There are plenty of strategies and tools to use when starting your photography business. There will be free tools and paid tools that you can use to improve certain aspects of your business.
However, it can be a little tiring to fight through the internet, the podcasts, the blog posts, and more with strategies that take time and energy to implement. In turn, that could be costing you time by keeping you back longer from the things that will progress your business.
There has been a strategy that has been spoken about among professional photographers for the last few years and has been given a fancy name nonetheless. This strategy takes little time and no money to implement and is easily one of the best strategies that you can use in your business.
What is it?
The strategy is called the “Ten Before Ten” rule. This rule is very, very basic. Imagine that you have emails to respond to. Maybe you have a lot of vendors to call during the week. Maybe you have reminder cards or thank you cards that need to be sent throughout the week; the “ten before ten” rule will work with almost every situation.
One of the best examples is making calls or emails. As humans in the 21st century, it seems to be a dreaded moment when you have to have an interaction. You dread trying to find the right words, your heart sinks when you think about talking on the phone, and while that’s a problem in itself, the “ten before ten” rule is going to make you take action.
How to Implement it
Implementing the “ten before ten” strategy is simple. Wake up at a decent time; somewhere between 6 and 8 and get started on the things you either dislike most, dread the most, or have the highest number of.
Sticking with the example from above, you need to call customers to schedule dates for their photo shoot. Ten. Make a list of ten of them and get them all called, scheduled, and checked off the list before 10 a.m. This is how you start to make a direct impact on your business.
Obviously, there is a habit that needs to be formed and some discipline on your part, but when you have a goal in mind, “Only ten,” you tell yourself, then you are much more likely to reach that number. You call ten customers, have their shoots scheduled, and find yourself thinking about the next customer and the next check off the to-do list instead of how much you might hate talking on the phone.
How to Optimize it
Now you know what the strategy is and how it works, but how can you make the most of it?
It’s simple, find other things you can do this with and adjust as necessary. Phone calls, emails, newsletters, e-cards, or postcards are all great examples of batch items that easily hit double digits. Other examples might include ordering certain equipment, maybe you’ve been putting it off, but you have six lights that you need to order. SIt down and get them ordered before 10 a.m.
You have resumes to go through for an apprenticeship or a new employee, sit down and narrow down those resumes (at least ten, if not more) before 10 a.m. If you have weddings or albums to edit, sit down and knock out two or three of them if you can before 10 a.m.
Ten in the morning is not a magical time, but if you can build a habit and force yourself to do the dirty, hard, and numerous things first, you are likely to have the best parts of your day- the most productive parts of your day- free and open and without worry of other tasks that you dread to get in the way.
Using the “ten before ten” strategy is just one way that you can start making good business-minded habits for your company, and it’s a very easy one to both implement and optimize. It’s free, simple, and the hardest part about it is finding your discipline because when you do, the results of this strategy will often surprise you.