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Business Plan For Event Photography

Address and Phone Number

Prepared: 4/30/01
Copy 1
Contact: Jesse Ward, Manager

►Ward’s Event Photography◄

This business plan is the property of WEP and contains proprietary information. This document cannot be reproduced, copied, or otherwise shared without the written consent of WEP.


0.0 Table of Contents

0.0: Table of Contents

1.0: Executive Summary
2.0: Company Overview
Market Opportunity Explanation
Legal Form of the Business
Company Location
Growth and Financial Objectives
Manager Information
3.0: Market Analysis
Analysis of the Industry
Target Market/Customer Profile
4.0: Service Offering
Competitive Comparison
5.0: Marketing Plan
Customer creation and retention
6.0: Financial Plan and Analysis
7.0: Cost Assumptions

1.0      2.
Ward’s Event Photography Business Plan

Executive Summary

Ward’s Event Photography (WEP) is a small business that provides photography services (with a focus on weddings) to clients looking for high quality, fair price, and great service.
WEP is organized as a sole proprietorship, with Jesse Ward as the owner and sole employee. He does all the photography for the events as well as taking reservations, purchasing equipment, and doing the business’ books.
Jesse Ward will be contributing his own capital to the business for start-up costs, and has secured financing from several other sources, but will still need $10,000 in start-up costs.
This business will be run from Howard, Colorado.
To start, WEP’s marketing plan will focus on advertising in local areas like Salida, Canon City, Buena Vista, and Leadville. The advertising will emphasize WEP’s lower price, its quality, and its high value to people who need event photography done, such as wedding planners and birthday party organizers.
There are several competitors in the local area WEP will target, but these competitors, being better established and having retail locations, will charge more than WEP plans on charging. Also, some of these competitors, like Colorado Whitewater Photography focus only on certain types of event photography, such as white water rafting, and don’t provide the quality nor price WEP will. There is an opportunity to enter the market and succeed where these other competitors are lacking.

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Ward’s Event Photography Business Plan

WEP’s vision is to provide the best photography services to people who want their special events captured and recorded for posterity at the best price and with the best value. Weddings, Birthdays, Anniversaries, Vacations, and Reunions will be WEP’s forte. Anyone with any photography service need will be able to utilize WEP’s services, however. For example, baby, engagement, and special request photography will all be available. WEP’s Mission Statement follows:
“WEP provides the best event photography service in south-central Colorado, combining value, quality, and service in a package whose price is unbeatable”.
WEP’s is requesting a 3-year, $10,000 loan for start-up costs that Jesse Ward’s contribution is unable to cover. Jesse Ward has approximately $8,000 in collateral available to secure the loan.
The requested funds will be used to purchase additional photographic equipment such as cameras, lighting accessories, developing supplies, and also to help the company during slow periods in its first year.

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Ward’s Event Photography Business Plan

Company Overview

The company’s name will be “Ward’s Event Photography”, and operate out of the home of Jesse Ward, owner and manager. There will be no retail store for the business at first, and most reservations will be taken over the phone and via e-mail.
Market opportunity explanation
The opportunity for a small start-up event photography service in this area is a good one. While there are several others in nearby towns, such as ARC Photos in Buena Vista and Avalos in Canon City, WEP would be able to offer lower prices because it doesn’t have the operating expenses the other companies do. Although there’s no store front, that means there will be no building to rent or lease and maintain. Although there’s no studio, that means there will be more capital available for travel to take pictures on location. Also, WEP will develop its own photos, thus saving time and money for developing; further reducing the price WEP will charge.
There are several assumptions WEP makes to infer that the business will be successful:
1. More established companies with more operational costs will charge more than WEP.
2. There is a desire by consumers to have available to them lower-cost event photographers.
3. Value and quality, not establishment or name recognition, is the main factor in choosing an event photographer, thus making the low-cost WEP a prime choice.

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Ward’s Event Photography Business Plan

Company Overview, continued

Legal form of the business
The company will be organized as a sole proprietorship, with Jesse Ward as the owner and manager of the company. Jesse Ward has filed Form DR0592 with the Colorado Department of Revenue and gained a D.B.A. certificate for the company.
Company Location
The company will operate out of Jesse Ward’s home at:
3000 County Road 47
Howard Colorado, 81223
This is a startup business. Jesse Ward has, to date, invested $17,000 in the business from his own savings.
Growth and financial objectives
In the beginning, WEP will be a small company, located in Jesse Ward’s home, with event photography services only. After profits begin to be made, and expansion becomes possible, it will move to a storefront in a more accessible location and add retail services such as photo developing, camera sales, and an on-site portrait studio.
As the customer base increases, more staff may also be necessary to take reservations, operate the store, and take pictures in Jesse Ward’s absence or in addition to him as another of the business’s photographers.

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Ward’s Event Photography Business Plan

Manager Information
WEP’s manager, Jesse Ward, has a bachelor’s degree in Business, as well as an associate’s degree in photography. He’s been a photographer for six years, and has worked for clients before, photographing weddings and taking baby pictures. He also has experience in behind-the-scenes wedding work, as he’s worked with a caterer on many weddings.
His experience, drive to provide quality service, and enthusiasm for his work make him an excellent photographer, and his business knowledge allows him to turn his picture-taking skill into a successful business.

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3.0                                                       7.
Ward’s Event Photography Business Plan

Market Analysis

The market for Ward’s Event Photography is always changing. Most of the time people are only married once, and if they’re married twice, there’s often a large time period in between weddings. Because of this, a population large enough to support many weddings a year is important for an event photographer. The area WEP plans to cater to includes Canon City, Salida, Buena Vista, Howard, Coaldale, Cotopaxi, and Leadville, in Fremont, Chaffee, and Lake counties. There are enough people in these areas to support several event photographers already, and so in that way the market can be shown to exist in a large enough state to be profitable. Of course, the existence of these other companies in the market would make it less accessible to WEP if WEP didn’t have the competitive advantages it does.
WEP’s price will allow it to gain customers that would otherwise go to competitors. Both first time users of event photographers as well as repeat customers of existing companies will be drawn by the lure of lower costs with the same high quality from WEP.
Analysis of the Industry
For centuries, people have been getting married. It is expected that people will continue to get married for centuries more. People also want to remember their weddings and one of the most popular ways to do this is to take photographs. Wedding photographers will continue to be needed in the future, in larger numbers as different methods of photographing come into existence.

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Ward’s Event Photography Business Plan

Some trends in the industry include the move to digital film (both photographic and video) but 35mm film is still the norm. WEP plans to move into digital photography as the business develops, which will assist the development of WEP’s website and lower developing costs through printing technologies.
WEP also plans to add videography services at a later date so that weddings can be videotaped. A whole new array of services would be available with video services.
Target Market/Customer Profile
WEP’s target market are those people seeking event photography services in the local area (Around Leadville, Salida, and Canon City).
Because price will be an important factor in WEP’s advertising and image, WEP will be able to target a wider range of customers than higher-priced companies would be able to. Though no specific demographic will be targeted, WEP expects middle class customers to be most prevalent overall. Parents, siblings, and friends of brides and grooms as well as they themselves could all conceivably be responsible for contracting a wedding photographer.
ARC Photos in Buena Vista, Avalos Photography in Canon City, Gary Adler Photography in Fairplay, and Wild Iris Studio in Salida are all WEP’s competition, offering wedding photography as well as other services in some cases.
Although being already established and having name recognition is a great plus for these companies, there is room for WEP. One studio in Pueblo advertises using price as a draw and, granted, they could be competition for the market in Canon City, but they

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Ward’s Event Photography Business Plan

can’t beat WEP’s prices, and WEP won’t let them, making sure prices stay at least 10% below theirs.
Without a studio, WEP won’t be able to initially offer all of the services its competitors can, but because of the lack of these services, WEP will be able to offer very high quality service for low prices. Once WEP is better established, other services may be added, but at first, the lack of these services is looked at as a competitive advantage.

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Ward’s Event Photography Business Plan

Service Offering


Ward’s Event Photography provides weddings, reunions, birthday parties, and other special events with a high quality, good price way to remember and cherish the memories from the event forever; photographs. WEP provides the customer a choice of photographic packages, which offer different numbers and sizes of pictures, and the customer can choose the package that best fits their needs. If no package is satisfactory, a custom package might be developed, allowing the customer to get what they need.
Though wedding and event photography is not unique in itself, WEP has a uniqueness to it that sets it apart from its competition. WEP’s uniqueness is price. The competition of WEP is of high quality and good service, but it cannot beat WEP on price. This will be WEP’s main selling point after quality and value and will draw a large number of people. Even the wealthiest people in the world would choose a lower-cost option if the quality and service were the same.
WEP offers photo-taking services for events and weddings. Wedding guests don’t have to fumble with cameras because there’s a professional photographer. Brides and Grooms don’t need to worry about the quality of their pictures because there’s a professional photographer. The professional photographer photographs the wedding. On the next page are the wedding packages offered by WEP.

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Ward’s Event Photography Business Plan

A “Wedding Package I” includes the following:

Up to 5 Hours in two locations,
250 4×6″ prints,
10 5×7″ prints,
5 8×10″ prints,
and 2 11×14″ prints,
Plus an album, the option to have the pictures uploaded to WEP’s website for viewing ($6.99 extra), and free proofs. The negatives can be bought for an additional $95.99
Price: $500.00*
*Gas costs for transportation to the wedding site, as well as overnight accommodations (if necessary) not included and will vary.
A “Wedding Package II” includes the following:
Up to 8 hours in two locations,
325 4×6″ prints,
15 5×7″ prints,
10 8×10″ prints,
5 11×14″ prints
Plus 2 albums, the pictures uploaded onto WEP’s website (for free) for viewing, free proofs, and an announcement photo. The negatives can be bought for an additional $129.99.
Price: $690.00*
*Gas costs for transportation to the wedding site, as well as overnight accommodations (if necessary) not included and will vary.

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Ward’s Event Photography Business Plan

A “Wedding Package III” includes the following:
Unlimited time (up to two days, accommodations included in price) at up to 3 locations,
450 4×6″ prints,
25 5×7″ prints,
20 8×10″ prints,
15 11×14″ prints,
Plus 4 albums (arranged chronologically), the pictures uploaded onto WEP’s website (for free) for viewing and download for 15 days, free proofs, an announcement photo, the pictures transferred to slides for slide show viewing, and the pictures will be mailed (if desired) to the customer at no additional cost. Negatives can be bought for $199.99.
Price: $1025.00*
* Gas costs for transportation to the wedding site not included and will vary.
Custom Package:
Customer defined package to fit budgets and needs.

Competitive Comparison
The price for the “Wedding Package I”, when compared to several competitors, is anywhere from 37% to 57% less than their comparable service prices. WEP maintains that they will stay at least 10% under the competition’s price at all times.

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5.0                                                       13.
Ward’s Event Photography Business Plan

Marketing Plan

Creating and Maintaining Customers

WEP’s main ally in creating customers will be the prices it charges. Because it is a one-man operation, an operation running from home, and because one of its main goals is to charge a fair price, WEP will offer its high quality services for far less than the competition. When advertising, WEP will emphasize this value and price advantage, along with quality, to attract customers who want the best pictures and deal available.
Once someone has used WEP as their event photographer, the high quality of service, professionalism, and consistently low prices will bring the customer back the next time the need for an event photographer arises.
Besides creating customers through advertising, word of mouth once WEP’s services and price become better known will create customers. Friends and family of customers will hear about WEP through existing customers and they will, when they need a high-quality, fair-priced event photographer, look to WEP first.
Because price will be a large draw for customers, and WEP will focus on the low cost of its services, WEP will closely monitor its competitor’s prices. WEP will charge less than the competition’s average price for comparable services as well as photograph two locations for no additional charge (if the wedding and reception are in different locations, for instance) and stay up to an additional 3 hours for only $30.00. Of course, prices vary greatly between photographers and the types as well as the number of pictures they take, with prices ranging from $250.00 to over $12,000 in some Colorado companies, but on the next page is a basic package price for WEP.

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Ward’s Event Photography Business Plan

A Basic Wedding Package includes:

Up to 5 Hours in two locations,
250 4×6″ prints,
10 5×7″ prints,
5 8×10″ prints,
and 2 11×14″ prints,
Plus an album, the option to have the pictures uploaded to WEP’s website for viewing, and free proofs. The negatives can be bought for an additional $85.00
Price: $500.00*
*Gas costs for transportation to the wedding site, as well as overnight accommodations (if necessary) not included and will vary.

Compare this with two comparable packages: “5 hours, 200 4×6″, 10 5×7″, and 4 8×10″ with an album for $800.00 with each additional hour costing $50.00 from Essential Weddings in Glenwood Springs”, and “6 hours, 150 5×5″, a 12×12″ leather bound album, 3 10×10″, 4 8×10″, 6 5×7″, and 40 5×5″ for $1600.00, with negatives for $250.00, extra hours for $100.00, and extra film for $50.00, from Bob Sullivan Photo in Littleton”, and you can see that WEP’s prices are quite economic.
The Basic Wedding Package is only one option, however, and the customer can choose a more elaborate package or create their own custom package to meet their budget needs. WEP is very flexible, and will work with clients with nearly any budget.

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Ward’s Event Photography Business Plan

WEP’s will position itself as the “High quality, fair and low cost, professional photographer you should have discovered years ago”. Through tasteful and professional advertising in local newspapers, phone books, and in brochures, WEP will emphasize its advantages over the competition (such as inexpensive negatives, free proofs, lower hourly rates, and high quality) and encourage customers to use WEP by offering a 10% discount for those that call WEP’s 1-800 number (1-888-WED-PHOTO) or visit the website (http://www.wardsweddingphotos.com) and e-mail WEP ([email protected]) within 1 year of the ad’s placement and ask for it.
Jesse Ward will deliver WEP’s services, through the use of his camera equipment and abilities. He will drive to wedding sites in his business vehicle, a 1996 Dodge Caravan which has WEP’s phone number and website on it.
After the wedding, the photos will be developed, and either through the mail (after internet reviewing) at the client’s expense, or after the customer has viewed the pictures in person, they will be delivered to the customer, if by mail, generally within 1 week.
WEP’s promotion will consist mainly of advertisements in local newspapers, free newspapers, phone books, the internet (WEP’s website and e-mails to existing customers), and business establishments (through brochures and business cards), as well as word of mouth.
Word of mouth will increase in frequency and importance as time goes on, but the other advertisements will bring in WEP’s initial customers.

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Ward’s Event Photography Business Plan

All customers will receive a WEP brochure, and if acceptable, WEP will offer business cards to guests at the weddings. Referrals will be encouraged as well after
the wedding is completed, and WEP will reward referrals with discounts on services to both the party referred and the party who mentioned WEP to them.
WEP’s van will also serve as promotion for the company, with its name and contact information on it. It will be seen both at the weddings as well as on its way to them.
WEP’s promotional strategy will be one of gaining initial customers who then spread the word about the value and quality WEP provides, while continuously gaining new customers as well.

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Ward’s Event Photography Business Plan

Financial Plans and Analysis

Initial Capital Requirements
WEP will need approximately $27,000.00 in initial startup capital. Jesse Ward has invested $17,000 of his own savings into the business thus far to purchase a company vehicle (1996 Dodge Caravan) at $7,000.00, insignia for the van at $450.00, camera equipment at $4,500.00, computer equipment at $2,500.00 and developing equipment at $2,500.00.
The requested $10,000 is to purchase more camera equipment at $3,900.00, advertising and website maintenance at $800.00, supplies like film and albums at $800.00, and to cover miscellaneous costs during the business’ first year with the remainder of the loan.
On the following pages are the financial statements projected for the first three years of the business’ existence.

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Ward’s Event Photography Business Plan

Income Statement for the years 2002-2004

Revenue:                           2002           2003      2004
Gross Sales $11,240 $13,455 $15,670
Less Returns and Allowances 0 0 0

Net Sales 11,240 13,455 15,670

Cost of Sales:
Total Cost of Goods Sold 7,400 8,900 10,400

Gross Profit 3,840 4,555 5,270

Operating Expenses:
Advertising                 490      590       690 Depreciation           100 100           100
Total Selling Expenses 590 690 790

General Expenses:
Vehicle Insurance 900 910 930
Utilities                          3,000 3,000 3,000
Office Supplies 240 240 240
Postage 140 175 210
Total General Expenses 4,280 4,325 4,380

Total Operating Expenses: 4,870 5,015 5,170

Net income before taxes: (1,030) (460) 100
Taxes on income 0 0 25
Net income after taxes (1,030) (460) 75

Net Income (Loss) (1,030) (486) 100

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Ward’s Event Photography Business Plan

Balance Sheet for the years 2002-2004

Assets: 2002 2003 2004
Current Assets
Cash                     $3,470.00 $3,314.00 $3,250.00
Net Accounts Receivable 500.00 1,000.00 1,500.00
Inventory 0 0 0
Temporary Investment 0 0 0
Prepaid Expenses 0 0 0

Total Current Assets 3,970.00 4,314.00 4,750.00

Fixed Assets
Long Term Assets 0 0 0
Land 0 0 0
Buildings 0 0 0
Plant and Equipment 16,500.00 15,000.00 14,000.00
Furniture and Fixtures 0 0 0
Total Fixed Net Assets 16,500.00 15,000.00 14,000.00

Total Assets 20,470.00 19,314.00 18,750.00

Current Liabilities
Accounts Payable 650.00 650.00 650.00
Short Term Notes 0 0 0
Current Por. of Long Term Notes 0 0 0
Accruals and other Payables 0 0 0

Total Current Liabilities 650.00 650.00 650.00

Long Term Liabilities
Mortgage 0 0 0
Other Long-term Liabilities 9,350.00 8,700.00 8,050.00

Total Long Term Liabilities 9,350.00 8,700.00 8,050.00

Shareholder’s Equity
Capital Stock 3,490.00 3,321.00 3,050.00
Retained Earnings 6,980.00 6,643.00 7,000.00
Total Shareholder’s Equity 10,470.00 9,964.00 10,050.00

Total Liabilities and Equity 20, 470.00 19,314.00 18,750.00

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Ward’s Event Photography Business Plan

Cash Budget
2002 2003 2004 Beginning Cash Balance $4,500.00 $10,758.00 19,086.00
Cash from Operations 11,240.00 13,455.00 15,670.00
Total Available Cash 15,740.00 24,213.00 34,756.00

Capital Expenditures 0 0 0
Operating Expenses 4,780.00 5,015.00 5,170.00
Interest 112.00 112.00 112.00
Dividends 0 0 0
Debt Retirement 0 0 0
Other 0 0 0
Total Disbursements 4,982.00 5,127.00 5,170.00
Cash Surplus 10,758.00 19,086.00 29,586.00

Short Term Loans 0 0 0
Long Term Loans 0 0 0
Capital Stock Issues 0 0 0
Total Additions 0 0 0

Ending Cash Balance 10,758.00 19,086.00 29,586.00

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Ward’s Event Photography Business Plan

Cost List:


Utility costs (electricity, gas, phone, etc.): $250/month
Gas: $35.00/wedding (400 miles total, $1.95 per gallon, 23 mpg)
Maintenance: $30/month
Insurance: $75.00/month
Film: $10.00 per 96 exposures
Photo Albums: $20.00
Website maintenance: $200.00/year
Development solutions/chemicals: $50.00/wedding (increases with II and III type weddings)
Photo paper: $50.00/wedding (increases with II and III type weddings)
Miscellaneous costs (food on way to wedding, lodging if overnight accommodations necessary): $60.00/wedding
Phone book listings (Salida, Canon City): $150.00/year
Brochures: $200.00
Business Cards: $45.00
Newspapers: $100.00/year
JRW 4/30/01

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