Reflected Spectrum Photography is an Indianapolis-based firm specializing in wedding photography, creative portraiture, and fine art photography. Although the business has only been in operation for a year, owner Laura Poland has turned it into a successful venture. Laura is a professional photographer who also runs the business. In this interview, she will share her advice for small business success, some challenges she has faced and the joy she has for photography. I’m certain readers will also enjoy the beautiful photographs she has supplied for this article.
Laura starts by telling us what she enjoys about owning her own business:
I love the freedom I get from owning a business. I have full creative control over all my work, so I’m free to try new techniques and experiment with new ideas. I’m also able to work at my own pace, set my own hours, and choose my own assignments.
But all small business owners discover challenges as they grow. For Reflected Spectrum Photography, Laura was already an experienced photographer, but running the other aspects of the business, such as sales, marketing and finance, was difficult at first. Since her core competency was photography, she sought advice:
I continue to learn as much as I can about these fields to improve my knowledge and skills in those areas, but I have also benefited greatly from the help of good consultants, such as Zoo In A Jungle Marketing and Andrew Technology. Having expert advice available has been extremely helpful to give my business a head start.
As with most successful small businesses, Reflected Spectrum Photography focuses on the customer experience and building relationships. Relationship-building is easier for small businesses than with large ones, which is a key competitive advantage of being small. Laura agrees and adds, “I really enjoy building relationships with all my clients. I find it very rewarding to be present at the most special moments in my clients’ lives, and to see how their children have grown at each new portrait session.”
Laura realizes that satisfying her clients involves more than delivering beautiful photographs, so she ensures they have a great experience during the photo shoot as well:
I try to help my clients feel relaxed and get them excited about having their pictures taken. If my clients are enjoying themselves, that allows me to capture special moments as they happen and preserve them as art, and I hope that they will be treasured for years to come. The most rewarding part of my job is seeing the expression on my clients’ faces when I’ve captured the perfect expression of happiness on their child’s face, or caught a spark of real emotion from their wedding day. If my customers enjoy the experience and love the results, they are likely to hire me again in the future and refer me to their friends.
As for building her customer base, Laura has employed a very successful web marketing strategy and client referral network. She says, “Before you can make a client happy, you first have to actually get some clients, so well planned sales and marketing strategies have played a key role in my success.”
As a successful small business owner, Laura parted with the following advice for aspiring entrepreneurs:
Before you start to focus on selling your products or services, build a solid foundation for your business to grow on. Once you become successful, you may be too busy with your clients to focus on building a good web site, formulating targeted marketing initiatives, or finding a record keeping system that works for you. If you need help with any of these things, don’t be afraid to ask! Help is out there in many forms. Books, forums, internet articles, and expert consultants are all available to help you get your business off to the right start.
Reflected Spectrum Photography