Setting New Year Goals to Kickstart Your Photography Business

Setting New Year Goals to Kickstart Your Photography Business


Photography Business Institute
Photography Business Institute

As each new year starts, many people are eager to make personal goals. It probably won’t surprise you that the most common resolutions involve exercising more, losing weight, saving money, and learning new hobbies. However, people typically quit their New Year’s resolution before they complete four months.

Maybe it’s time to think about goals a little differently. The beginning of the year is the perfect time for photographers to consider and set some well-defined, achievable goals for the growth and success of their photography businesses.

Why Set Goals For The New Year?

Whether or not you complete every one of your resolutions by the end of next year, making progress on each one will help you develop new, positive habits. Learning to set goals is an essential part of how to build a photography business.

Goal setting will help you create a vision and a successful path forward. During day-to-day photography business operations, you may lose sight of the big-picture objectives when focused on sessions, editing, and managing clients.

How To Create Realistic and Specific Goals

You’ll need a detailed plan to make and achieve the best New Year’s resolutions for your photography business. Ensure you set aside enough time to choose the most effective and realistic goals carefully.

1. Think About Where You Are

To set achievable goals for the upcoming year, you should reflect on where your business is currently. Some things to look at include the processes and systems already in place, the number of photography sessions you have booked throughout the previous year, the pricing for each session, and this year’s annual profit. You should also consider things outside the numbers, including the parts of running your business you most enjoy, the things you don’t love, and areas you would like to change.

2. Consider Where You Want To Be

New Year’s goals are about planning for the future. After taking a detailed look at where your business is:

  • Start with a brainstorm.
  • Think about your vision for moving forward.
  • Write down your ideas for things you want to try, things that aren’t working now, cool things you’ve heard about from other photographers, etc.

The goals you set from this session can include broad, big-picture ideas and smaller areas ready for improvement. Your vision for the future may focus on growing your client base, increasing session prices, finding a photography business coach, hiring additional help, or making your business a full-time career. Planning for the future will help you focus on your reasons for starting a photography business and your overall hopes and dreams.

3. Use The SMART System

If you aren’t familiar with the SMART system for setting goals, it is a popular and efficient method for achieving goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Based. Each of the goals you decide on should fit into these categories.

  • Specific
    The more specific you can be with your goals, the easier it is to make a plan to achieve them. For example, rather than saying, “I want to get better at photography,” make your goal, “This year, I want to enroll in an online photography school.” Rather than, “I want to book more sessions next year,” instead make the goal, “I want to double the number of photography sessions this year.”Remember the 5 W’s you learned in elementary school: who, what, when, where, and why. Defining your goals with these questions in mind will keep them specific and well-thought-out.
  • Measurable
    Put a number to your goals. Setting measurable goals will help you keep track of your progress and stay focused. When you have a number to reach or a measurement to track, this can alert you to any lack of progress and let you know if you need to change the game plan. You can set up smaller measurement milestones in smaller increments for long-term goals.
  • Attainable
    Whatever goals you set for the New Year, they should be attainable. Dream big, but keeping your dreams specific, realistic, and achievable will lead to lasting results. Making your goal to get better at marketing your photography business is not clear or measurable; It’s too vague to be attainable. Instead, make it your goal to devote one hour a week to creating social media content for your business or hiring a graphic designer to create a new logo.
  • Relevant
    Relevant goals align with the overall vision for your photography business. When you look at where your business currently stands and what you want to achieve, any goals you set for the next year should work towards that vision. Relevant goals will be personalized goals, and each photographer and photography business will have different objectives.
  • Time-Based
    All goals should have a deadline to help keep you on track. Longer-term objectives, like those for the end of the year, will have smaller monthly or quarterly check-ins to chart progress along the way.

Many personal New Year’s resolutions start hopeful and ambitious before quickly falling by the wayside. Instead of ordering a case of detox smoothies this year, make some SMART New Year’s goals to help kickstart your photography business. By this time next year, you will be thankful you did.

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