2015 is going to be our year

Here we go again! LSP is officially another year older, and so we must be another year wiser, right? After 3 years in this business, I wish I could say I knew it all, was an expert in both the photography and business aspects of this industry, and had everything running smoothly. But alas, that is not the case. In fact, I think this year might have been my hardest one yet, because although I grew as a photographer, I greatly lacked in business and customer service. And it needs to stop. No more falling behind, no more poor turnaround time, no more long waits for prints and products. No more. One of my photographer idols just posted this tip in one of our groups, and it really, really hit me – “You HAVE to figure out a way to let your head guide your business decision making. Not your heart, not your emotions.” I have spent far too much time in the past three years making business decisions with my heart, and I have learned the hard way that it doesn’t work for anyone. Not for me, not for my clients, not for my family.

So, I’ve thought long and hard about where I want this business to be and what changes need to be made to get us there. I’ve updated the website, revamped my scheduling policies, set up some pretty specific “office hours” and I’m simplifying things all around. Lindsay and I have gotten into a great routine with how we go over emails and my calendar, and I just know that 2015 is going to be the year everything falls into place. This is the third time I’ve re-evaluated my business, and just like they say – third time’s a charm, right? Anyway, here they are:

* I will be scheduling sessions of all types, but only a select few a month. For awhile, I thought I wanted to focus on just newborns, but I realized I would miss seeing families if I cut out those types of sessions completely!

*I will schedule 5-6 newborn sessions a month, 5-6 milestone or maternity sessions a month, and 1-2 full sessions. That is it. This will enable me to actually keep up with my workload and maintain a turnaround time that my clients deserve.

*If you are a newborn client that also wants to do milestone sessions, I highly recommend scheduling those immediately after your newborn session! As you can see by looking at the numbers, I won’t be able to do milestone sessions for every newborn session I do, and I anticipate them booking up quickly. Along the same lines, if you want a maternity session, you need to schedule that along with your newborn session, as I most likely won’t have room to schedule that a few months later.

*I will try to keep you all updated as to when months book up, but please, please, please schedule your session early. Newborn sessions are best scheduled right when you begin your second trimester, and if you want another type of session, don’t wait to schedule those either!  Again, I wish I could do sessions for everyone, but it’s just not possible.  SO please, do not wait to book your session!

*Weekend sessions will only be scheduled two weekends out of the month. Outdoor sessions will be scheduled roughly an hour before sunset, and studio sessions will take place mid-morning. Newborn sessions will be scheduled during the week.

*ALL scheduling will be done via email. Facebook messages tend to get buried and forgotten, and it’s much easier to have all scheduling correspondence in one place. I will leave the messaging capability up on the LSP Facebook page for general questions, but please don’t message me to my personal Facebook page for LSP reasons. And for all scheduling questions, please email stephanie@lemonadestandphotography.com.

*Lindsay will respond to all scheduling and general inquiry emails on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. She will also send out pre-session questionnaires and confirmation emails during this time. I’ll check in on email daily to make sure there is nothing urgent that needs to be taken care of, but most email action will take place during these days.

*As of right now, we are completely booked up through March 2015, with only a handful of sessions left for April and May. We are now booking through the summer of 2015, and will begin booking fall sessions in the spring. We will keep you posted as to when fall opens up, and it will be first come, first serve.

Here’s how things are looking as of right now:

schedulingupdate3WEB2

Right now, I am excited and hopeful looking at the 2015 plan. I am so lucky to love what I do, and while I wish I could go back and get tougher earlier on in my business, I’m not willing to give up. I absolutely love the personal relationships and connections I’ve made with my clients, and nothing is going to change with that. When it comes to business decisions though, I need to be better about keeping it strictly business, as it will be better for all of us. As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. Thank you for your business, for sticking with me, and for your support. Despite my shortcomings, I still feel like the luckiest girl on the planet to do a job I love with people I love. Thank you.

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Debbie - November 6, 2014 - 3:19 pm

Love this so much! I feel like I’m in the same place with my business, and while I’ve tightened things up a bit this year, I haven’t quite laid down the law like you just did in this post! Now you have my feeling like I should put it all out there :-) Best of luck in 2015 and beyond!!

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