Following on from the last few weeks lecture and discussion programme you should now have conducted research and produced comments and evaluations on the following:
- Who your clients, market users and audience are:
The National Trust
Local Tourist Information Offices and Organisations
Churches that have a medieval context to them initially but i can choose to document and photograph any church within any specific requirement I need by approaching each religious organisation separately or through the Diocese once my name becomes established.
The general public who have an interest in historic buildings/architecture or archaeology
Architectural and archaeological organisations
Research and Development/editorial magazines/books
Galleries and Exhibition Venues
Local and National Press
Library and Public information areas
Local Historic Interest Groups
The general public who visit galleries
The general public that are interested and read up on guides to churches, congregation
Academic scholars and research and development organisations
Gallery owners who employ curators
for a full detailed list of users see the research folder section 3, learning outcome 3
- Some of the legal issues that can arise from your relationship with your clients, market users and audience
see research folder for more information – learning outcome 2
- Some of the ethical and moral issues that can arise between yourself and your client, market users and audience
- An overview of what is currently happening in the photography industry, including any issues, threats or opportunities:
What’s really happening in our industry ? – have your say – an analytical finding in the report which determines the way forward?
In the online ‘ProphotoNut (http://www.prophotonut.com/2008/12/13/whats-really-happening-in-our-industry.html) the author discusses the difficulty of a earning a decent living in the saturated world of photography today, and invites the viewer to indeed ‘have their say’ about the changes and decreasing opportunities within the industry. I will use these comments and advice overall to create a case study which points to the need to have a specialised interest within the industry.
The criteria for a good photographer is to have good communication skills, good presentation skills and a high level of service, a feel good factor to deliver what a client demands with excellent customer service and an enthusiasm for the subject.
On the downside the report reveals that there are more people studying photography than there are jobs available. The majority of people tend to own their own business and some that come from other career directions. It has been stated that these are more likely to succeed as they often have other skills and experience to rely on.
Skillset is a recognised resource in terms of grants being given out to new businesses, particularly those who are willing to invest in training.
LSWPP is an identifiable way in to those wanting to work within the Wedding Industry Sector although it requires a lot of hard work to achieve their high professional standard.
Pricing accurately seems to be a universal problem. Some photographers blame the fact that there are people out there willing to give their photographs to the media for no money at all (thereby undercuting the professionals totally) some lack confidence in pricing their work accurately.
Differing approaches to what equipment is required to succeed within the different sectors varies from opinion to opinion up to 10K in some instances but personally I do not feel that this amount of funding is necessary in order to get a decent photograph that has a high standard especially when there are wedding photographers who use cheap results such as putting their images only onto DVD for their customers. I would think this an appalling attitude to non existant customer service.
There is a continued argument that someone spending 5,000 pound on a wedding is far better than someone spending 500. I would argue that their are different approaches and that it would not necessarily prove that the most expensive photographer would necessarily be the best. Research into what is available and looking into an individuals work and style would matter to me and therefore make sense. The feature discussed tends to support the notion that the more you spend the better your photographs would be. Venture photography is given as an example as having a lack of quality but that they get a lot of commissions due to their marketing strategies and high pressure sales.
Finally there is argument to suggest that different clients look to different levels of photographers to match their needs/requirements. So a niche in the market may mean that an entry level photographer (such as a recently qualified student?) could trade in on the market if their strategic approach to planning and research has been carried out fully.
See additional features in research folder from:
black star rising
the death of photography: are camera phones destroying an artform?
11 things photographers wish they knew before going freelance
What’s really happening in our industry ? – have your say
My overall conclusion is that in this day and age one has to combine a research and development interest in a particular genre in order to succeed within the industry i.e. specialising in a chosen field and carrying out extensive research in order to be able to identify what that field is and where the market is.
- An understanding of your own chosen genre/specialism within the photography industry, and any current commercial debates affecting this
- An awareness of who the key figures are within your field (both of practitioners and related disciplines)
see research folder for all other detailed information in learning outcome 1, 2 and 3
Keeping up with the changes:
Another way to keep up with the changes including other ways to learn can be affected by considering the following as a method to keep your practice successful
- learning and having access to a number of associations (i.e. AOP, SWPP, local Diocese, Tourist Information Offices, blogging)
My way of handling this is to become a member of two or more professional associations and to keep in direct contact with the Diocese of Bradford and the relevant Tourist Information Offices and Church Organisations and Architectural and Archaelogical Information Centres so I can then keep my interested parties updated with both my research (which I can inform with a blog) or write for them via a blog or write a guide book or publications with supportive photography.
Through attending workshops and seminars on my subject interest – for example at the cathedral through artspace a shared interactive program on research and development/art interests
Through a mentoring program such as Artbound Community
Through competitions and a series of supported award programs and qualifications (such as SWPP or AOP)
And through asking advice from other working professionals
You should now use this supporting research to form a short, medium and long term career or business plan, highlighting any issues you will need to be aware of, what current trends or advances are affecting your field, and highlighting any gaps in your own knowledge or skills.
Short Term: (What you will do in the next 12 months?)
In brief (for more details see the full business plan below), I will be focussing on completing the degree and working on a theologically based project for my dissertation in connection to my proposed exhibition at Bradford Cathedral which has been scheduled for 2016.
Medium Term: (What you hope to achieve in the next 1 – 5 years?)
This will depend on whether or not we make the move to Samui. I envisage that I will continue to work as a photographer on a freelance basis and I will be looking to run a gallery and exhibition art and photography in a fine art capacity.
Long Term: (What you hope to be doing in 5/10/15 years time?)
Retirement and being able to travel wherever we want and continue to take photography on a part time basis.
|Business Plan & Evaluation Paula Thompson-Fearnley (10340624)|
|Table of Contents|
Executive Summary & Company Overview 3
- Products or Services 3
- Market Need 4
- Market Potential for Product or Service 4
- Competitive Advantage 4
- Management 5
- Financial Forecasts 6
- VIABILITY OF BUSINESS PROPOSED
- Market Opportunity 6
- Distinctive Competence 6
- Management Capability 7
- Financial Understanding 7
- Investment Potential and Plan Strength 8
- Green/Energy Focus or related product/service 8
- Strategy 8
- Formal Presentation 9
- Contigency Plans 9
- Eligibility Criteria 9
- Methods and Protocol 10
- Conclusion 10
1.Executive Summary & Company Overview:
The business plan for Paula’s Photography and Wedding Planning Service is already an existing portfolio of work that will grow in the next two and a half years to a fully operational part time business in Samui, South Thailand. The development of the company will establish itself in the UK winning over clientale for the Tourist and Wedding Market offering a simple three tier package to those who wish to marry on the island. This will be offset additionally in studio portrait work, landscape photography and in the writing and compilation of a book documenting the many wild flower species native to the island. The main aim of this company is to take advantage of current predicted growth patterns in the tourist industry as a Wedding and Honeymoon destination.
The mainstay of the company’s mission is to offer a unique service with knowledge and experience in both the UK market and the market in Samui.
The company consists of two key members of staff, a photographer and a videographer. There is a solicitior onhand with expertise and knowledge for legal matters or financial advice through my partners company.
The company’s overall objectives is to fill a niche in the photography and wedding market that provides people with a unique experience and to be the first author to successfully document the species of wild flowers on the island.
Due to the delay of our semi/retirement in Samui, South Thailand, my partner and I have now decided to remain in the UK for the foreseeable future and use the property in Thailand as a holiday destination (where I will still be selling photographs to the public and introducing a Wedding Planning Service as previously stipulated). However, as I also have interests in Theology, I plan to exhibit, curate and create my own exhibitions in a gallery which may be jointly owned and in the surrounding area of Leeds and Bradford in a theologically based pursuit and my focus on completing the degree (B.A in Photography) will concentrate on producing a body of work for an Artspace exhibition at Bradford Cathedral. I will be using my knowledge as a researcher to write a book to accompany the series and therefore my main plan at the moment for the next 1-5 years will be to focus on that.
2. Products or Services
Stage of development:
The initial stage of development involves the completion of a photography degree. The business itself appears to be in its initial stages of development as its proprietary position and intellectual property plans have not yet taken effect. The overall plan is to offset my experience as a Wedding Planner with that of a Photographer so that I may offer the client a unique service in the long term and to additionally focus my attention in the short term to concentrate on spiritual photography and to act as an exhibitor from a solo perspective and to curate professionally/run my own gallery.
A template and website exists in its original concept (www.bellomatrimoni.com) and a logo which will represent the both the photography and wedding side of the business which has been designed and successfully implemented and will be reinstated when the author completes the degree. There currently is conceptual artwork available to view in the form of a Wedding Planner Portfolio but as yet, a photography portfolio has yet to be designed.
Additionally, there will be a three tier package (Gold, Silver and Bronze) Photography Package which will complement the Wedding Three Tier Package that is already available to simplify the process for the customer, offering them a clear choice with optional extras and in effect, a one stop Wedding Shop.
As a exhibition artist I have established connections to three separate gallery spaces which are now ongoing: i.e. Artspace for Bradford Cathedral (planned for 2016) three recent exhibitions two at the Fabric Gallery, Bradford and one at the Corn Exchange in Leeds. I will additionally be investigating the possibility of working alongside Steve Bishop (current curator of the Fabric Gallery in Bradford in order to work with him curating and exhibiting within the Leeds and Bradford areas.
The business is ongoing, yet still in its initial stages, (due mainly to the necessity of completing the degree) therefore there is some sustainability for the company as the plan does show the quality of the product. With regards to the photography side of the business, there is a blog currently that offers promotional activities to peer photographers and to the general public which is being utilised as a tool for self promotion. This will be linked to an individual website with an online portfolio of the Visual Dynamic Team and to the Wedding Planning Service Bello Matrimoni.
A timeframe of developing the companies objectives will be presented within the Business Plan.
- Market Need
Although there is no distinctive analysis within the Business Plan as to how the product will take advantage of this viable opportunity, the plan does clearly define potential customers by appealing to a configuration of customers with a diverse age range that does clearly constitute a large percentage of the population both in Samui and in the UK.
- Market Potential for Product or Service
Where the marketing potential strengths for this product really begin to show, is in its diversity. The business will be run on a part time basis and the requirement for financial gain is not predominant. The focus of the genre of photography will be more dependent on attainable interests on the island once we are living there and sustainable interests combined in the UK. The focus in the UK will be to establish contacts which have been achieved already from the theogolically based exhibition work, the focus on the Bello Matrimoni Website will be to encourage clients to book a photographer or videographer, a florist and make up artist, the rest of the necessaties for the client will be sent out to tender.
The destination photography product will reach the market by the website and blogs and additionally selling individual photographs online using Alamy. It will be necessary to find a Publisher in Samui if that option becomes viable. In the UK, Social Network Media connections and the GRID in Bradford will be utilised to gain business acumen and contacts. Additionally, social networking sites will achieve a following of active users through the Student Company ‘Visual Dynamic’ who are, in effect, an existing enterprise that has a shared objective in photography.
Package for the Academic and Theological Exhibition Work:
- Exhibition Work at Fabric
- Establishing an online presence via Alamy and Artbound Community
- Exhibition Work at the Corn Exchange, Leeds
- Theological Research – ongoing
- Theological Artwork and Photography – Bradford Cathedral
- Visits to Northumberland
- Production/Writing of Book to accompany the series to run in conjunction with my dissertation + an online portfolio creation and adjoining individual website
- Holiday destination of Samui to establish work base and take photography to sell via Alamy
Three Tier Package for the Wedding Industry:
Wedding Package Numero Uno:
- A one to one personal service including a full wedding invitation list for 100 – 150 guests
- Luxury venue
- *A couture designed wedding gown
- Gentlemen’s attire for groom and best man
- *Handmade designer wedding rings
- Gifts for Bridesmaids plus their attire for the day
- Hair, beauty, make up and pampering session for the bride and bridesmaids
- A two week honeymoon with complimentary champagne or a three night stay in an exclusive Venice Hotel or a two week stay in Samui
- *Transportation: horse drawn carriage, limosine or helicopter
- *Transportation arrangements for guests
- *Music: four string quartet, jazz band or rock group
- Complimentary CD of wedding songs
- Complimentary champagne at the reception
- An a la carte menu for up to 150 guests including drinks on arrival
- Flowers for the venue (co ordinated)
- Flowers for the bride, bridesmaids and button hole for the groom and best man
- Speeches written for the groom and the best man
- *Services of a professional photographer, wedding portfolio
- Services of a professional videographer
- *Three tier wedding cake
- *Full colour co ordinated event
- *Pre dinner event for the bridal party
- Church fees including licence
- Guide to church weddings
- Guide to alternative weddings and venues
- *Fireworks display
- Dance lessons
Prices from 32,000 – 50,000 (*additional options indicated and extendable)
This plan forms the basis of our top of the range wedding planning package where photography is a part of the arrangement. There are two alternative packages available from between 7,000 – 12,000 respectively.
- Competitive Advantage
The business proposal does not have any real means of identifying competitive advantage currently in Samui, however, over the next three years when the house is completed for us to live in and we move out there, this will clearly develop.
In the UK however, an ongoing blog, establishing the business through the GRID and creating a website will create some advantages. The idea being that lower costs be passed on to the customer while I am still learning but still offering a good service as I have experience of working as a professional Wedding Planner. Additionally I will be following up on the plans of exhibition work which will be funded by applying for an enterprise grant working alongside Fabric and/or Steve at the Gallery to create our own exhibition/curatorship where I will also be exhibiting. Theologically updating Bradford Cathedrals Artspace as part of my dissertation so that I can be ready for the planned exhibition in 2016.
The key members are tabled in a list below with their respective roles. Their relevant experience and accomplishments (CV listing for each member) is included in the Business Plan.
This review proposes that no additional team members are required as allowances have been made for expertise regarding legal matters, (such as registering their product for license and distribution or patenting the product) and in the same vein, money has been set aside for paying an Accountant through my partners business in Samui.
The requirement for more than one member of staff in order to complete the necessary tasks will depend on demand. The videographer also has a successful online business and therefore would also be employed on a part time basis and only when the photographer was working as a Wedding Consultant. This is an estimation of earnings only currently.
7. Financial Forecasts (Sales)
The Sales Forecast and Revenue Projections were calculated using figures for the previous years (2009-2012 where there was a growth in financial projections of a similar nature) allowing for inflation and a raise in costs generally.
The plan contain realistic elements to financial projections as it bases its information on information which has already been gathered, showing a steady rise in profit potential, which, if anything, is an underestimate. However, as my partner and I do not wish to work full time, then our income will reflect our other desire to work rather than our need.
- Management Capability
Due to advise and experience having already been sought on management capabilities, the strength of the business proposals success will rest with the experience of its team and what will be available in the market in Samui which has yet to be investigated. Funding and management for the remainder of my plans will be carried out on a self employed basis. Costs for books to complete my research and any printing costs has been factored into my ongoing student budget as it will be part of my last year of studies.
- Financial Understanding – Profit and Loss Projections – Three year Analysis
If anything, these costs have been underestimated, the business proposal projections of profit and loss have been calculated on previous earnings while studying. The income generated from these costings alone will be sufficient to live on in Samui which is still the ultimate plan. My partner is due to retire in 2017 and is capable of purchasing the accommodation we need here in the UK. I will use one of the rooms (or garage) to set up a studio if required
Telecommunication Costs are adequate at 2 x 10 per month for a mobile + the office telecommunications (printer, fax, digital communications system) which is based on current costs.
Office Rent would change with the rate of inflation but would increase depending on location. However, office space would not be an issue as I intend to work from home and would cost in any additional studio space as required and pass these costs on direct to the customer.
Gas, Electricity, Water and Taxes/Rates have been included and would be offset as a private dwelling or factored into costs in my partners business and shared equally. This would be estimated at 1,000 per annum.
Office Supplies can and are often under-estimated and the author would request that a budget of at least £250-400 per annum was allowed as software licensing has not been accounted for. *NB: it is important to note that the business will not commence for another three years so the average estimated rates of inflation have been included in the final costing.
Maintenance Costs can also rise with inflation but more importantly the age of the occupied building should also be costed into any budget. This is difficult to estimate without carrying out an indepth building survey being carried out on each of the occupied premises. In any eventuality, these costs would come under the general heading of household expenditure and are therefore not applicable.
A three year analysis would need to factor in the appropriate rises in inflation (which currently stands at 2.7%) as the inflation rate has decreased now (Dec 2014 update) any profit gained from this would be plowed back into the business.
|Electricity & Gas||1,000||1,200||1,500|
The owner has no personal investment in the business venture to date other than the investment previously undertaken for the Wedding Planning Business.
- Investment Potential and Plan Strength
It will be difficult to estimate the strength of the plan prior to going to Samui. Once that has been undertaken, the owner will have a better understanding of the market and if any investment potential is required. The owner doubts that this will be necessary, therefore this part of the business plan will need to be addressed once the owner has visited the island.
- Green /Energy Focus or related product/service
No sustainability of green energy or focus on related products and services that saved energy were given other than an investment in green energy with the car we will drive and the house we will own which will come under a separate household budget which will remain separate from the business plan and therefore not applicable.
The strategic planning of the industry appears to be effective as current data shows that many couples travel out to the island from the UK to get married and have a honeymoon. As far as the owner is currently aware there are no books currently available on the species of native flowers on the island. However, more Market Research may be required as the global economy is currently highly volitale and unpredictable. It would also appear that equivalent, successful comparisons have been made in order to predict current trends and saleability.
- Formal Presentation
The design concept of the business plan is an effective one, which enables the seer to gain a fundamental knowledge of the object of the plan which are sales of the product (i.e. the photography). The layout follows a detailed and thorough format, allowing for easy access to specific points of the plan which is pleasing to the eye and yet not too full with detail. The plan in its construct would appeal to a variety of aspects of the industry (i.e. Financial), who would be involved in looking at the plan in greater detail but a simpler version would be required if a Sales Presentation was required in order to gain the interest of the appropriate audience, therefore several smaller versions of the plan would be required. This report would recommend therefore that Business Plan be amended to reflect these interests.
As yet, no storyboards or conceptual artwork to accompany the business plan have been introduced. If this business plan was to be accepted, this would be expected and would be revealed in the form of a photography portfolio of work by the author which would detail the specialist areas of professional interest. It is clear that the visual image of such a product would play a crucial part in the success of marketing, advertising and implementing the business. A design of a logo would need to be confident which would engage the target audience. The overall presentation of the business plan would be better validated with clearly defined images from the actual product, hence the reason for including a photograph as an idea for implementing a logo.
- Contigency Plan
There is not any particular requirement for a contingency plan for this business proposal and evaluation currently as we are intending to retire fully within the next two years. Photography will remain a hobby after this time and any work after the cut off point of 2017 will not be considered to be large enough to warrant running a business unless we consider carrying on with it.
The aim of this evaluation is a difficult one, as it must profess to assess the effectiveness of the Business Plan prior to any intervention taking place. Objectivity may also prove difficult, as the Business Plan’s creator is also its evaluator.
Several aspects of the proposed Business Plan would require a rewrite if the launch of the business was to be successful, with detailed conceptual artwork and a full photography portfolio of work was available which will be carried out in 2015/16. Success depends on being able to maintain this level of creativity nor does the plan make any mention of the companies own potential for growth (for example: having staff take on smaller projects from other competitors) other than the mention of considering employing a videographer to assist with any Wedding Work. The business may well be sold on with some of the equipment and there would be some profit in that.
Any protocols which were used as a tool for assessment of the business plan have followed, where possible, elements of comparative analysis with a systematic review. Due to the constraint requirements of this report it has not been possible to use the SWOT analysis tool to determine if the overall the Business Plan is fundamentally comparable to its competitors, as there is a considerable lack of information in the business plan to make this report watertight.
The report recommends a full reassessment prior to the launch of the business if the company wishes to be ultimately successful.
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