Photo booth businesses are trending and more and more people are looking into how they can start one. It is an easy way to bring in extra money while only working part-time. However, starting a new business can be a daunting task, so we are giving you 9 tips that you need to know before starting your photo booth business.
1- Do a basic market analysis
A market analysis may sound complicated, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. Not only can it be done quickly, but it also gives you a roadmap for promoting your business later on. Here are a few questions to give you a good start:
- Are there any other photo booth businesses in the area?
- What kind of booth do they have?
- What features do they offer?
- Do they offer package deals?
- Do they work in cooperation with a specific venue?
All this information will help you understand the current photo booth industry in the area, and therefore, your competition. It also gives you important insights into your potential target audience as well as ideas on price points for your services.
2- Define your goals and create your brand
Once you have a good overview of the market, you need to focus on your own business. The first step is to define your objectives:
- Do you want to specialize yourself for only one kind of event (weddings, birthdays, corporate events, etc.)?
- Which area(s) do you want to cover?
- How much time can you devote to your business?
Having a brand identity helps people remember you. And if they remember you, then they will come back to you for other events! And equally importantly, they’ll recommend you to their friends and colleagues. So where do you start? Choose a brand name, a color, and a nice logo. Consider including “Photo Booth” in the name of your business, so that your future clients will easily know what you offer.
3- Acquire good hardware and software
There are so many different options out there: DSLR booth, iPad booth, static booth, mobile booth, and more. Each option has different prices and might require additional hardware. If you want to start simple, we recommend an iPad photo booth because it has lots of advantages and is less expensive. The hardware will be more compact and easier to transport, and set up will be a no-brainer.
Once you get good hardware (or DIY your own setup), the only other thing you need is a photo booth app like Onebooth. Those apps are mostly cloud-based and everything can be set up on a laptop, or even directly from the iPad itself. Better yet, it allows you to offer lots of digital options (props, sending pictures to guests per mail or text message) which will help you reduce your upfront investment. No need to spend money on tons of props or a printer right away!
4- Learn everything there is to know about your setup
Of course, you will want your first events to go smoothly in order to offer the best possible service to your client. To guarantee this, you will want to make sure that you know everything there is to know about your hardware and software. Do several test runs in a variety of circumstances. Try setting it up inside or outside. This will help you determine how long you need for setup and may help you identify a few tricks to make it set it up faster.
Don’t forget to play around with the software too! Try setting up different campaigns, change settings and see what it does. Don’t hesitate to let close friends try your booth at home, too. Their feedback will help you see things from your guests’ point of view and might help you anticipate questions.
And of course, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach to the company who created your hardware/software. They are definitely here to give you tips! If you need more guidance, Onebooth even offers a free webinar to help you learn more about the app and everything you can do with it.
5- Partner with a freelance designer
This might sound like a big step, but taking advantage of professional services can make all the difference in helping you grow your photo booth business. Photo booths are great because you can personalize almost everything if you have the necessary design knowledge. However, not everyone knows how to make good looking print layouts! So having a freelance designer will definitely help you have the best designs that make all the difference! And, as a bonus, you’re not tearing your hair out trying to figure out the technical side of design.
On top of that, some iPad photo booth apps like Onebooth let you use digital props (also called stickers). It’s perfect to start your business since you don’t have to invest in props. A freelance designer can make those stickers and backgrounds for you.
What’s more, if you specialize in a specific kind of event (like weddings and/or baby showers, for example) you can ask your designer to create three main sets of graphics, or campaigns, for each event and then reuse them. You do not need to create a new one for each event.
6- Get your first clients
Getting clients is one of the biggest struggles for so many startups. And, one good place to start is by asking around in your circle of friends. One of them might be planning a baby shower soon, or a wedding. And if not, they might know someone else who is.
When you are first starting out, the best way to grow and get your first clients is by word of mouth. If you offer the first events for free or at a reduced cost, it might be just what you need to start your business. And with time, you will develop a big network and loyal clients that will come back to you.
7- Design your business card
Some event attendees may be interested in your photo booth business when they see you at someone else’s event. Make sure to always talk with people who stop at your booth and give them a way to easily contact you for their own event! Sharing your business card is the obvious way to do so. You can even put some of those business cards in a local shop to advertise your business easily. Your freelance designer can also help you with these types of materials.
8- Set your rates
You are not alone if you’re asking, “How much money can I make with a part-time photo booth business?” But, the answer isn’t quite so cut and dry. How much you make depends on how much you charge for each event. Let’s say you rent your services for 100$/hour. If you are booked almost every Saturday evening for 6 hours for 6 months straight, it represents at least 26 evenings. 26 x $600=$15,600. Of course, if you are booked every Saturday and Sunday, then you will earn even more.
Keep in mind that those are an approximative number. Compare the different photo booth business in your area and their prices to know what your local range could be.
9- Build an internet presence
It is very important nowadays to have a website where prospective clients can learn more about your business. If the idea of creating a website overwhelms you, know that it doesn’t have to be hard. Platforms like WordPress or Squarespace make it very easy to create a simple yet professional website. Each of these options has several templates you can choose from and then customize (here are some WordPress templates for a photo booth website). It definitely saves you time and money since you won’t need to hire someone else to make it for you. The only other step will be to buy a domain name, or URL. You can do this from your hosts like Siteground or Lyrical Host, or you can buy direct from a domain company like Namecheap. And, when you select a URL, it’s a good idea to choose one that fits the company name. That way it’s easier for people to find you and they don’t accidentally go to your competitor’s website.
Make sure that your website includes this important information:
- Contact information
- Your services, and if you specialize in specific types of events (wedding, baby shower, etc.)
- Pricing and packages
A photo business is a great side hustle that gives you a great opportunity for increasing your income while working hours that work for your schedule and lifestyle. With a little planning and a little hard work, these tips will help you set up a business that is fun and profitable. Please let us know how it goes for you and if you have any questions along the way! And don’t forget to try out the Onebooth app!