ONCE YOU HAVE YOUR TECHNOLOGY IN PLACE, NOW IT’S TIME TO START LOOKING AT YOUR PERSONNEL
There comes a time in your business that you have to scale beyond just yourself, and knowing when to do that and how is going to be essential for your business. Typically, on your path to success you will see a time where business comes quickly, but the problem with scaling beyond your current capacity will be the fact that you are responsible for much of the daily workings in the business. When you get to that point, then it is time to look at hiring someone to help with the essential tasks. Now, I have written in-depth articles for Shutter Magazine before on how to hire your first employees, but as a brief reminder, your first employee should be a competent studio manager. A studio manager can help with sales, communication, and organization. They will help you do the things in your business that are taking up much of your time, and you could even have them help with assisting and production in the beginning. Our studio manager wears many hats to this day, and has been along for the ride with Jen and I as we have scaled our business to its current level. But once you hire a studio manager, you should look to grow from a job to a business, and this is where you will want to start hiring and training other photographers. The first step to this process is to really ask yourself if it’s something that you want to do. Hiring outside photographers to work for your business brings about many challenges, and some of the headaches you may encounter along the way may not be worth the time that you have to put into it. I will say, however, that having a solid team of associate photographers can also be very rewarding if done right, so you will have to come to that conclusion on your own. The one piece of advice I can give you is to make sure that you are properly vetting your shooters. If you choose the wrong people to work for you, it can lead to problems with customer service, which ultimately will reflect on your brand, so make sure that you choose people who share your values to build a team that cares as much about your clients as you do. The last piece of advice that I can give you is to document the processes in your business as you are building them. Documenting the processes in your business will lead to a much faster onboarding process for new employees. It will allow you to get an employee trained with a lot less input from you and give you the confidence to know that you have a repeatable process in place for training new employees.
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