Photo studio business plan

The financial model of the photo studio

Brief Investment Memorandum

Every person periodically takes a photo for documents. Such photographs are needed when applying for a job, when applying to any educational institution, when issuing an internal and foreign passport, passes, badges, medical certificates, identity cards, student cards, and more. It is quite difficult to make high-quality photos that meet all the conditions of bodies and institutions on your own, so there will always be a need for the services of photo salons.

According to experts, the demand for professional photography and photo souvenirs will continue to grow in the future. Such a business does not require too high costs and is highly profitable. In addition, you do not need to be a photographer and be a professional in this area, the business is quite easy to organize.

At first glance, the photo salon market seems already crowded, but with the right organization, you can occupy your niche and attract a stream of customers.

The initial investment is 378,500 rubles.

The break-even point is reached in the second month of operation.

Payback period: 9 months.

Average net profit: 74,000 rubles.

Description of business, product or service

The photo studio provides the following list of services and goods:

If you are an experienced photographer looking for ways to earn extra money, then pay attention to this business idea for organizing a photography school.

The target audience in this business is divided into two categories:

  • professionals are people who want to acquire photography skills and start making money on it (wedding photography, photo shoots, portraiture and others).
  • amateurs - who want to master the basics of photography, some image processing practices in order to create their own photo albums or maintain pages on social networks.

To put it bluntly, photography is now actively involved in many areas of human activity, especially on the Internet: photos on social networks, images of goods in online stores, maintaining information and news sites, advertising and SMM, and others. Offline photography is used by designers, printing and advertising agencies and others. And there are a lot of people who are engaged in photography as a hobby, therefore the demand for training services in this niche is high, there are only seasonal drops in audience activity in the summer.

Of course, the Internet provides a huge amount of information, both on photography itself and on image processing using software, but a business in the format of photography courses allows you to systematize knowledge, draw up clear and effective programs for students and in a short time to give practical skills to novice photographers. This is a definite plus in the modern pace of life, when time is money.

It is also important that students take master classes from experienced specialists in the market, from whom they can get instant answers to their questions, and practical advice on finding orders for photography and other exclusive information.

The photography school is a format of teaching in groups. Homework and skill assessment instills a competitive spirit and stimulates students to be creative and take real-life pictures. In addition, this is communication with a group of people who are interested in photography and getting new acquaintances.

Before opening a photography school, it is worth analyzing competitors in terms of the directions of training programs, advertising strategy, prices for services and the format of working with clients. This information will allow you to strengthen part of the directions or add new ones, improve and expand the number of advertising platforms and, in general, take your place in the market for these services.

A photography school is not a highly profitable business and you should not count on super profits, but if you start it on the basis of an existing photo studio, you can provide stable additional income and many new acquaintances in a professional environment. Plus, student feedback will help promote your company's brand.

Business format

Starting a photography school can be segmented in several ways.

1. Do I need a license for such educational activities?

In practice, there are two approaches that entrepreneurs use.

  • Summary
  • Description of the company and industry
  • Description of products (services)
  • Market analysis
  • Organizational Plan
  • Personnel and Management
  • Operational Plan
  • Marketing Plan
  • Risks and Insurance
  • Financial plan and financial strategy


Goals in business: this project is a description of the creation of a photo printing center LLC Photodesign, which will specialize in the provision of photo printing services, editing and restoration of photographs and the sale of related products. It is supposed to carry out the deployment of the business project within. 5.5 years, (including 6 months - preparatory stage) with an average annual number of personnel in the first year - 21 people (by the end of the 6th year - 45 people). For the successful implementation of the project, it is necessary to ensure the proceeds of at least 4770 thousand rubles. in the first year of the project. The forecast of the demand level shows that by the end of the 5th year, the revenue can be increased to 30,000 thousand rubles. The required production area is 80 sq. m .; premises for office and trading floor - 120 sq. m. The premises are planned to be rented. Business opportunities and strategy for their implementation: currently the photo services market is developing at a fairly high rate, and although the increased interest in the services of such companies is beginning to fade, this type of product will always be popular, since photographs have become an integral part of the life of any family. In addition, there are many historical and cultural monuments in our city, with the development of the city, the demand for photographs, postcards will grow both from the population and from the guests of the city. Potential consumers of the company are both the resident population of the city and its guests. The target segment for the company is all families and single people, except for retirees. The potential market capacity will be 541 thousand films per year - the demand for film and development, 19476 thousand per year for printing photographs, as well as about 8.5 thousand cameras per year (assuming that every tenth family will buy a new camera). In addition, digital printing services, the market for which is at a development stage, will be in great demand as the well-being of the population grows. The main strategy for the competitiveness of the projected company will be a comprehensive strategy to reduce prices, improve quality and service levels in order to penetrate the market and expand sales. The projected market share of the projected company in the first year will be about 10%, which is approximately equal to 584.28 thousand photographs per year.

Competitive advantages: at present, the photo services market is developing at a fairly high rate and is quite mature. Currently, there are about 10 companies providing photography services in the city's market, and only 3 companies are the largest and potentially serious competitors. In addition, there are several large specialized centers in the city that provide comprehensive, inexpensive photography services.

The main competitive advantages of this project are:

  • use of new high-performance equipment;
  • equipment of a large shopping pavilion, which will provide a wide range of services and become a digital printing center;
  • main the competitiveness strategy of the projected company will be a comprehensive strategy to reduce prices, improve quality and service level in order to penetrate the market and expand sales;
  • cost reduction due to high equipment productivity, improved service quality, lower prices, more complete customer satisfaction by expanding the range of services and introducing a flexible system of discounts.

The financial resources required for the implementation of the project amount to 4861.15 thousand rubles, including those available from the initiators of the project - 1561.15 thousand rubles. The rest of the amount is planned to be obtained by purchasing a machine for developing and printing photographs on lease. Lease payments will be made annually. The preferred amount of payment for leasing services is 50% of the cost of the equipment.

The payback period of the project, calculated by determining the net present value on an accrual basis, is 2.5 years. The calculations used the forecasted real interest rate on loans - 22% per annum. Projected financial results. Net profit for five and a half years will amount to 16,790 thousand rubles, while the average return on assets will be 201.75%. The preferred organizational and legal form of project implementation is a limited liability company.

Company and Industry Description

Currently, the photo services market is developing at a fairly high rate. This type of product will always be popular, as photographs have become an integral part of the life of any family. The specificity of activities in the field of providing photography services requires special attention to the location of the future company. For the photo center it is necessary that its location be as convenient as possible for the residents of the city - its potential clients. At the same time, it is also necessary to take into account the location of competitors, as well as the cost and availability of the required space in the area. In order to identify the most successful location of the photo center, the advantages and disadvantages of the location of the future company on several central streets of the city were assessed. It was found that the most advantageous location would be the city center and its busiest street - Moskovskaya, or streets located in the immediate vicinity of it. The disadvantage of this placement is the close proximity to competitors. It is supposed to take a room of 200 sq. m. for rent (previously - next to the Prospectus). The lease agreement provides for overhaul of the premises and external repairs of the building and a monthly rent of 1,000 rubles. The contract is concluded for a period of 20 years. In addition, it is planned to rent a warehouse at 17/25 Universitetskaya Street, with an area of ​​50 sq. m.

Vladimir Kuzmin is engaged in the development of several projects - in the development of websites, teaching photography, organizing quests. He also writes a book and advises entrepreneurs on business planning. Several years ago he became a pioneer in teaching photography in Veliky Novgorod. His photography school is working steadily from year to year, recruiting new groups.

Monetizing Knowledge

Photography school is not my main business today. Although, in principle, it is difficult for me to single out any main direction in my activity. If we consider current projects solely in terms of financial turnover, then the main one is, of course, website development. Although, from the point of view of importance for me, I put the photography school in second place among other businesses. So far, the photography school is based solely on my direct participation in its development. I have no hired employees in this project, I work alone. In other areas, I either lead or partly participate in the leadership.

At one time an employee worked with me in a photography school project, but then he left for St. Petersburg, and I have not yet found a worthy replacement for him. The fact is that in such a business you need to be a high-level professional - not only in photography, but also in teaching. Therefore, if the staff of the school is expanded, then only not at the expense of quality.

When I studied photography, there were no photography schools yet, the Internet was poorly developed, and there was not much information on the Internet 10 years ago. Self-education was difficult: I had to sit in libraries and buy books. I was gaining knowledge from various sources. Over time, I started a blog and started writing useful articles there, just sharing my experience.

For many years I have been shooting as a commercial photographer, sometimes people, mostly my clients, turned to me for advice, and I helped them, at first completely free of charge. Over time, it became clear that people show a certain interest in photography, they buy semi-professional cameras and want to learn how to photograph well. I took advantage of this opportunity: for modest money I developed a program, tested it and began to develop short-term courses of 6-7 lessons (photography basics, photography tactics, photography business, etc.). As a result, photography and teaching experience has combined into several good education courses in fine art photography.

Competition Rules

I was almost the very first who created a photography school in Veliky Novgorod with a certain level of teaching and price policy. Proving to people that you are a good teacher is a tremendous job. Due to the fact that by this period I had a great experience of working as a photographer, experience of teaching at the university, I was able to attract the first students. In addition, I already had customer reviews, which is important. I know that in Veliky Novgorod someone else tried to create photo schools, but as far as I know, there was always a problem with the recruitment of groups. Now there is one school operating in this market, but in a rather narrow segment it is a photography school for young mothers. But we are not competing with her, since I am not touching on this segment.

In my photography school, the courses are different, I also have a course in theoretical photography, where only the basics of photography are taught, and a course in Photoshop, and a course in practical photography. If the student has a camera, good. If not, then I provide the camera for the duration of the training. But I can also help the student to buy the most suitable camera.

I don't plan enrollments for a year, I usually schedule courses for two or three months. The work with one group ends - the recruitment to a new one immediately begins, people are enrolled gradually.

Where to start

Anyone who wants to open their own photography school, first of all, needs to decide how interesting photography is as an occupation. A photography school cannot be classified as a high-margin business, but with the right approach and a sincere passion for photography, this business can bring good profits and moral satisfaction. Photo schools can be online and offline. It is most beneficial to combine both formats in order to expand the customer flow. Our plans are to expand the "retail" network, to open in new regions. Online courses work for a Russian-speaking audience, in the future - translation into English.

There are two ways: you can open a school yourself, study theory and comprehend practice, gaining your own experience from mistakes, or purchase a franchise. In the second case, you need to study the market in advance and choose a company that has developed a high-quality training program and favorable conditions.

I have been professionally involved in photography since 2021. Since 2021, my team and I have been organizing photocrossing in our city - competitive events for photographers, a kind of quests with the determination of the winners. This led to the fact that we were approached by people who are passionate about photography, who want to master professional techniques. At first I felt insecure, giving them express classes, creative meetings and master classes, but the feedback from the students was positive, and I thought about creating a photography school to put education on stream. By the way, some of our students later moved to Moscow and St. Petersburg and became recognized photographers there, they also work at the federal level.

The only company from which we would like to buy a franchise (we were sure of the quality of their services) set unfavorable conditions - we did not have the required amount. As a result, we chose an independent path. This meant that at the start we invested less, but the payback period and the total amount of investment increased. This factor should be considered when planning. In turn, now we ourselves are developing a franchise model, which we will implement after a while, it implies a quick exit to self-sufficiency.

First, you need to identify the requests of potential customers. What kind of photography do the people of your city want to study? As a rule, some trends remain constant for a long time: many people are interested in wedding photography - it is quite profitable, in addition, beginners are interested in how to master photography as a hobby - in order to shoot their loved ones, travel with a camera at the ready.

Of course, you also need to study the competitive field. There is no competition in our market, which, by the way, helps to develop dynamically. In the region where we started, 2-3 permanently operating photography schools, a few more periodically appear on the market and soon close. Unfortunately, players providing low-quality services spoil the reputation of the entire market. But in general, there is no need to be afraid of competition. The niche is still empty.

If there are still strong market players in your region, you need to study their activities, compare their competitive advantages and yours, work on detuning from competitors - come up with your own "chips" that are relevant to your audience. You need to understand how the market players are doing - find out how often they recruit groups, what courses are most popular, what is the average flow of clients per month.

It is very important to avoid the mistakes that your competitors make. You have to offer what they cannot offer to customers.

Now a lot of interesting and useful information can be found on the Internet. However, people continue to receive training. What is the advantage of the photography school that we tell our clients about? First, organized information is very important. We give only the most necessary information, filtering out the unnecessary. Studying in a photography school is a directed work on your skills, an opportunity to ask questions and quickly get answers to them, to learn certain lessons in time. Thanks to practical exercises and homework assignments, new information is quickly fixed in memory. Second, practice and mentoring. Thirdly, teamwork, which does not allow you to relax and sets the dynamics. The main competitive advantage is experienced teachers and a proven training program that we are confident in. I would go to our photography school myself if I was a beginner. By the way, in order not to “compete” with the Internet, we ourselves place free content on our website and in our social networks - these are articles, photos, training videos. Clients come to the photography school for exclusive information and experience of teachers that cannot be found on the Web.

In order to overtake competitors, it is better to focus on educational projects in other areas - for example, on strategies for the development of language schools that are developing in a highly competitive environment and are forced to come up with new ways to attract customers.

For financial "safety net", you can choose several directions in the school, so as not to be limited only to photography: for example, in our photography school, training is also carried out in video direction. In addition, we ourselves carry out photography on orders and this brings us additional profit, which supports the business in the so-called "off-season" (for example, in summer there are fewer students, and in September the audience becomes more active).

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