Ever wonder how the successful bosses you look up to actually handle their money? I sure have and so has my friend Reina. We had questions, but we felt weird asking each other or other boss friends about it. Well we’ve recently decided enough is enough. It’s time to make it normal to talk about money with each other! Introducing the “PAY YO’ SELF SERIES”. One month, 8 successful bosses sharing their money secrets, + one webinar to share what Reina + I learned and answer your money questions!
For week #3 on my blog we have Hope Taylor of Hope Taylor Photography. I also met Hope one year ago at the Creative at Heart Conference, but was blown away by her photography, leadership skills, and knack for creating an unbelievable client experience long before that. Hope is incredibly talented at what she does and was able to create a very successful business straight out of high school. So I can’t wait for you to learn all about how she manages money in her business!1. Can you tell us about the various income streams that make up your business revenue?
Because I specialize in multiple types of photography + I am also an educator, I have a few of these! My senior clients + wedding clients make up about half of my revenue, while my mentoring sessions + workshops make up the other half.
2. Do you set up a budget for your business? If yes, what does your budget usually include/look like?
Yes! In the first two years of my business, a very large part of my budget went back into my business in the form of education and equipment. Because I was 17 and didn’t have any bills to be paying, I was able to invest almost ALL of my money back into my business. I place a very high value on education in the industry, so investing in workshops and conferences was huge for me. This was a BIG blessing during those first two years. Now, my budget looks a little different. A good portion of it is still re-invested, but not nearly as much as those first two years.
3. Do you pay yourself? If so how do you decide how much to pay yourself? If not how does that part of your business work?
This is something that I am beginning this year! As I transfer my business into an LLC S-Corp, I will begin paying myself for the year of 2016. I will be paying myself a very small salary each month to be used for personal purchases and investments, but the remainder of my revenue will be used for my business.
4. Do you invest back into your business (education/equipment etc.)? If so how much money do you put aside for that and what do you invest in?
Yes, absolutely! I may have cheated and answered this one a little earlier 🙂 In the first two years of my business, investing in education was a very high priority for me. I attended 7 wedding photography workshops and 3 conferences in those first two years, so I invested a lot! However, I was in a unique situation because of the fact that I did not have any bills or monthly expenses outside of my business. This allowed me to use the rest of my revenue to help grow my business and set it up for success after those first two years. Education was a HUGE part of that for me! I also invested in all of my equipment so that, after those first 24 months, I didn’t need to continue investing in large pieces of equipment like camera bodies or lenses.
5. Do you or have you started to work with a book keeper or an accountant? If yes, when did you take that leap?
Yes! I have started working with an accountant this year and I absolutely love her. I decided to take that leap this year (2.5 years into my business) because of the transition from a sole-proprietor to an S-Corp. Additionally, finances became something that was a huge cause of stress in my business. I tried to avoid conversations about money as much as I could because I felt like I had NO IDEA what I was doing. And I think a lot of us feel that way! Our brains are wired to be creative, not necessarily to be our own book keepers or accountants. My accountant was easily one of the best investments I’ve made in my business thus far!
6. What fears did you have around making or spending money in the beginning of your business? Do you have different fears or obstacles now, if yes can you explain?
Like I mentioned above, the financial side of my business was always a source of stress for me. I always feared that there were things I didn’t know/wasn’t doing correctly and ways that I could be better handling my accounting. I think that we ALL share this fear at some point in our business, so outsourcing this portion of things to my accountant has relieved so much stress!
7. Is there anything else you would like to share with new entrepreneurs who are nervous when it comes to making/handling the money in their business?
Take a deep breath, I promise you are not alone! We ALL have fears and insecurities surrounding the accounting portion of our business, so please do not feel like you are the only one! Don’t be afraid to ask questions, no matter how small they are. I always feared that my questions sounded silly and uneducated, so I refrained from asking them. But the BEST thing you can do is educate yourself and ask a professional for help!
I would also suggest always letting an accountant handle your taxes from the very beginning of your business. They can help you catch things that you may otherwise miss and save you a lot of money with business expenses and write-offs.
MORE ABOUT HOPE:
My name is Hope Taylor and I am an international senior portrait, wedding photographer + educator based in Fredericksburg, VA! I love Jesus, Kate Spade + rainbow sprinkled donuts!