Hi friends! Today I’m sharing my top tips for business owners in 2022!
I don’t consider myself a business expert, but I am running one so I must know a few things! Other photographers or creatives have asked me for my best tips lately so I thought I’d just compile them all in an easy to read post.
By Dayton, Ohio Photographer Melissa Sheridan
I’ll start with this because it’s so true. You can join a mastermind, you can sign up for all the online courses on the planet, but in reality every tip or piece of advice out there is not going to work for you. Every business is unique. So just remember that just because someone recommends it and it works for them doesn’t mean it will work for you or you have to heed to that advice.
Example: “Make Instagram Reels every day! Get on TikTok! Your business will explode!”
Reality: Ended up being a colossal waste of time for me. Way too time consuming to be consistent with it when I should have been spending time on much more important work. Did not get in front of ideal clients or make ANY sales from Reels.
If Instagram Reels or [insert whatever] works for you and you see amazing results from it, that’s amazing. Keep doing it. But if you really do try something and it doesn’t work for you, it’s okay to walk away. There are many other ways to market and run your business.
I don’t know about you, but as a small business owner, social media can be one of my least favorite business tasks! There’s just so much pressure around doing it well, being consistent, and for photographers, having that nice looking feed.
I took a huge step back from social media in both 2020 and 2021. While I think having a presence and connecting with other creatives and clients is important, it’s not everything for me. If social media is stressing you out, let it go a little. You might be surprised how much you may not really need it to be a successful business. If social media hugely drives your business and leads, this might be harder for you.
My biggest tip for making peace with social media is planning it in advance. I use Planoly for Instagram and schedule posts in advance for Facebook in their Business Suite. Just sitting down and planning even a little bit of content for the week or month is helpful for my mental health so I don’t feel like I have to come up with posts on the fly.
The biggest lie I see being perpetuated lately (mostly on social media) is that if you take a break or walk away from your business or social media for a season, your business will literally go under. I am here to say that is 100% false. Breaks are so essential for a small business owners well-being, even if it’s only a day here and there. No one can be “on” 24/7. Running a business is stressful. There are seasons we have to be fully on and in hustle mode all the time. If you can, take a social media break or pre-schedule all your posts so you don’t have to be glued to it.
I have closed my business every December for three years in a row and I am still standing! This works for me because by December, I am so worn out from the busy rush of fall photos in October and November. Come December it’s basically too cold to be shooting and honestly too late to be getting Christmas card photos back to people in a timely manner. I like to protect this time of the year for my energy and my family.
Whatever your break looks like, just don’t buy into the lie that you can’t take one or feel guilty for doing so. Nothing blooms all year.
You can’t pour from an empty cup. And sometimes our own ideas and “why” behind our business can get stale.
Some ways to invest in yourself as a business owner are:
A few of my favorite business related books that I’ve read lately are The Joy of Missing Out and On Purpose by Tanya Dalton, Atomic Habits by James Clear, The 5 AM Club by Robin Sharma, and The 12 Week Year by Brian Moran.
If you were coming to this tips for business owners post in hopes that I’d share how I “cracked the code” to being successful, I am here to tell you I have not. For a long time, I was searching for answers in how to run a better business and coming to online workshops or other entrepreneurs thinking “they must have the secret sauce! I can’t wait to find out what it is!”
The long and short of it is: the secret sauce is bringing to the table what you do, consistency, trying new things, just showing up, and failing forward. Just like tip #1, not all advice works for all people. So there truly can’t be a one-size-fits-all magical business hack for everyone.
Once you drop the “there must be a magical way” mindset, things click into place. Maybe what you’re doing right now is already that magical thing. You just need to do it a little more. Try hard. Always aim to be learning. And just be you above all else in your business.
I hope you enjoyed these tips for business owners!
I know running a business is not easy and we could all use some encouragement now and then. Remember, starting is the hardest part and you are doing way better than you think!
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Melissa Sheridan is a military spouse, full time mom of two, and part time portrait and wedding photographer in Dayton, Ohio. She loves her Sony cameras, experimenting with 35mm film, The Beatles, & lots of coffee. Find her on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.