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Starting a photography business may seem straightforward in New Zealand. Still, some hurdles and difficulties in the legal and commercial space may not be readily apparent at first. Your photography skills might be first-rate, but it is worth thinking about some of your business’ more mechanical and administrative aspects. You want to be on top of these details, particularly in the early stages of your business. These aspects can make all the difference to your business’ success. This article will set out three mistakes to avoid when starting a photography business, including lacking a great portfolio, not having a business plan, and not obtaining a New Zealand Business Number.

Lacking an Outstanding Photography Portfolio

The standard in the photography industry is having a fantastic portfolio that you can show to prospective clients and customers. You may be a great photographer and passionate about starting your new business. However, you need to have a vehicle to show off your talent to possible clients and customers. This can be a lengthy and tiring process, especially to make your portfolio accessible online. Still, it will pay off in dividends when growing your business in the early stages. 

It would help if you also considered keeping your portfolio current, displaying your best work and refreshing to show new shots from time to time. Think strategically about what you want your business’ brand to be and what kinds of customers and clients you are looking to attract. In a competitive photography industry in New Zealand, you will need a strong portfolio to stand out from the crowd. The administration and other work to prepare a portfolio are some of the most critical work you can do in the early stages of your new business. 

Not Having a Detailed Business Plan in Place

There are many reasons why having a detailed business plan in place is vital for new photography businesses. Some of these relate to your personal understanding of the business and vision for its growth. Others include reasonably practical assistance in operations and finance. 

It can be tempting to focus fully on photography in your new business. However, you should take the time to draw up a good business plan for yourself. You can set out your business’ target market, aims and goals, and financial planning in your plan. Developing a solid business plan is a good idea because:

  • it gives you a clear sense as a founder about the big picture of your business. Without a business plan, it can be quite easy to forget some of the more strategic considerations; 
  • it can help any other employees at your business understand your vision and goals; 
  • when seeking funding or loans from banks or investors, they will expect to see a detailed business plan; and 
  • you can target specific goals and put new business initiatives in place to achieve them.

Not Getting a NZ Business Number

Not all business founders are aware of the need to have a New Zealand business number (NZBN). It is a good idea for all new photography businesses to get a NZBN online. A NZBN is a unique identifier for your business. This number makes it easier to liaise with a range of different organisations and actors as you get your business off the ground. A NZBN will hold all of your business’ correct information in one place, making it easier to access and track. 

Depending on the business structure you choose, you may automatically assign a NZBN as a company, or you can apply for one at no cost. This is a straightforward and affordable process but is an easy one to miss in the busy reality of starting a new business. However, it can help formalise and streamline your business’ information and make your life easier later on.

Key Takeaways

When starting a photography business in New Zealand, there are legal and commercial considerations that you should bear in mind when getting your business off the ground. These include elements related to photography, like making sure you have a strong portfolio of your work in an accessible format. You should also have a detailed business plan to help get loans and financial assistance and enhance your business vision. Getting a NZBN for your business is something else that is worth doing in the early stages. 

If you want to know more about how to start a new photography business in New Zealand successfully, contact LegalVision’s business lawyers on 0800 005 570 or complete the form on this page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do all photography businesses need an online portfolio?

Yes. An online portfolio is an extremely useful tool for most photography businesses to express their talent and display their previous work.

Why should a photography business have a business plan?

There are many reasons to have a business plan, including formalising your business’ goals and aims and having a detailed document to show banks and investors if you are seeking financial assistance.

Do photography businesses need a NZBN?

Yes, it is a good idea to get a New Zealand business number as a photography business. A NZBN can hold all of your business’ correct information in one place and streamline your business relationships.

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