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Tips to Start a Business So You Can Thrive

I’m excited to share with you about my recent guest appearance with a systems expert, Tyshon Phillips with Golden Admin, where we dig into systems, how to leave a corporate job to start a business, and so much more. Now, you might be wondering, “What does a brand photography business coach have to do with systems?” Well, let me tell you, I may not be an expert in systems, but I sure can have a lot of fun exploring them!

In my corporate finance job, my thing was process improvement. I love streamlining and making business operations (well, anything really) more efficient.

Tyshon helps busy mom of business owners align themselves with their true desires by systemizing their online business in a way that is automatic and scalable.

The whole third phase of the Brand Photographer’s Blueprint course is all about systemizing and scaling, so naturally, I jumped on a chat to talk systems and working smarter, not harder, as a mom business owner with her.

graphic with still image from interview with tyshon phillips with text "how to start a photography business so you can thrive"

Here is our conversation! I hope you find it helpful as you navigate leaving your corporate job to pursue what you love.

–> Come tell me your biggest takeaway over on Instagram @kassadygibson.

Question #1: What are the biggest challenges to running your own business?

If you’re transitioning from a corporate career to photography, videography, or any other type of creative business, there are several challenges I faced that took me a while to nail down. I honestly wasn’t expecting these either. It never crossed my mind that these things that seemed so simple in my corporate career would be such a struggle to figure out when I started my business.

Think about these things when you’re creating a business to start off successful:

  • Create a schedule
  • Streamline systems (even if you’re just using spreadsheets and docs)

After I figured out my schedule, how many projects I could take on each month, and how I wanted my client experience to work, I implemented a CRM called HoneyBook.

As a business owner, we wear so many hats and by having good systems in place, it helps me not drop the ball.

Question #2: How do you manage running you own business and spend time with your family and have time for self care?

This one is always hard, especially depending on what stage of business you’re in. Here are a few things I do that helps me balance work and life.

  • set aside time each week for 1:1 time with each of my girls
  • prioritize trips when they are out of school
  • bonus: the flexibility of being my own boss allows me to take off when I need it

Another key aspect we discussed was how important it is to communicate the life vision with your kids. Tyshon mentions her daughter holds her accountable. I just love that!

“Sticking to a schedule is part of my self care.”

Tyshon Phillips

When we make decisions based off of what we want in the future, we can be much smarter about making sure the important things are getting done.

For me, having my kids around and them wanting to spend time with me when I’m 80 is most important, so I know I need to prioritize quality time and a healthy relationship with them now. Do I always get it right? No. But I’m working towards the things that are most important for me in life and my business.

Don’t let the little things that don’t have a long term impact get you down.

Starting a business can be hard, but it can be so incredibly worth it.

Question #3: What systems do you use in your business and how does it align with everything you have going on?

I use a lot of systems in my business including Google Workspace, Asana, Pixieset, but the one that really makes the most impact in my business is Honeybook. This system helps me with

  • Streamlining all inquiries
  • Managing and responding to inquires
  • Creating templates for pricing guides, proposals, emails, and contracts.
  • Collecting payments
  • Project tracking
  • And so much more.

Overall, it really streamlines the overall business process. I can open up my dashboard and see where all of my inquiries and clients are in the process.

Now, I use Honeybook to see what tasks I need to check off for the day to convert sales and give my customers a great client experience.

Tyshon hit the nail on the head when she said, “Your systems are your team.” Honeybook helped me really streamline my business and take it the next level.

💰 Get HoneyBook for 35% off for one year

Question #4: When you left your corporate job, how did you deal with feedback from others?

I was so motivated to be a photographer, I put blinders on and pushed forward. I didn’t even entertain it.

I also talk about how long the transition period was, what I did to prep before I leave, and once you do transition, what you need to do each day to really move the needle. See minute 24:00 to jump right to this section.

Question #5: What piece of advice would you give to someone who wants to leave their corporate job but they are scared?

If you’re planning on leaving your corporate job, you could jump right, but I recommend taking these steps to ensure a successful and less stressful transition:

  • Map out your plan
  • Start saving – save at least 3 months of what you normally spend
  • Make sure you’re generating at least the amount you spend each month while you’re at your corporate job. There are so many business expenses to consider that you at least need to be generating that much.
  • Start networking with people you want as clients in your new business.
  • Once you decide, be honest and up front with your employer.
  • For your website, start simple and include what you do, the area you serve, and how to contact you. Don’t overcomplicate it at this point. You can always add to it later.

Thinking about starting a photography business? Save your spot for my free business training for photographers!

Each month, I have a free training class to teach you how to become the go-to photographer in your area even if you’re just getting started. The class is live, so you can ask all of your burning questions!

You can sign up to attend the next upcoming class at brandphotographersblueprint.com/training!

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