RANGEFINDER • FEBRUARY2014 56
services may not be priced high enough.
Or, you may need to consider offering
products that are less expensive in order to
keep a healthy profit margin. Are all of your
expenses contributing to your business
success? If they’re not, then cut them out.
Set a Budget and
Track Your Spending
Your budget should be based on a realistic
estimate of how much money you’ll be
bringing in as well as how much money
you want to take home and save.
These figures will change over time, especially as you start bringing in more revenue and cutting expenses.
By keeping track of how these figures
change, you can update your budget on a
regular basis so that you stay on track to
reach your goals.
The best way to keep track of your
spending is by staying up-to-date with your
Set Aside Money from
all Income You Receive
Unfortunately when you run your own
small business, not all of the money you
bring in is yours to spend! And it’s easy to
be fooled into thinking you have more to
spend than you actually do.
The best method is to physically set the
appropriate amount of money aside (and
out of your reach) on a regular basis, whether that’s monthly or with every deposit.
TIP: If you have a hard time keeping track
of this, you might consider automating this
Here’s what you should be setting
aside money for:
� Products owed to clients
� Business savings
Note: Only your CPA can help you deter-
mine what you need to be setting aside
for taxes and what’s an appropriate IRA
Have a Team of People on
If you’re a photographer, you probably
aren’t also a bookkeeper, CPA or financial
planner. As a business owner, the burden
falls on you to make sure to plan for your
financial obligations and goals.
While you may not have the skill set to
manage your finances yourself, you have
the resources available to you to develop
a team of experts that DO.
The basics of financial planning are
� Keep your debts low.
� Don’t spend more money than
� Set aside for savings.
� Pay your taxes.
Look for a team of advisors to help you:
� Determine the best way for your
business to be set up to take advantage
of tax code.
� Decide what the best retirement
savings plan is for you (and how much
you should be contributing).
� Do bookkeeping! Having accurate
books and reporting is critical in order
to keep tabs on the financial health of
� Calculate how much you need to be
setting aside for taxes.
� Review your goal. RF
| COUN TING YOUR BEANS |
Ask For Help
A few other resources for tax and financial advice:
Business education for photographers, founded by photography
SEO expert Zach Prez. photographyspark.com
Business sense for photographers, founded by photographer
and MBA Kristin Korpos. niftyknowledgerocks.com
FStoppers Business Section
Articles on multiple topics, including one by tax specialist Zach
Sutton, taking you through the maze of complicated tax forms.
Profit First Photography
Founded by photographer Alicia Caine, offering pricing
bootcamps and business basics. profitfirstphotography.com
Benefits, advocacy, financial advice and planning for freelancers.