Every time I get a solicitor calling me, I ask myself; why does everyone want to take my money? Something we don’t normally talk about; is the business aspect of photography. I think most people think that as photographers; we get a phone call from someone looking to have some pictures taken. We go on-site, take the pictures, go back to the studio to edit the pictures and then deliver them. That sounds easy, right. The reality is a bit different. It’s a business like every other business and there are lots of stuff going on behind the scenes.
What I am amazed at, is the number of companies out there trying to help, by taking your hard earned money. These companies can range from everything from credit card processing to SEO Service. Last week I had a company contact me on three different occasions to ask me, if I was interested in using their company to process credit cards, for a nominal fee of course. When the first call came in, I explained that I already had that covered and to please take me of their list. They called two more times and I gave them the same answer. This goes for 95% of the companies that will call you. Here are some helpful tips:
- Putting your companies phone number on the do not call list will not work. Your phone number is public, so using this list is a mute point.
- Avoid dealing with people that can only communicate via text or email; even if he or she claims to have a medical condition.
- Think about the business aspect of your company. Are you going to only take cash, checks, or credit card as payment.
- If you do take credit cards, how will you process them. Will you have another company do that or will you be paying a monthly fee or perhaps a fee per swipe.
- Do you have employees? How do you pay him or her? Do you have an accountant or do you do it yourself using something like quick books?
- Do you have insurance? Are you, your workers, and equipment covered if something should happen?
- Avoid people that wish you pay other people such as: a wedding planner during an event, because he or she cannot process credit cards. Do not do it, no matter how much he or she claiming to give you.
- Stay away from people promising to put you at the top of Google.
- And lastly, if it sounds too good to be true; it is.
I felt that I had to write this, to make people aware of the potential scams out there and other things that go bump in the night. Maybe not all of them are scams; but you need to be aware. I am not saying that everyone that will call you, is a scam artist, just be weary and be sure to check him or her out. You are always welcome to do a little research on the company first. Check out the BBB, Yelp, and reviews for starters.