A well-written business plan is one of the single most essential tools for entrepreneurs. This rock-solid foundation for your new endeavor helps you make important decisions, identify and reach benchmarks, bring on new team members, and even secure outside funding. With that in mind, you know you need a photo booth business plan, but how do you get started?
First, you should know that there’s no single right way to create your business plan. There are, however, several things to consider, so before you start writing, put on your thinking (and research) caps.
How to Write a Photo Booth Business Plan
A quick Google search will yield hundreds of business plan templates you can use to fill in the blanks. However, if you’re genuinely just filling in the blanks, then that plan won’t serve you well. The idea behind writing a business plan is to give careful thought to the ins and outs of your business, creating a strategic roadmap for the start-up phase and beyond.
Your business plan should be true to your values and your business goals. As you decide how you want your business to function in 6 months, one year, and five years (and potentially beyond), it’s critical that you are honest with yourself. If your plan doesn’t feel authentic or realistic, then it’s likely falling short somewhere.
Whether this means including images or diagrams, or using a gorgeous layout, adding some flair to your document can make it your own. Moreover, as a photo boother, you’re in the creative industry, so using some imagery to demonstrate just what exactly it is that you do will prove worth your while.
Research. Research. Research. Know your local competition and find out who they serve, how they market, the services they offer, and their price point. Moreover, you’ll want to stay on top of the overall trends in the photo booth world so you can remain competitive.
Document Your Claims
If you make claims about numbers, calculations, perceived sales, or anything else in your business plan, be sure to back them up. Please explain how you developed those claims and why they are realistic.
Any numbers you estimate, be conservative. If you list the most outlandish sales goals as benchmarks, they will be harder to attain, and even harder to explain when it comes time to settle up with any investors. This concept applies to time as well as finances.
How are you financing everything? Luckily, a photo booth business doesn’t need a substantial investment to get going. Plenty of successful boothers have bootstrapped and self-financed. However, if you want to get an investor or a loan to launch more quickly, you’ll need to outline how you plan to run your finances and spend the start-up money.
Gauge Your Marketing Plan
Your marketing plan can be separate from your photo booth business plan, but you should be able to summarize your planned efforts. Will you have a website? What will you name your business? All of these factor into your marketing plan.
As a photo booth professional, you’ll want to identify what hardware and accessories you need, the costs, and how frequently they need upgrading or replacement. Here’s a list of some items we recommend if you’re starting out.
Just like the hardware item above, you’ll want to know what software you need. An iPad-based photo booth doesn’t need a whole lot of hardware – the iPad itself is your biggest expense there, at least to start. Software like Onebooth makes it easy for you, and you can try it for free to get a feel for how it works.
Make sure to be clear of what your role is as the founder of your photo booth company, what roles you’ll hire for, and what tasks you’ll outsource. If you already have people in mind for these, then list them, or identify what will make a hire a good fit. That way, you have a plan in place for bringing them on board, and all you’ll need to do (besides training them), is putting their name on a business card.
Know Your Audience
Knowing your audience is as integral to your marketing plan as understanding your competition. Who do you want to work with? Where do they hang out? What problem are you solving for them? (Hint: as a photo boother, private audiences want memories, and corporate audiences want leads and buzz-building.)
Logical Launch Plan
Be logical. Dreaming is great, but your business plan should outline how you are going to turn your dreams into goals by developing a strategy for reaching them. Explain your plans in literal terms, as if you were talking about your business to someone who knows nothing about it. (After all, your banker may not know anything about photo booths.)
The Bottom Line
A business plan is critical for your photo booth business, but it doesn’t have to be complicated to write. It’s not a place for big, fancy words that you’ll use later to market your business. Similarly, you don’t have to go overboard. Although you do need to explain your game plan in a clear, direct manner, don’t include any extra that’s not relevant or important to your business.
Instead, by being honest, direct, and realistic, you can create a roadmap that will serve you and your new photo booth business for years to come.