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What is the next step for my business......

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travis heberling
What is the next step for my business......
on Jan 9, 2015 at 11:31:35 pm

Hello everyone!

I would love some feedback on what may be the next step for my photo & video career.

I have been freelancing for about 4 years now....never planned on it...things just kind of happened. In this time I have got my own gigs from people finding me on social media to referrals. My line of work has included things such as....shooting photo/video for start up companies, corporations, restaurants, live events, music videos, and more. I also do a good amount of editing and motion graphics.

Last year I formed an LLC with a partner that specializes in weddings and portraits while still doing other non wedding work on the side through my own "personal business"

Things with my personal business has been growing more and more...even to the point where I need to outsource some of my work to others.

For the start of the year I want to get everything official and on paper for my personal biz while I still keep doing the wedding specific things with my partner.

The thing that I am unsure of right now is the naming of the business.

Right now I just go by my personal name: I have is branded that, Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, etc....

Normally people just refer me by my personal name...even if they know I am going to pass off the editing work to someone else.

With the growing of the business I was thinking of getting away from using my name and starting a company name....that way its more of a brand as I grow.

Is it wise for me to shift gears on my branding and change to a new name, or should I stick out using my personal name?


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Richard Herd
Re: What is the next step for my business......
on Jan 9, 2015 at 11:48:44 pm

Stick to your name. It's already a brand. Lots of folks have done that too, not only photographers, but also fashion designers, etc.

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John Davidson
Re: What is the next step for my business......
on Jan 10, 2015 at 2:28:52 am

I agree with Richard. Making a corp or LLC is just a huge pain. I have a producer friend who has been operating as an individual and doing big network shoots, hiring crews, insurance, etc., and never went the incorporation route. When your accountant is screaming at you to incorporate - that's when you do it. If you feel weird about it, get a DBA (doing business as) name and keep it simple.

John Davidson | President / Creative Director | Magic Feather Inc.

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walter biscardi
Re: What is the next step for my business......
on Jan 12, 2015 at 1:00:20 pm

If your name is already known as a brand, nothing wrong with incorporating it into the name.

I originally named my company "d'Arte media creations" because I'm Italian and wanted to create something that had an Italian flair. d'arte means "of art" in Italian.

Well everyone knew my name since I had been on the Cow for so long but didn't place me with d'Arte. So three years later I changed it to Biscardi Creative Media and that has stuck ever since. I'm fortunate folks like my work and when they search for me personally, of course the company name also comes up.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

Craft and Career Advice & Training from real Working Creative Professionals

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Nick Griffin
Re: What is the next step for my business......
on Jan 12, 2015 at 6:31:58 pm

I agree with everyone else on keeping your name in the name of the business. (Huh. Nick Griffin of Griffin Communications says this, go figure.)

The thing that jumps out at me is having your own business and another with a partner without a clear delineation of who's who and what's what. Does your wedding partner own any of the gear or software, or you any of his? Is it spelled out how the costs to not only acquire, but also maintain it, are divided? How about what percentage of time each gets it?

Bottom line: along these lines, and speaking from experience, sometimes partnerships go south and the better prepared for this, the better it will go. When my last minority partner and I parted ways he was pretty p-ssed off. I later found through a third party that what had him so angry was his lawyer telling him that mine had written a fairly bullet-proof agreement for us in the beginning and there was nothing he could do but accept the deal as originally agreed to. I believe the full agreements, from a major law firm, cost the company upwards of $7,000. But that turned out to be money very well spent. Your mileage may vary.

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travis heberling
Re: What is the next step for my business......
on Jan 13, 2015 at 6:56:43 pm

Thanks for the concern!

We don't split any gear costs....He owns his things I own my own.

Only thing we split is cost of upkeeping the biz....the LLC, biz cards, bridal shows, etc...

We shoot weddings normally together so we put some from the wedding into the expense bucket and then I get half the rest and he gets half.

So far its been working well but also why I dont want my other things mingling with the wedding biz incase things ever stopped working out. =)

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Philip Mestas
Re: What is the next step for my business......
on Apr 2, 2015 at 11:17:26 am

Naming your business is a very important step, and it sounds like you're no in the position to make a shift. I wish you Good luck with your business, and would love to hear how it worked out.

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