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  • Getting started in Business

    All too often folks will "take the plunge" into a new Business venture without taking the time to really investigate what all is involved. Even with large amounts of research, there is still a void....namely, advice from those who already are in business, as regards what the minimum skill level should be, practical advice on what the minimum equipment necessary is and so on....
    SO.....what would your suggestions be if you were advising someone about to enter this line of work? I am specifically interested in your views on skill levels, software needed, equipment which is necessary and equipment which is secondary.....and so on...Tom

  • #2
    Let's see. How about starting with the equipment. I say you want to spend some money on good input and output equipment. If your scanner isn't up to par then your output can't be that good either. Crap going in is crap coming out. If you plan to print, look for longevity, reliable equipment and high quality prints to compete with outside print sources. I wouldn't say that was a first investment though since you can get prints made from CD from an outside source however you will have problems in color management. I'd also recommend a graphics tablet but I have seen some impressive results from members using mice.

    If you spent the money to get top of the line photo editing software, spend the time to learn it well. It will speed your productivity and quality of work. Look for useful techniques that aid your specific line of business. Search the net, there are thousands of good tutuorials free for the asking. The more you know the better you will be.

    Advertising.... I would say, start with the source you refer to when you want something. The Yellow Pages. It's not cheap but it will get you calls. How you handle those calls is up to you. For me, I just try to be myself and if I think I can help them even if it's not going to put bucks in my pocket I will do so. I find alot of people respond to someone whos not out to play used car hard sell person. Trade referal services with other companies such as videographers, conservators and they will refere you. I get alot of calls for services that I don't perform so I recommend some who do and vice versa.

    Finally, when you meet the people be open and friendly and know your business and they will respond to you as a professional but also someone they would trust.

    And don't under estimate your services or people will think that's all your worth. That was good advice I got from Ed Ladendorf. Best of all, enjoy your business and it won't feel like work.
    DJ

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    • #3
      Coming from the perspective of a 100% internet-based business, I'd say the most important thing would be having a physical address you can advertise and have people drive to. If that's your house, great, but I'm not comfortable with that, and I suspect I'm not alone.
      Learn by teaching
      Take responsibility for learning

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      • #4
        A good scanner is a must.

        Know how to use whatever software and hardware you have, including it's limitations.

        You should have enough skills using your software and hardware, so that you are not "learning on the job". This will save both you and your customers, time and money.

        A printing service that you can rely on, to be consistent.

        A quality portfolio of your work is a must.

        Know your market: What are their spending habits, where are they, what age group, etc. - customize your service to your market.

        Know your competition: What are they offereing, what do they charge, how do they get their business. What can you offer, that they don't (why would customers choose your business instead?)

        The tough one: Promote your business.
        This is a whole thread on it's own, if you ask me.
        A good way to start is buy offering your services for charity events, and similar public arenas.

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        • #5
          If someone were to ask my advice on this, I would simply send them to RetouchPro.com. We all know there's a wealth of information here, but we're only a very small percentage of the public. If they checked out all the business related posts on this site, they would have enough information to move forward. The only thing they would have to do is decide which options are best for their situation.

          Ed

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