The same three things

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I must have mentioned this over and over again this morning. I was with Simon, a photographer living in the middle of Northumberland, blissfully miles from anywhere and talking to him about developing, or rather redeveloping his business. I have mentioned him before as he is someone I have the pleasure of being involved with through the Creative Fuse programme. I have probably also talked about what I mentioned in previous blogs.

I said that he is redeveloping his business as he has had a successful photography business for many years. Today however everything is being turned in its head. Everyone now thinks they are a photographer once they have their SmartPhone in hand. Stock photography, that used to provide a steady income stream, for Simon has declined and could eventually fritter away.

Of course Simon has other sources of income for his talents but the trick is to rethink his business model quickly enough to cover any decline. The rise of online sales is a great example of where he is starting to make inroads.

What I mentioned, repeatedly, was the fact that in business you have to concentrate on three things: that which you came into business to do in the first place (in Simon’s case to take photographs); the administrative work which allows the business to function, such as invoicing, distribution etc; the development of future income streams, customers, new markets and products etc.

It is never a question of one or the other. All three are equally important. Take your eye of any one of them and you will not have a business.

In larger organisations these functions can be split across different people. There may be a production department, and administrative team and a sales force but when it comes to a small business it ends up with one or two people. In Simon’s case it is him.

This is what I kept coming back to. How do you reduce the things, though essential, that suck away at your business and create the time to do more of where you add value. No doubt, I will come back to this again in the future.

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