If the primary goal of a ship’s captain is to protect the ship, she would never leave port.
Your ability to implement your business and marketing plans is limited by the level of risk you can tolerate. The ability to endure risk is a combination of confidence and courage. Photographers must be willing to move forward, month-after-month, and year-after-year, in spite of the pressure produced by uncertainty. You must be motivated to resist fear of failure, and continue on a predetermined course.
Setting aggressive goals provides incentive and motivation, but proper planning is essential. As in sailing, business requires patience. A ship’s captain knows having too great a sense of urgency about a timetable can put the ship in harm’s way. Planning the year’s marketing can provide momentum that eliminates the need for hasty last-minute promotions that often produce disappointing results.
Sailors today use sophisticated navigation equipment to measure wind, and monitor weather, and with the right information, avoid storms. You may assess risk by communicating with labs, professional organizations, and online forums. With this information in hand, you can better determine your pricing, and photography style.
The more efficiently you process and act on the information you are gathering, the more likely you can stay on course. Thorough planning can’t anticipate every obstacle, but it goes a long way in giving you the confidence needed to face the occasional storm.
Sailors respect the adage, if you wonder if it’s time to reduce sail in advance of storm winds, it’s time. In business, many owners resist taking action when indicators suggest they are off course, and refuse to make corrections, often out of fear, stubbornness, or lack of experience. Failure to take prompt action can cause months, or years, of lost revenue and marketshare.
Train your staff to be the crew you need so they can perform under the stress of your busiest and most profitable periods and if all goes well, they won’t have to learn how to handle the slow times. Everyone must be focused on the critical components of competence and preparation.
You must to take calculated risks at every stage of your business if you expect to achieve success.
Having a business, full or part-time has a built-in risk. And owning a business can be very lonely because unless you’re a business owner you can’t know the pressure that comes with ownership- knowing what’s on the line if you don’t do what needs to be done every week, month after month. With so many hats to wear and the ever changing needs to be competitive in order to have a sustainable income.
How do you deal with it? Share your methods or secrets with others below.