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Author Topic: Starting a business  (Read 3986 times)
flynlyons
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« on: November 23, 2006, 03:14:22 PM »
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Wasn't sure which link to post this question on, think this is the most appropriate one?

I have been discussing starting my business for some time now... have many large prints ready to show and display at various locations, etc.  Invested much money into getting set-up for shows and such (even if I don't make a dime I would still do it, so making money is not my first priority, but I am beyond the hobbyist level too).  I am not trying to set up a business to cover my costs of travel (although that is a great benefit), and after looking at many artists products around the country (and critical reviews by peers of my work) I feel I can hold my own given my target audience.  Don't plan on quitting my day job however.

Any suggestions or recommendations about starting a business, any at all?  Is it easier to set up in Nevada and register there (as the business would mainly be an internet based storefront, with plans on a gallery someday) or just set up in TN (where mail would be sent) and do it that way?  Personal Venture vs. LLC. (I do want to set up separate bank account, EIN/PIN number for wholesale, be able to use credit card for orders and have checks written to me or company name (probably best to company name)).  So many questions so little time :-)  Would like to start it for this tax year if possible, also have sold some prints I need to account for too, think for now that would be a sub C on my tax return).

This post may be slightly confusing, but was wondering if anyone on the forum has recently set up their own business and has had any problems or "gottchas" you can advise me of.  I am in the process of talking with my accountant, but want all the input I can get from others who are actually in this specific field.  I would mainly be advertising and selling larger prints and panoramic images.  

Thanks.
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David at eXacteXposure.com

jecxz
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« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2006, 03:25:25 PM »
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Your accountant would be the best person to advise you about why you would setup a separate entity for print sales. In my case, my accountant advised me to do so and I setup a separate corporation as per his advice.

Your accountant would also be the best person to advise you which type of entity you should setup (LLC, INC, Sub-S, etc...).

If you are advised to setup and corporation, whyere I live, in PA, setting up the corporation was easy: do an online search in your state for articles of incorporation or forms for incorporation. You'll get an EIN, resale certificate for tax exemption, etc...

Perhaps it would also be a good idea to ask your lawyer for guidance.  If you don't live in Nevada, I would ask your lawyer what actual protection or real benefits you would get with setting up a corporation in Nevada, because legally you may not be getting anything from it at all. Your accountant would know if there are any tax savings.

Good luck.
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flynlyons
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« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2006, 08:10:58 PM »
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Thanks for the reply, I agree that an accountant and lawyer are best for the "technical"  questions, just posting on the forum to see if anyone else has had recent experience with starting up a business and any "I would never do this or that again" advice.
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David at eXacteXposure.com

Caracalla
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« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2006, 02:54:44 AM »
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Att: FlynLyons

 Perhaps, you could try your question here  Starting a Business, & good luck.

REGARDS
« Last Edit: November 25, 2006, 02:58:07 AM by Caracalla » Logged
Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2006, 06:39:33 AM »
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Don't forget to budget a healthy chunk of money for advertising. Having good equipment and knowing how to use it isn't enough to make a living; you need enough paying clients to cover your expenses and equipment and still pay you for your time.
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leonvick
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« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2006, 11:47:47 PM »
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Quote
Any suggestions or recommendations about starting a business, any at all? ... was wondering if anyone on the forum has recently set up their own business and has had any problems or "gottchas" you can advise me of. Thanks.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=86775\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Location, location, location!

And good luck to you!

Leon
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Leon
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alainbriot
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« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2006, 11:58:05 AM »
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I wrote several essays on the business side of photography based on my personal experience selling my work.  They are found on the Briot's View page under "columns" in the left sidebar.  Here are links to som of my essays:

Being an Artist in Business:
Selling your Photographs
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Alain Briot
Author of Mastering Landscape Photography, Mastering Composition, Creativity and Personal Style., Marketing Fine Art Photography and How Photographs are Sold.
http://www.beautiful-landscape.com
alainbriot
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« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2006, 11:59:48 AM »
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Hello,

I wrote several essays on the business side of photography based on my personal experience selling my work.  They are found on the Briot's View page under "columns" in the left sidebar.  Here are links to som of my essays:

Being an Artist in Business:

Selling your Photographs

Selling at Art shows

More essays are available on the Briot's View page

I also offer several additional options to study this subject on my website.

Alain
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Alain Briot
Author of Mastering Landscape Photography, Mastering Composition, Creativity and Personal Style., Marketing Fine Art Photography and How Photographs are Sold.
http://www.beautiful-landscape.com
howiesmith
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« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2006, 12:12:26 PM »
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Have you considered writing a business plan?

There are many guides that will help you ask and answer important questions.  Just being the world's best photographer won't make a successful photo business.
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flynlyons
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« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2006, 02:24:41 PM »
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Thanks for all the useful information... will certainly be checking it out (actually in the midst of downloading Quicken Home & Business 2007 to help with accounting)... but the next few months will be busy with work and I am only getting brief moments (like now at the Greenville, SC library) to do research online and off.  Don't want to jump in with two feet if all I need to do is wade around a little at first, but I have found a contact that knows other artists who have been doing art shows/festivals and want to ask them in person about their experiences and if they have just personal ventures, LLC, etc.  Will let others know what I find out when I get the info and figure it out for myself.
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David at eXacteXposure.com

Hank
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« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2006, 01:48:46 PM »
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Looking back over the 15-year course of our business to its current successful form, several things pop up as pivotal issues.


Business plan
Strategic design toward an end
Market targets
Financial planning and management
Taxes


In our experience the strategic design and financial planning have been key to achieving our goal.  By strategic design, I mean asking yourself the question "What do I want my business to look like in ten and twenty years?"  And the financial planning element is the tool you will use to decide how to invest your income for the future of your business.  For example:  It sure would be nice to have the latest full frame hot body from Canon and a big bag of their lenses, but I'll continue shooting the old stuff while using the same funds to pay off the mortgage early and contribute to retirement.

When you fold your business in 20 years, do you want it to be a box of leftover prints and another of outdated camera gear in a storeroom?  Or does your ambition run more toward owning and selling a brick and steel storefront with an established name in a building you own?  

Our ambition ran to the latter, which helped us partition each dollar of income between mortgage, equipment, operating costs, travel and savings.  We now have a studio/gallery with an established name in a building we own outright, with appropriate savings and pension funds nicely endowed.  When we decide it's time to quit, we can sell the real estate, established clientelle and name for considrably more than the boxes of unsold prints and old gear our business would comprise without the design and planning.  For 15 years of work we have an asset of substancial value in addition to our accrued retirement funds.  Sell the business and retirement is even nicer, even as we are free to continue with our boxes of old gear and prints as a sideline to retirement.

In short, where are you going with this idea?  Now is the time to decide, because that clears a lot of muddle out of the process.
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howiesmith
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« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2006, 07:31:31 AM »
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I think the advice and comments from Hank make the difference between a business and trying to make a little money from your hobby.
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flynlyons
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« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2006, 10:15:01 PM »
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...yes, exactly.  I am usually methodical with my undertakings.  I do not place my hands in many baskets and hope that the outcome turn out positive.  I do not get board with the things I love, which are few to begin with.  My primary job I will always have as my primary job, however my current career allows me much free time to invest in photography.  And I have invested almost all my spare time over the past year and half with no end in sight.  I do not get board and have spent days on location to get a single shot.  You can't live on passion, but without it few make it on their own in the business world.  Of course one has to sell a desirable product also.

With that said I do have a plan and vision; however I need to find out what the market will yield before going in head first... I have a few specialty photos that if they make what I project ($30K) in the next few months then I know I have a nitch market (landscapes will always be my passion).  I have the equipment and being single and mobile will help too.  Many people dream of doing what they love, I am willing to risk all (planned risk of course) and do not mind if fame and fortune do not materialize, but will keep trying none-the-less.

And relating my side business as a hobby will not be confused by anyone once they see my inventory of supplies and prints that fill a second bedroom right now.  A business with a store front (actually a gallery with a studio) is my goal, not just a bedroom full of old supplies as Hank stated.  I did state my "real" job is a passion also, but it allows me to travel to get my photos, so in a way I am just using it until my photo business gets on it's fee.  My LLC is forming as we speak, my suppliers are being contacted and investing in equipment that no one would purchase for their own use (large matte cutters, pro panels for displays, etc) will appease any who doubt otherwise.  So off I go into the world of photography...

I always appreciate any and all suggestions.  Thanks for the insight and help.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2006, 08:00:54 PM by flynlyons » Logged

David at eXacteXposure.com

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