I set up my wedding photography business in January 2014 with help from local enterprise agency PNE. They helped with the marketing and business side of wedding photography, which is equally as important as how well you take photographs, as I have discovered!
It's no good taking the best photographs in the world if no-one sees them and you won't be able to take any more photographs unless you can generate an income to keep a roof over your head and food in your belly. This is especially important when you have a young family to support as well as yourself.
I worked as an employee for 20 years, and even though I have strong work ethic and am very self-motivated, one of the hardest things I have found about being self employed is imposing some structure and direction into each day. It sounds like the dream, doesn't it? Instead of having a manager tell you what to do each day, you do what you think is best. That's relatively easy to define when you work as part of a larger company, which has a history.
How do you know where to focus your efforts in a brand new company? Is it best to hone your skills, or spend time marketing? Do you favour face-to-face networking or social media? Whatever you do, it takes some time to build up momentum, so it's hard to gauge whether you are doing the right thing. And of course, there is no-one else to ask, because you are the only person in the business.
The freedom that is a blessing can become a curse, as all the responsibility falls on your own shoulders.
That's where a company like PNE comes in. If you live in the north East, and you are thinking about starting your own business, then I recommend you check out PNE at the beginning and see what help they can offer, whether that be advice and mentoring, or a start up loan.
For the article on PNE I was interviewed by the charming Chloe Hall, who runs Bumble and Bloom Media. She managed to distill my rambling thoughts into a cohesive, concise piece, which is no mean feat! Thanks Chloe.