The Boutique Photography Business Plan
To be perfectly honest this is more of a business model than a business plan but because of the nature of photography as a business I'm pretty sure that it's a business model that you might be looking for. What's the difference? Well a business model is how a business is structured, a business plan is how a business' financial future is predicted. If you are looking to start a photography business this model will explain how you should structure your pricing to create a boutique style photography business.
A boutique style photography business offers a high quality product at an equally high price. With this business model the photographer should expect to spend a large amount of time refining their images with tools like Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Lightroom after the shoot. Delivery of the images should not be expected soon after the shoot as it is understood that the post processing is part of the image creation process.
A boutique photography studio will have a low volume of clients and should be able to produce consistantly high quality of images for each client. Marketing for the studio should explain that the images produced are unique and fully processed to produce a product that the client could not receive from a different style of photography studio.
The benefits to a boutique studio is that other photographers will be impressed with the quality of your work and potentially jealous of your price point. The drawback to this business model is that the advertising costs are very high and the client volume is very low due to the introductory price point. This business model is best for a photographer who would rather spend time behind the computer than behind the camera.
The downside to this business model is that even though the cost to the client is high, the low volume of clients and the high cost of marketing prevent this business model from being as profitable as it may appear. It is not unusual for a boutique style photography studio to also offer products to other photographers as a way to supplement the income for the business.
The best way to get started as a boutique photography business is to create a unique product that no other photographer in your market is offering. It is also important to constantly offer new and inovative products to stay ahead of other photographers in your market who will try to incorporate your better product ideas into their business making your studio less unique. It is this constant need for innovation that makes it difficult for most boutique photography studios to maintain the boutique photography business model.