“Hi Brandon, could I ask you to ask the group for some real-life things they do to stay on top of the administrative side of a photography business? I feel like I'm drowning managing the back end of my business! Thanks.”
What a great question, Zoe; thanks for sending it in! Even though many of us in our industry see ourselves as creatives, we always have to keep in mind that we need to be business people, too. This isn't always the easiest thing to accomplish when most of us get more satisfaction from the creative side of things. That said, for me, the one thing that saves my bacon on the administrative side more than anything else, is using financial software that manages and tracks my invoicing. I used to use an Excel spreadsheet to track my business manually, and this worked fine in my early-days but as I've amped up the number of shoots I did every week, Excel got a little unruly--probably because I’m not very good at it. Anyway, using financial software is always my first piece of business advice.
The other thing that I try to do is not let myself get pulled down the rabbit hole of returning emails immediately. I think we all know how much time and mental energy emails can drain from our day. Many years ago, I used to be obsessed with answering everything in my inbox ASAP, even when I was at a shoot. I stopped this practice for two reasons:
Stopping these two things allowed me to stop being a slave with email and actually, it made my images turn out better because I was more present at the shoot!
So, what “admin-hacks” have helped you run your business more efficiently?