You've likely been faced with the question of whether or not you should offer a service or product in addition to what you currently provide as a real estate photographer.
It can be unnerving to take this leap because maybe you're thinking you're one misstep away from being the clammy entrepreneur on ABC's Shark Tank where Mr. Wonderful (Kevin O'Leary) is saying you're not specific or niche enough and "I'm out."
But if we as a society limited ourselves to this concept too strictly, we'd only have Chik-fil-A sandwiches and no nuggets or milkshakes. We'd never know the satisfaction of an appliance warranty or be able to get more than a haircut at a salon. You get it.
That being said, let's talk about three sure-fire ways you can know if you should say YES to an add-on for your business in the real estate space. After all, some photographer’s biggest revenue generators are not always their first idea.
The first and perhaps BIGGEST question to ask yourself: "Is there a strong viability factor?" In other words, will your photography clients use it or not?
Although simple, this step in the thought process should not be just a thought. By this point, you've probably already done enough "thinking" anyway. Put action into figuring out whether viability exists with the following tasks:
Speaking of VALUE, this is a HUGE part of determining the viability factor. You as the photographer must find value in the service or product first and foremost. To determine this, just ask yourself,
"Does this new service aid in providing my photography service?”
You want to make sure this new service will make your client's experience with you either easier or elevated (or both).
Next up, is ensuring the new add-on is something you can manage without compromising your clients’ experience with your current photography offering.
Consider how much of your time this will take from start to finish. Do some math on what tasks you personally will need to carry out in order to launch, grow and manage this new offering.
Take inventory of the skill sets on your team (even if that is just you) and determine if the qualifications exist.
There are basically 3 strategies to offer an add-on with pros and cons for each:
Option 1: Do the service or create the product in-house.
Option 2: Outsource the service or product including delivery.
Option 3: Create a hybrid of in-house & outsourcing the product or service.
Lastly, you must consider the investment that may be required by you and your photography business. In addition to the time and money, you'll need to put in, be sure to account for the emotional investment required when questioning whether or not you can pull it off successfully as a photographer.
When you're doing your do-diligence and running the numbers on the earning potential of a new offering, here's a list to remind you of the likely associated costs to consider:
Unless it's a completely new concept, looking into the average profit margins for what you're considering is a good idea. This will help you determine your price point for this offering.
A healthy reminder is that just because the numbers don't look too appealing at first, don't forget the magic of volume.
When it comes to planning anything for your photography business, the important thing is to have the right people, a quality product, and a streamlined process in place.