The Weekly(ish) Update
7th March 2011 - Issue Twenty Two
Life is all about learning..
I have had a real rollercoaster of a week. I started Custom Vision Photography thinking that effort equals reward, and I guess to a degree that this is true, but not in the way I originally had thought.
I finished working my factory job a couple of weeks ago and all my effort then focused on selling something to get my business up and running. I received a little bit of money when I finished my job and decided to spend that mostly on the things I needed to create products to sell.
First I got some timber to make the frames, then I got the brushes, string, pins, timber stain, and clear lacquer needed to finish the frames off so they are to a standard that I am happy with. I am actually really happy with the way that they look and the fact that I am able to reproduce the desired look as many times as I choose to quickly, now means I have a simple procedure that works and this sets a standard for the rest of the things I plan doing.
After sourcing some glass at an affordable price, and then discovering a place that gave me sheets of the board I need to cover the back of each image to protect it in its frame, I was able to create half a dozen complete items that I initially decided to sell for fifty dollars each, but after speaking with a few people and realising my market is rather limited by the economic situation New Zealand is in, both before and after the Christchurch earthquake, I lowered the price to forty dollars and officially put them out for sale.
I put a couple in my birth fathers bar downstairs, and four across the road on the wall of the hairdressers, all patiently waiting to be taken to their new home, where ever that may be.
I said ‘patiently waiting’ because I still have not sold any of my framed prints, so I thought I would add something else to my product range to increase the odds of a sale. One of my ideas was to do children’s portraits, to go to the child care centres and kindergartens in Hamilton and offer a low cost service to parents where the organisation receives a small donation from me in return for promoting my service, something I thought was a great idea.
I realised that I would have make specific flyers and deliver them myself, so that is exactly what I did. I created a flyer that promoted a special offer to launch Custom Vision.
On Tuesday night I created 200, delivered them to as many houses the next day as I could before running out, Wednesday night I created 300, delivering them to another group of houses (which included two child care facilities) the next day before running out, and Thursday night I created a mammoth 500+ flyers that I very nearly almost delivered all of before it rained heavily on Friday afternoon as I was posting them in peoples letter boxes, but I still managed to deliver well over one thousand flyers to potential customers.
The trouble was I didn’t get a single phone call for the effort I put in. I did realise that it is possible that some people may have looked at my website as a result, but this was not what I expected and my initial thought was this simply meant that I would need to do more than I had already done. I surprised myself by wanting to do even more, that I was actually prepared to deliver these silly bits of paper to every house in Hamilton if I had to, knowing that if I didn’t give up I eventually would be rewarded, and that’s a pretty big statement for someone in the position I have put myself in.
I have less than forty dollars in the bank. My rent is paid until the 20th of March but I do not have any food left in the cupboard and currently can not afford to get any more until I sell something (wether it be photography related or not) and I somehow need to put money into my bank account this week regardless so there is money there to pay my automatic payments that will cause more trouble if I don’t put money into the account, because it is actually easier to find the amount required that I don’t have now than have to still pay the money I owe plus all the fees charged on top of the missed payments later.
Not having sold anything, and more importantly not having any one interested in buying anything, quickly led me to the realisation that I might need to get alternative employment to supplement the lack of income from my new venture. I still have bills to pay. I still need to get food for myself, and soon I would have rent to pay. The realisation was I do not have any money left to support myself.
I got on the internet without really thinking about it and looked for a job. As I was doing this I kept thinking how easily I had given up, how disappointing it was that I had to alter my strategy and effectively take a step backwards, but the reality was this is what I think I need to do.
Its funny how life tests people, I’ve had a few in my life and I guess this is just another test.
I’m not sure if I passed or failed, I do know that I got the job I applied for and that should be confirmed by the time most of you read this. Ironically just after the phone call I received telling me to bring my banking details and tax number to a meeting with my new boss, I got another phone call from a lady who wants a portrait taken of her and her two children. I had to laugh.
I have set up Custom Vision Photography and as far as I am concerned it is now officially operating as a business, that part of my plan is complete. I have learnt a lot the last few weeks and one of the things I learnt was that I need to finance my business myself and to do that I need money, so I have had to get a job to do that. A new job is a step forward. This is simply the reality of my situation.
In starting Custom Vision Photography I have committed myself to making this business grow, because I still want to fulfil my desire to achieve something more from my life and help those who help young New Zealanders, I have had to get a job to fund this, and this simply allows me to continue what I want to do after discovering what it is that I need to do.
So, the plan is to get the other things I need to be a professional photographer, something that my new job will pay for. To then build up Custom Vision Photography’s client base after I finish work and on weekends so I hopefully reach a point where I can effectively run the business on its own and not need the extra employment to pay the bills. I have learnt a lot the past three weeks..
..life is all about learning.
Till soon.. Stay safe.. Be You!!!