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If you were to run a business....

Discussion in 'Serious' started by C-Sniper, 16 Sep 2013.

  1. C-Sniper

    C-Sniper Stop Trolling this space Ądmins!

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    So recently I have started running my own business doing nightlife and event photography. In the beginning, and currently, i work under a guy that knows most of the club owners. Now in the 4 months of me working I have started to explore and expand into other clubs and venues while pushing out the competition.

    My current thought process in running my business is similar to that of a "4X" game which is to explore, expand, exploit, and to exterminate the other businesses in town. While some of my former co-workers have picked up on this; I have often wondered what other business owners think of when growing their small business.

    So, people of the serious forum of BT, how would you run a business you just started up? Would you try to carve your own niche? Expand in a ruthless manner? Or do something else all together?
     
  2. Ozzie

    Ozzie Fork 'andles I wanted

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    Hard work when you start but very rewarding when you start to succeed, how ruthless you are depends on your nature, fairness will get you more respect.
     
  3. C-Sniper

    C-Sniper Stop Trolling this space Ądmins!

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    True, but thankfully the Entertainment Industry is shady so it is to be expected.

    Now, if you were to run the business of your dreams as a start-up; how would you attempt to run it and expand though?
     
  4. TheMadDutchDude

    TheMadDutchDude The Flying Dutchman

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    Do your photos of the night life and such get posted anywhere such as Facebook? The more exposure you can get for your work, the better, I'd imagine.

    Do you mean night life as in clubs and such? Perhaps they have a Facebook account you can post the photos to and then expand via the social media which is humongous.
     
  5. lysaer

    lysaer Suck my unit! Kirk lazarus (2008)

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    I run my business like a run my women, with a pimp hand.

    But seriously business is ruthless, but my main focus is I'm always better than my previous self, that way I can always be better than someone else.

    Obviously it depends a lot on your industry but always being innovative, fresh and one of the most important things I've found is fun. Clients like to enjoy themselves, they would rather give their money for a good job and someone they trust, can rely on and like than someone who just comes in, does the job and leaves without barely a word.

    Going the extra mile makes all the difference, if they wanna hit that strip club in London, then you take them ;-)

    Sent from my GT-I9505 using Tapatalk 4
     
  6. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    From speaking to Self-employed colleagues:

    • Good book keeping is vital. Know your outgoings and incomings. Establish your costs and profit margins. You should know these figures by heart.
    • Split profit into two bank accounts: one for tax, one for you to live off.
    • Concentrate on being visibly useful and delivering good work. In your area of work, word of mouth is the best advertising.
    • Always be on the look out for opportunities for expansion, but focus on establishing a steady business first. Don't get overambitious.
    • Don't compete --it is a waste of resources. Just be really good at what you do and let your work speak for itself.
     
  7. Kronos

    Kronos Well-Known Member

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    +1 for this excellent advice.
     
  8. julianmartin

    julianmartin resident cyborg.

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    Generally hit the nail on the head, speaking from experience.

    I'd vaguely question the don't compete mantra - that isn't valid for every situation and in some sectors, is a vital source of business. There's a big IT support company out there that wins every contract on the basis that they are competing with other, poorer offerings from their competitors. I.e. we will over you x more things for the same money and guarantee it. It's pretty undeniable in most B2B circumstances - companies are much less loyal to service providers nowadays, compared to late 90s early noughties.

    The 4X thing is a reasonable way of looking at it, but it is way more complex (I guess that's obvious though), as there are so so so so so many variables in the working world, that it's hard to predict or come out with a reasonable strategy on growing in an already existent market place. When you think you know something and are starting to gain a bit of experience, something new and totally unexpected pops up.

    The only way to stay truly ahead as a startup is to have an entirely unique offering that is attractive to a potentially large buying market. But hey, that's Business 101 for you really...
     
  9. C-Sniper

    C-Sniper Stop Trolling this space Ądmins!

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    Awesome advice and I follow most of what you posted, minus the competition. Both of my parents are successful business owners so I have been following their advice which is similar.

    Now when you say competition though, what do you mean? For me, to compete is to offer a better product but at a higher price, or to use my skill to knock someone out of a place they normally work. The latter of which is something that I just did a week ago. I will never -knowingly- undercut someone in an attempt to get business because that is not worth my time or the loss revenue.

    Now one thing that I have done, is to exploit my current position to gain contacts through my boss. These contacts are starting to come back to me instead of my boss now and, since I have no formal contract to non-compete and my boss refuses to get a contract with anyone, it is starting to help grow my business.

    And just to nerf any talk of "you are an idiot for not using a contract", I do use contracts with any work I do outside of my boss, and my boss' wanting to do everything under the table without a contract to avoid taxes is a major sticking point and one of the reasons I am looking to expand out from him
     
  10. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    I'm a bit unclear. With competing I mean actively trying to take business away from competitors. You end up focusing on trying to do more/different than what the competitor is doing, rather than on doing what the customer actually wants. Moreover if the customer is happy with the competitor's product, you'll be regarded negatively: you are after all not just criticising the competitor, but also the customer's choice (Microsoft hasn't learned that yet).

    You have to be respectful of the customer's ability to make the choice that is right for them. You are just offering them another choice. You strive to make it the best choice for them that really meets their needs and wants. Customers expect companies to trash-talk the competition, and are cynical and weary of those who do. So you never mention your competitor, and if customers do, you only talk about them in gracious and balanced terms. Customers will not expect that, and will evaluate you positively for it.
     
  11. C-Sniper

    C-Sniper Stop Trolling this space Ądmins!

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    Ok that makes sense and is along what I follow. For example, the company i knocked off was already about to be kicked out of the club they normally cover. I just happened to come along at the right time time and ended the club's relationship with the other photographer quicker than expected.

    I always let someone else bad mouth a company I am competing against. I just ride the dissent when enough people bad mouth the competitor and position myself to where i don't talk about them, just what I can offer.
     
  12. Guinevere

    Guinevere Mega Mom

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    Four simple rules:

    Pick something you enjoy doing.

    Become excellent at it and work hard at getting even better.

    Ensure anyone who is willing to pay money for what it is you do knows:
    - Knows you exist
    - Sees the quality in your work
    - Reads or hears you talk about your work.

    Don't screw the tax man.
     
  13. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    The rules I employ in my work (which includes generating more work and contracts for our psychology department):

    - be visibly useful
    - always be on the lookout for opportunities
    - have a sales pitch memorised: don't wing it; script it
    - offer a low-cost, accessible sample of your work
     
  14. Ozzie

    Ozzie Fork 'andles I wanted

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    Imagine a triangle with the sides, "Good" "Cheap" and "Available" where you can chose any 2 you wish as all 3 are a rarity.
     
  15. Ozzie

    Ozzie Fork 'andles I wanted

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    Always be reliable, it will be taken for granted but one mistake will no be easily forgiven. When things do go wrong have plenty of contact with your customer and explain the situation and they may understand. Not knowing what is happening is worse than knowing what has gone wrong.
     
  16. Yeoo

    Yeoo Active Member

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    Worked as promoter in the UK who are 9/10 who employs a tog. Good quality pics and reliable, and this is the deal clincher as far as im concerned photos delivered asap.

    for Friday or Saturday nights id really expect them mid afternoon the following day.
     

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