Thursday, February 14, 2008

Forward Progress

This last week has been one of starting the ball rolling on many of the small tasks that all aim towards the launch of a business. There's been nothing exciting or earth-shattering here, just the beginning steps of a journey. To mix a metaphor, the first step in building a skyscraper is digging a big hole in the ground, so here I go with my shovel...

Paperwork to operate a business within the City of Dublin: Done, but not filed. Need to get landlord's signature on form for business use of a rented residential property. He's already verbally agreed, and the city has no issues with me using my own house as a base of operations. One autograph, $50, and this one's in the bag.

Resellers permit: Paperwork complete, to be filed after city application is complete. Business must exist prior to this permit being issued. No fee.

Fictitious business name: Not complete. Once the city confirms that Cycle 61 Photography is not taken already (if it is, I can't find it. Check Google)

Monthly learning event: Feb 9th Strobist meetup counts for this, as does reading Joe McNally's "The Moment it Clicks" and Scott Kelby's "Digital Photography Book, Volume II" I'm also trying to get together with Kent Johnson to learn some lighting and help him refine some teaching stuff he's putting together.

Network, Network, Network: Been corresponding with some of the folks at PhotoShelter regarding their ads, local events, and stock photography business in general. Working on building ties through my friend Paul's video production business, as well as meeting up and shooting with a number of local photographers at the Strobist meet. I set up my profile on LinkedIn, a professional networking site, and have already found some people I did not expect. (If you have a LinkedIn account, I'd love to hear from you!)

Tell friends and family: In Progress. My mom found the website (Hi mom!) and I've told a number of friends at work about what I'm doing here. I've told my wife, who seems mildly disinterested. I don't think she quite believes me. I haven't spammed my friends and relatives en masse yet, but I may do that soon.

Have a job scheduled: Currently a blank slate. There's been a standing offer from a co-worker to do some senior portraits for her daughter, but the date keeps slipping away. Time to nail that one down. The other tentative job is shooting cast pictures for my cousins' theater group, which would have to be done long enough before March 6th, their opening night, to get some nice posted put together for the lobby walls. And hopefully I can shoot a dress rehearsal with some flash too, my ISO 3200 shots at the performance last year weren't great.

Upload my best material onto PhotoShelter: In progress, but I got disappointing results from my last batch. Most of the shots that include people (predominantly my kids) were rejected for unspecified reasons, leaving my portfolio still landscape-heavy. I still need to go through this weekend's shoots and pull some photos to upload.

Taxes: Need to confirm more positively, but I pretty much missed the boat for 2007 deductions. I may, however, be able to use my existing equipment and deduct it as a "startup expense" from my 2008 business taxes. Looks like 2007 taxes are going to be a ten minute job again.

So that's where I'm at today. There are many more items on my lists that I haven't even gotten started on, and the "To-do" list actually seems to have grown by several entries in the last few days. Item #1 on the new list is to develop a financial tracking system, and fast. I have a pocketful of receipts and mileage notes, already totaling a few hundred $$$, and if I don't get them all organized ASAP I'm going to start losing things.

Thanks for reading and as always, let me know what you think!


alan2onion said...

I'm loving your blog! Haven't seen anyone attempt to document the process of setting up a business.

Power to you!

Mike Normandeau said...

Hey Nick - Enjoying your blog from up here in Montreal Canada. Your an inspiration - don't let the small bumps you'll hit in the future (there are always bumps) detract you from your dream.

Love your above pic BTW.

Mike Normandeau
Montreal, Canada