1.0 2. Wards Event Photography Business Plan Executive Summary Wards Event Photography (WEP) is a small business that provides photography services (with a focus on weddings) to clients looking for high quality, fair price, and great service.

WEP is organized as a sole proprietorship, with Jesse Ward as the owner and sole employee. He does all the photography for the events as well as taking reservations, purchasing equipment, and doing the business books. Jesse Ward will be contributing his own capital to the business for start-up costs, and has secured financing from several other sources, but will still need $10,000 in start-up costs. This business will be run from Howard, Colorado.

To start, WEPs marketing plan will focus on advertising in local areas like Salida, Caon City, Buena Vista, and Leadville. The advertising will emphasize WEPs lower price, its quality, and its high value to people who need event photography done, such as wedding planners and birthday party organizers. There are several competitors in the local area WEP will target, but these competitors, being better established and having retail locations, will charge more than WEP plans on charging.

Also, some of these competitors, like Colorado Whitewater Photography focus only on certain types of event photography, such as white water rafting, and dont provide the quality nor price WEP will. There is an opportunity to enter the market and succeed where these other competitors are lacking. 1.

0, continued3. Wards Event Photography Business Plan WEPs vision is to provide the best photography services to people who want their special events captured and recorded for posterity at the best price and with the best value. Weddings, Birthdays, Anniversaries, Vacations, and Reunions will be WEPs forte. Anyone with any photography service need will be able to utilize WEPs services, however. For example, baby, engagement, and special request photography will all be available. WEPs Mission Statement follows: WEP provides the best event photography service in south-central Colorado, combining value, quality, and service in a package whose price is unbeatable.

WEPs is requesting a 3-year, $10,000 loan for start-up costs that Jesse Wards contribution is unable to cover. Jesse Ward has approximately $8,000 in collateral available to secure the loan.

The requested funds will be used to purchase additional photographic equipment such as cameras, lighting accessories, developing supplies, and also to help the company during slow periods in its first year. JRW 4/30/01 2.04.

Wards Event Photography Business Plan Company Overview The companys name will be Wards Event Photography, and operate out of the home of Jesse Ward, owner and manager. There will be no retail store for the business at first, and most reservations will be taken over the phone and via e-mail. Market opportunity explanation The opportunity for a small start-up event photography service in this area is a good one. While there are several others in nearby towns, such as ARC Photos in Buena Vista and Avalos in Caon City, WEP would be able to offer lower prices because it doesnt have the operating expenses the other companies do.

Although theres no store front, that means there will be no building to rent or lease and maintain.

Although theres no studio, that means there will be more capital available for travel to take pictures on location. Also, WEP will develop its own photos, thus saving time and money for developing; further reducing the price WEP will charge. There are several assumptions WEP makes to infer that the business will be successful: 1. More established companies with more operational costs will charge more than WEP. 2.

There is a desire by consumers to have available to them lower-cost event photographers. 3. Value and quality, not establishment or name recognition, is the main factor in choosing an event photographer, thus making the low-cost WEP a prime choice.


0, continued5. Wards Event Photography Business Plan Company Overview, continued Legal form of the business The company will be organized as a sole proprietorship, with Jesse Ward as the owner and manager of the company. Jesse Ward has filed Form DR0592 with the Colorado Department of Revenue and gained a D.B.A.

certificate for the company. Company Location The company will operate out of Jesse Wards home at: 3000 County Road 47 Howard Colorado, 81223 History This is a startup business. Jesse Ward has, to date, invested $17,000 in the business from his own savings. Growth and financial objectives In the beginning, WEP will be a small company, located in Jesse Wards home, with event photography services only. After profits begin to be made, and expansion becomes possible, it will move to a storefront in a more accessible location and add retail services such as photo developing, camera sales, and an on-site portrait studio.

As the customer base increases, more staff may also be necessary to take reservations, operate the store, and take pictures in Jesse Wards absence or in addition to him as another of the businesss photographers.

2.0, continued6. Wards Event Photography Business Plan Manager Information WEPs manager, Jesse Ward, has a bachelors degree in Business, as well as an associates degree in photography. Hes been a photographer for six years, and has worked for clients before, photographing weddings and taking baby pictures.

He also has experience in behind-the-scenes wedding work, as hes worked with a caterer on many weddings. His experience, drive to provide quality service, and enthusiasm for his work make him an excellent photographer, and his business knowledge allows him to turn his picture-taking skill into a successful business. JRW 4/30/01 3.07. Wards Event Photography Business Plan Market Analysis Summary The market for Wards Event Photography is always changing. Most of the time people are only married once, and if theyre married twice, theres often a large time period in between weddings.

Because of this, a population large enough to support many weddings a year is important for an event photographer. The area WEP plans to cater to includes Caon City, Salida, Buena Vista, Howard, Coaldale, Cotopaxi, and Leadville, in Fremont, Chaffee, and Lake counties.

There are enough people in these areas to support several event photographers already, and so in that way the market can be shown to exist in a large enough state to be profitable. Of course, the existence of these other companies in the market would make it less accessible to WEP if WEP didnt have the competitive advantages it does. WEPs price will allow it to gain customers that would otherwise go to competitors.

Both first time users of event photographers as well as repeat customers of existing companies will be drawn by the lure of lower costs with the same high quality from WEP. Analysis of the Industry For centuries, people have been getting married. It is expected that people will continue to get married for centuries more. People also want to remember their weddings and one of the most popular ways to do this is to take photographs. Wedding photographers will continue to be needed in the future, in larger numbers as different methods of photographing come into existence. 3.

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Wards Event Photography Business Plan Some trends in the industry include the move to digital film (both photographic and video) but 35mm film is still the norm. WEP plans to move into digital photography as the business develops, which will assist the development of WEPs website and lower developing costs through printing technologies. WEP also plans to add videography services at a later date so that weddings can be videotaped. A whole new array of services would be available with video services.

Target Market/Customer Profile WEPs target market are those people seeking event photography services in the local area (Around Leadville, Salida, and Caon City). Because price will be an important factor in WEPs advertising and image, WEP will be able to target a wider range of customers than higher-priced companies would be able to. Though no specific demographic will be targeted, WEP expects middle class customers to be most prevalent overall. Parents, siblings, and friends of brides and grooms as well as they themselves could all conceivably be responsible for contracting a wedding photographer.

Competition ARC Photos in Buena Vista, Avalos Photography in Caon City, Gary Adler Photography in Fairplay, and Wild Iris Studio in Salida are all WEPs competition, offering wedding photography as well as other services in some cases. Although being already established and having name recognition is a great plus for these companies, there is room for WEP. One studio in Pueblo advertises using price as a draw and, granted, they could be competition for the market in Caon City, but they 3.0, continued9. Wards Event Photography Business Plan cant beat WEPs prices, and WEP wont let them, making sure prices stay at least 10% below theirs.

Without a studio, WEP wont be able to initially offer all of the services its competitors can, but because of the lack of these services, WEP will be able to offer very high quality service for low prices. Once WEP is better established, other services may be added, but at first, the lack of these services is looked at as a competitive advantage. JRW 4/30/01 4.010. Wards Event Photography Business Plan Service Offering Summary Wards Event Photography provides weddings, reunions, birthday parties, and other special events with a high quality, good price way to remember and cherish the memories from the event forever; photographs. WEP provides the customer a choice of photographic packages, which offer different numbers and sizes of pictures, and the customer can choose the package that best fits their needs.

If no package is satisfactory, a custom package might be developed, allowing the customer to get what they need.

Uniqueness Though wedding and event photography is not unique in itself, WEP has a uniqueness to it that sets it apart from its competition. WEPs uniqueness is price. The competition of WEP is of high quality and good service, but it cannot beat WEP on price.

This will be WEPs main selling point after quality and value and will draw a large number of people. Even the wealthiest people in the world would choose a lower-cost option if the quality and service were the same. Description WEP offers photo-taking services for events and weddings. Wedding guests dont have to fumble with cameras because theres a professional photographer. Brides and Grooms dont need to worry about the quality of their pictures because theres a professional photographer. The professional photographer photographs the wedding.

On the next page are the wedding packages offered by WEP. 4.0, continued11. Wards Event Photography Business Plan A Wedding Package I includes the following: Up to 5 Hours in two locations, 250 4×6 prints, 10 5×7 prints, 5 8×10 prints, and 2 11×14 prints, Plus an album, the option to have the pictures uploaded to WEPs website for viewing ($6.99 extra), and free proofs. The negatives can be bought for an additional $95.

99 Price: $500.00* *Gas costs for transportation to the wedding site, as well as overnight accommodations (if necessary) not included and will vary. A Wedding Package II includes the following: Up to 8 hours in two locations, 325 4×6 prints, 15 5×7 prints, 10 8×10 prints, 5 11×14 prints Plus 2 albums, the pictures uploaded onto WEPs website (for free) for viewing, free proofs, and an announcement photo. The negatives can be bought for an additional $129.99.

Price: $690.00* *Gas costs for transportation to the wedding site, as well as overnight accommodations (if necessary) not included and will vary. 4.0, continued12.

Wards Event Photography Business Plan A Wedding Package III includes the following: Unlimited time (up to two days, accommodations included in price) at up to 3 locations, 450 4×6 prints, 25 5×7 prints, 20 8×10 prints, 15 11×14 prints, Plus 4 albums (arranged chronologically), the pictures uploaded onto WEPs website (for free) for viewing and download for 15 days, free proofs, an announcement photo, the pictures transferred to slides for slide show viewing, and the pictures will be mailed (if desired) to the customer at no additional cost. Negatives can be bought for $199.99. Price: $1025.00* * Gas costs for transportation to the wedding site not included and will vary. Custom Package: Customer defined package to fit budgets and needs.

Competitive Comparison

The price for the Wedding Package I, when compared to several competitors, is anywhere from 37% to 57% less than their comparable service prices. WEP maintains that they will stay at least 10% under the competitions price at all times. JRW 4/30/01 5.013.

Wards Event Photography Business Plan Marketing Plan Creating and Maintaining Customers WEPs main ally in creating customers will be the prices it charges. Because it is a one-man operation, an operation running from home, and because one of its main goals is to charge a fair price, WEP will offer its high quality services for far less than the competition. When advertising, WEP will emphasize this value and price advantage, along with quality, to attract customers who want the best pictures and deal available. Once someone has used WEP as their event photographer, the high quality of service, professionalism, and consistently low prices will bring the customer back the next time the need for an event photographer arises. Besides creating customers through advertising, word of mouth once WEPs services and price become better known will create customers. Friends and family of customers will hear about WEP through existing customers and they will, when they need a high-quality, fair-priced event photographer, look to WEP first.


Because price will be a large draw for customers, and WEP will focus on the low cost of its services, WEP will closely monitor its competitors prices. WEP will charge less than the competitions average price for comparable services as well as photograph two locations for no additional charge (if the wedding and reception are in different locations, for instance) and stay up to an additional 3 hours for only $30.00. Of course, prices vary greatly between photographers and the types as well as the number of pictures they take, with prices ranging from $250.

00 to over $12,000 in some Colorado companies, but on the next page is a basic package price for WEP. 5.0, continued14. Wards Event Photography Business Plan A Basic Wedding Package includes: Up to 5 Hours in two locations, 250 4×6 prints, 10 5×7 prints, 5 8×10 prints, and 2 11×14 prints, Plus an album, the option to have the pictures uploaded to WEPs website for viewing, and free proofs. The negatives can be bought for an additional $85.00 Price: $500.

00* *Gas costs for transportation to the wedding site, as well as overnight accommodations (if necessary) not included and will vary.

Compare this with two comparable packages: 5 hours, 200 4×6, 10 5×7, and 4 8×10 with an album for $800.00 with each additional hour costing $50.00 from Essential Weddings in Glenwood Springs, and 6 hours, 150 5×5, a 12×12 leather bound album, 3 10×10, 4 8×10, 6 5×7, and 40 5×5 for $1600.00, with negatives for $250.00, extra hours for $100.

00, and extra film for $50.00, from Bob Sullivan Photo in Littleton, and you can see that WEPs prices are quite economic. The Basic Wedding Package is only one option, however, and the customer can choose a more elaborate package or create their own custom package to meet their budget needs. WEP is very flexible, and will work with clients with nearly any budget.

5.0, continued15. Wards Event Photography Business Plan Positioning WEPs will position itself as the High quality, fair and low cost, professional photographer you should have discovered years ago.

Through tasteful and professional advertising in local newspapers, phone books, and in brochures, WEP will emphasize its advantages over the competition (such as inexpensive negatives, free proofs, lower hourly rates, and high quality) and encourage customers to use WEP by offering a 10% discount for those that call WEPs 1-800 number (1-888-WED-PHOTO) or visit the website (http://www.wardsweddingphotos.com) and e-mail WEP (Wardsphotos@bnw.

net) within 1 year of the ads placement and ask for it. Delivery Jesse Ward will deliver WEPs services, through the use of his camera equipment and abilities. He will drive to wedding sites in his business vehicle, a 1996 Dodge Caravan which has WEPs phone number and website on it. After the wedding, the photos will be developed, and either through the mail (after internet reviewing) at the clients expense, or after the customer has viewed the pictures in person, they will be delivered to the customer, if by mail, generally within 1 week. Promotion WEPs promotion will consist mainly of advertisements in local newspapers, free newspapers, phone books, the internet (WEPs website and e-mails to existing customers), and business establishments (through brochures and business cards), as well as word of mouth.

Word of mouth will increase in frequency and importance as time goes on, but the other advertisements will bring in WEPs initial customers. 5.0, continued16. Wards Event Photography Business Plan All customers will receive a WEP brochure, and if acceptable, WEP will offer business cards to guests at the weddings. Referrals will be encouraged as well after the wedding is completed, and WEP will reward referrals with discounts on services to both the party referred and the party who mentioned WEP to them. WEPs van will also serve as promotion for the company, with its name and contact information on it.

It will be seen both at the weddings as well as on its way to them. WEPs promotional strategy will be one of gaining initial customers who then spread the word about the value and quality WEP provides, while continuously gaining new customers as well. JRW 4/30/01 6.017.

Wards Event Photography Business Plan Financial Plans and Analysis Initial Capital Requirements WEP will need approximately $27,000.00 in initial startup capital.

Jesse Ward has invested $17,000 of his own savings into the business thus far to purchase a company vehicle (1996 Dodge Caravan) at $7,000.00, insignia for the van at $450.00, camera equipment at $4,500.00, computer equipment at $2,500.00 and developing equipment at $2,500.

00. The requested $10,000 is to purchase more camera equipment at $3,900.00, advertising and website maintenance at $800.00, supplies like film and albums at $800.

00, and to cover miscellaneous costs during the business first year with the remainder of the loan. On the following pages are the financial statements projected for the first three years of the business existence.