It’s such a bummer to see so many photographers killing it with camera skills, but then (bad) killing it with lack of business skills. They are bad-killing it by falling into this “it’ll never happen to me” mentality.
This sentiment is shared almost daily in our online community and through legal inquiries. There is this rampant idea of “it will never happen to me” and many business owners end up falling victim to government fines, client issues, or lack of progress in business all because they didn’t get serious about their business.
And you know the only people who win these situations? The lawyers.
And that royally sucks.
It is interesting. In the community, I recently asked why people get “legal” in their business. Almost none said it had to do with peers; others said it had to do with a fear of liability and that it was required. That was maybe fifty people out of a twenty-five thousand member group. That doesn’t even include the hundred thousand plus people on this email list.
So this begs the question: Why are so many people leaving themselves open for issues?
I sat down and inquired to many of those who didn’t respond. The answer? Many are so overwhelmed because they don’t know what they don’t know. Unfortunately, this unknown leaves people wide open to legal pitfalls. This, of course, makes me want to respond with the ever funny (to me) comment of …there’s a legal resource for that… *cough* TheLawTog *cough*.
But the thing is…it’s not funny.
Let me share with you some of the real issues that have surfaced lately:
Not knowing how and when to update contracts. Client got stuck under a 3-year old pricing of weddings and is paying now to enforce a contract to recoup $5k difference. The clients have also counterclaimed against photographer for misactions on her part. The jury is still out, but I tell you what – the only ones winning here are the lawyers.
Not forming a business structure that provides limitation of liability and being sued personally. This photographer is being named in a lawsuit. Even though it’s on a seemingly minor breach, his personal assets are going to be touched due to the lack of simple filing and adherence to liability protection laws.
Not understanding how taxes work, what deductions work best, and how to save/remit taxes landed one unfortunate photographer into tens of thousands of dollars of tax debt, late fees, and potential judgment on personal assets.
What can you do?
These are just three common issues that have surfaced in the photography world recently. There’s a good line of twenty other issues I could name off the top of my head but for the sake of time – you’ll just have to trust me.
Until you, as the small business owner, wake up and recognize the need to get your stuff in order – time is just ticking by.
You may be one of the lucky ones who never has an issue, or you may be on the many who are spending thousands of dollars, hundreds of hours, and many tears trying to fix sitautions that could’ve been relatively prevented from the beginning.
Investing in the legal protection of your business is crucial.
My two-cents of free legal advice this morning – get your stuff taken care of now. A few hundred dollars investment can save you in ways that even insurance or a smart business owner can’t.
For many, you can’t afford to go hire a lawyer, CPA, financial planner, business consultant, pricing coach, retirement planner, etc, etc.
Enter my biz webcourse, BizRevamp. Whether you’ve been in business ten years, just new, or are considering taking money for photos – you need to have your stuff in order.
This six-week course teaches the following:
*business formation (choosing & filing)
*taxes (organizing, saving, planning for)
*retirement (selecting an option)
*insurance (the types & needs)
*pricing and sales (methods & sales psychology)
*legal (contracts, intellectual property, etc.)
This is a good financial investment to help prepare you to understand and implement these areas of your photography business. With an exclusive student-only community filled with 1:1 by myself and the team, lessons from experts in each area, fully-downloadable, videos and transcripts, as well as life-time access, you’re going to be hard pressed to find all this much value and well-rounded information elsewhere.
If nothing else, this convenient and well-rounded course provides more than you’re going to get googling or visiting with a professional for an hour. Each professional expert (lawyers, CPAs, financial planners, etc.) understand how photography businesses work – this gives you an enhanced and more accurate view into how to properly apply these topics to your photography business.
You don’t have to take my word for it, you can join the thousands of fellow photographers who have taken BizRevamp over the last seven years.
But you don’t have to enroll with me. I just want to make sure you are getting the help you need. I just am offering a low-cost and efficient option. You don’t have to take me up on the course – I do hope you take me up on the encouragement to get your business legal and solid.
Have any questions about the course? Visit the FAQ page!
If you have any questions, just drop us a line.
We are here to help.
Rachel Brenke & TheLawTog® Team
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