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There’s a common misconception that entrepreneurs start a business, then sit back and watch the cash flow in. People think that you have the freedom to vacation for months at a time without worry or work. You know from experience those people are just plain wrong. Being your own boss is occasionally overwhelming.
You don’t get overtime pay when you work 72 hours a week to establish and nurture your own business. But you still do it. Despite the things you miss out on, you’ve chosen to work for yourself. You may not spend as much time with your family as you’d like. You may wish that the days were longer so you could accomplish just one more task. Maybe your hobbies or other responsibilities are hurting because you work so hard. It always seems like you’re short on time.
It’s reasonable to immediately cut out the nonessentials. You stopped bird-watching and stamp-collecting because you needed more time to work. Maybe you even cut out Sunday brunch with the girls – a tragedy of epic proportions! Stop this madness now; we have a better alternative. Just be more efficient!
You’re thinking, “Oh, yeah, that’s easily said! But how can I be efficient affordably? I have to do everything myself to lower costs!” Well, glorious entrepreneur, follow these 5 steps to save your time:
1. Delegate tasks to employees
As you cling to the word “affordable,” we suggest spending money on an extra employee or two. Paid employees cost money but ultimately save time and allow you to focus on the growth of your business. While they are bookkeeping or reeling in clients, you’re photographing an angelic newborn. Employees can also contribute to the creativity and organization of your work. Perhaps they notice a crack in the lens of your business that you don’t.
2. Get an intern
If you truly can’t afford an employee, there are thousands of college students within your professional reach. Internships are beneficial to all parties involved. The intern earns work experience and you get an extra pair of hands. They can schedule clients, run your social media outlets, or act as a second photographer during high-stress jobs like weddings. Their help allows you to spend more time with your family.
3. Use better editing programs
You are going to go blind looking at that computer all day. If your editing process takes more than five minutes per photograph, it’s taking too long. You could waste the perfect bird-watching day sitting there, going through photo after photo of the same high school senior with the same cap and gown… or you could take a peek at our Photoshop Actions. These allow you to breeze through an entire photoshoot in record time.
4. Organization is key!
You’re a business owner so you already know the importance of staying organized. A specific space for your receipts, records, and receivables is important if you want to be successful. Likewise, you know that the workplace is far more efficient when your purple lens filter is exactly where it’s supposed to be. Save time by keeping everything orderly and by having a clear-cut plan for working with clients.
5. Make time for what’s important to you.
Bottom line, you are in control. You may feel like every moment should be spent in pursuit of a successful business but you must remember that life is happening! It’s important to work for a brighter future but even more important to enjoy today. Consider why you started your photography business in the first place and continue building on that with a healthy work ethic. And you can also focus more on the parts of the job you love most!