Hello Happy Photographers! I love winding down my business this time of year and getting ready to take a short break from all the shooting, editing, running, jumping, and laughing I do all fall (and into November…and December…). If you’re still shooting right up until Christmas, you keep right on going!  But, this challenge will still help you successfully end your year, whenever that finally happens!  I take this time to cross some things off my list and close my books so that I can say GOOD BYE to 2020 and start fresh in January. Thanks for joining me on this adventure!

Need some encouragement as you tackle this list?  Join my online community here: Happiness Makers

Photography Business Tips
DAY ONE: Close all those outstanding invoices. You might have these because someone is still reviewing a contract, clients bought product or galleries from you, or someone paid you in cash and you didn’t record that payment. Whatever the reason, clean up all your files and get that money in the door before end of year!
TIP: If you have a client management software like 17hats, see if you can run a report to find out what’s still hanging out there. I have an “aged receivables” option in my bookkeeping tab so I know what’s still not closed.

DAY TWO: You might have open contracts, model releases, or other documents needing signatures.  Sometimes my clients opt to not share their images and so I end up with a list of “overdue” model releases.  I like to go through my files and void these so that I don’t have clutter in my client software reminding me to do these things.  Do you have anything like that for your business?  Maybe you had someone reschedule and you’ve ended up with two contracts, but one is no longer necessary?  In the rush of the fall I sometimes let these things slide and come back in December to clean up!  Good luck!  YOU CAN DO IT!

DAY THREE: Do you send Client Gifts this time of year? I am actually going for a socially distant porch date with a few clients this week just to spread some cheer. It will be 30 degrees, but I’m bringing my favorite tea to stay warm!
PRO TIP: Your gifts don’t have to be photography related. A gift card, flowers, a piece of art, even a free printable, anything that is a kind gesture to say “thank you” will work. Don’t overthink it or worry about making it “on brand.” Just making the gesture is enough!
DAY FOUR: Pay all your bills. Got anything hanging out there? I just made sure to pay my amazing editor Caitlyn Eakins who has done some incredible work for me this year.
PRO TIP: Get these bills paid in the 2020 calendar year. You want those expenses in this year and not the next!

Many clients still pay in me cash, but who really goes to the bank anymore?!  My lawyer tells me that I MUST deposit that cash as a good business practice and not just use it for my next visit to the craft store.  So, I’ve got this on my list for tomorrow as I am out running errands.  Round up any cash payment you’ve received and get those in the bank!  You want to look at a nice lovely number in that bank account at the end of the year!

How are you ending your year? Are you wrapping edits and files and making sure your books are in order? Or do you wait until January to tackle those projects? If you are, check back here for this 12 point checklist to get everything settled up before you launch into 2021!
This week I am starting to close my online galleries. I allow my clients to choose their own images, but after about a month I close those galleries. My primary reason is to clear space for new galleries. But, my secondary reason is that during my slower time of year I downgrade my gallery subscription and save a little money since I don’t have as many galleries going out the door!
PRO TIP: If possible save some money by downgrading to a lower package for part of the year with your image sharing/gallery delivery service.
And, if you’re not sure what the heck I’m talking about or need some recommendations on what photography business services I love the best, take a peek at this blog post: https://www.sharonhphotography.com/business-resources-for-photographers/

Need more help?  Want more advice?  Or just share your BIG WIN for today that you FINISHED as task?  Then that “Contact Me” button is for YOU!