have worked out my number, by what each item would cost to by as a one off purchase. I have rounded everything up to give me a little extra to play with. The only thing that I have forgot to include is the cost of the frames. But they are covered in the cost of the portrait packs. I have struck a deal with a framer in the city that if I am buying in bulk, and not altering my sizes he will give me an discount of 15%. Other then that I would like to know if there as anything else that I forgot to include...?
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Old 09-05-2009, 03:58 PM
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Im with Jim Patrick your cost estimates seem extreamly high. I know you live on an Island but 1000.00 Euros for ink. That would last me a 2 years if i printed everday 20 pictures on a13x19 format. There are ink companies out there who supply high quality ink at reasonable prices. MIS ink www.inksupply.com sells bottled ink and refilabel cartrages. I use them and have had no complaint. They have head cleaning products as well that does and execlent job and keeps maintainance cost down.
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Old 09-05-2009, 11:06 PM
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Jim Jones Jim Jones is offline
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Professional photographers have a responsibility to their clients to provide quality products. Except for photos for temporary use, this includes prints and presentation material that is archival. Some combinations of ink and paper fail dismally in this respect. The archival information that makers provide on their material may be optimistic. Perhaps a more realistic source of information on archival properties of photographs and digital prints is www.wilhelm-research.com
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Old 09-06-2009, 03:26 AM
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Agree whole heartedly Jim. I do purchase archival ink but 1400.00
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Old 09-06-2009, 09:13 AM
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pathography pathography is offline
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Sorry Lads,
I probably didn't make that as clear as I should have. The printer/ink €1000 is the first purchase of the printer, and 1 of each refill color. It was not supposed to be €1000 worth of ink. I have left a link to the the printer that I have had my eye one. If any one has used it or has any info one way or the other please let me know. thanks

http://www.epson.com/proimaging/StylusPro3880.html
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Old 09-06-2009, 02:22 PM
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Too funny The link I did give you before Patrick does sell Archival ink. I use them for my Epson R2400 which is a 13X19 or a 13X44 roll printer. The ink is catorgorized as a K4 archival an has worked very well with my printer for over 3 years
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Old 09-06-2009, 10:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Java Joe View Post
Im with Jim Patrick your cost estimates seem extreamly high. I know you live on an Island but 1000.00 Euros for ink. That would last me a 2 years if i printed everday 20 pictures on a13x19 format. There are ink companies out there who supply high quality ink at reasonable prices. MIS ink www.inksupply.com sells bottled ink and refilabel cartrages. I use them and have had no complaint. They have head cleaning products as well that does and execlent job and keeps maintainance cost down.
Inksupply.com doesn't offer refilled cartridges or kits for the Epson 3800. I wouldn't trust claims for longivity unless confirmed by an independent lab such as Wilhelm Imaging Research. Ink is a small part of the total cost of producing a print: about 3% of the selling price of my most popular size prints, and even less on others. Wilhelm-research.com posts similar figures for other printers: http://www.wilhelm-research.com/int/...2008_01_25.pdf. Replacing print heads can be expensive. Prints that may fade or shift colors are an unacceptable gamble.

As for bulk paint, Epson recommends their ink be used within two years of manufacture or within six months of installing. Their cartridges have an expiration date. I've used them well past the expiration date and at least a year after installing with no problems.

Last edited by Jim Jones; 09-06-2009 at 10:38 PM..
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