When I first started my business I would meet clients in coffee shops. It’s a great meeting place and pretty standard for most photographers. It worked really well and with a cup of coffee costing $2 or less it was affordable.
Even though the coffee shop is a great option, my office (as small as it might be) definitely transformed my business. I’m not just saying that the physical space helped, but how it was branded and designed for a meeting space helped too! I would highly suggest an office makeover to fit your branding. If you don’t have an office yet you should consider the PROS and CONS below!!
- IT IS BRANDED!! A branded office space builds trust and reliability and a whole lot more. (this topic is to be continued)
- This office never moves! (as opposed to traveling to the coffee shop for meetings). It’s tough having to be ready to be mobile all the time. Packing and unpacking is overrated.
- By having your clients come to you there will be savings on gas and time traveling. The money you would spend on the coffee or treat when meeting out, can be spent on coffee and treats you offer at your office. Did I mention the time save?? I gained anywhere from 30 minutest to an hour by bringing the meetings to me. It allowed me the extra time to make sure I am not missing dinner with my family or that workout I really need to squeeze into my day.
- You are in control of EVERYTHING. You don’t have to wonder if the coffee shop is going to be crowded, clean, or fully stocked with tasty treats. You don’t have to stress about traffic, travel times, or if a client is late. Because guess what?!! If they are late, well you are at home and you can either spend more time with family or hop on the computer and get a little work done. You control the air temperature, the smell, the entire environment. You get to be in control of the Client Experience (ooh yes, I wrote about that yesterday!)
- You can easily showcase your products in the most beautiful way possible.
- You have easy access to all materials and tools you may need during a meeting. Let’s not bring up the bad memory of when I left my external hard drive at home, which was the device holding all of the images I was supposed to be sharing with a client. Yes, I had to drive all the way back home to get it. It was more than embarrassing.
- In all seriousness … you can change right into your pajamas when the meeting is done!! Bonus, right?!!
- It IS your home. There will be areas you will always need to make sure are cleaned up. That is tough when you have children. I can’t tell you how many times we forgot to put up the monster trucks! At least my clients think it’s cute.
- If I’m being really honest, the dinner smell is not cool. I hold ordering sessions in the evenings after dinner time. My office space is right next to the kitchen. Trying to get rid of the fajita smell is not an easy task! I had to make a note to self: Try not to make stinky foods on meeting nights.
- Consider your other family members. In my case, I don’t have doors I can close my office in. Sometimes I have to sequester my family to the upstairs. We have worked out the kinks and have made it the most tolerable it can be. It’s not like they are in jail. I mean they have tv, toys, internet, and access to food and water. But, you have to take them into consideration.
- If you don’t set rules/procedures, you might have clients showing up too early. So even though this is listed as a con, it is easily fixed with GOOD Client Communication.
Below shows the client view when sitting on the couch.
Having an office space is not as easy as it sounds. It took me 4 years to create the office space in my home. I had so many reservations about using my home. I’ve also heard plenty of stories as to why I shouldn’t use my home. After weighing the pros and cons, I felt that my home was my best option. Two years later (and knock on wood) I have to say that I have no regrets. As a photographer who does in person sales (IPS), this space is a dream and I know it’s a reason that I am in business.
Now remember those cons I mentioned. Yes, they still exist for me and are very present. So taking those into consideration I do have dreams of a store front or a cottage for my business. I have a goal set for 2017. Oh my goodness, I said that out loud!! That would mean almost 10 years in business for me. This stuff takes time.
LIVE YOUR DREAM
If you are looking for more tips, advice, and business guidance you will be excited to know that I have just what you need! My best bud Brittany Lauren and I have dreamed up the most amazing opportunity for other photographers to learn our secrets to our success. If you have been following us on social media (MelissaLynnHunt and BrittanyLaurenCreates) then you know we’ve had something in the works. Next week we will finally reveal all the details!! Follow the blog daily to learn more and be ready for when the BIG ANNOUNCEMENT goes live!