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Archive for July 2018

4 Strategies for Creative Business Owners to Work Smarter, Not Harder

4 Strategies for Creative Business Owners to Work Smarter, Not Harder

Running a creative business means juggling multiple hats — and, sometimes it feels like you’re wearing that business owner hat 24/7. But by working smarter, not harder, creative business owners can find ways to expand — and push that work life balance more towards life. Just ask Hangatu Wyld, the owner of The Salty Fox, an online boutique for men’s fashion accessories. She’s currently expanding her business internationally. She recently sat down with Australia Post to share with other business owners just how she managed to move from working out of a pantry to an international company. Here are some of the ways she encourages other business owners, such as photo business owners, to work smarter, not harder.

Research to mitigate risks.

While she first started choosing products for the store, Wyld choose them based on what would fit inside affordable packaging for shipping. Now, there’s more research involved in order to launch a product that’s likely to do well. Using Google Keyword, she finds out what online browsers are searching for. She also keeps a close eye on the competition and looks at what competitors are offering.

How does that apply to photo businesses? By continually researching and keeping an eye on the latest trends, photo business owners can pinpoint new services and new types of prints to offer. With research and a close understanding of the industry, the risks aren’t as great.

Encourage more high-volume sales.

Another way The Salty Fox has grown is by encouraging high volume sales with free shipping for orders that are above $50. The concept isn’t an uncommon one (even Amazon uses it), but many customers are easily swayed to buy one more item rather than paying for shipping.

That same idea can be used when shipping out prints to customers online. By including a free shipping with a certain order amount, customers may be encouraged to buy a bigger print or another product.

Automate tedious processes.

While it’s just Wyld and her brother running the business, she’s able to keep the staff small without adding unnecessary stress through automation. She automates tasks that aren’t in her skill set, like automating an Adwords campaign. Automation can also be used for tedious tasks, like confirmation emails and other customer service.

Photo businesses can take a step back and look at what part of their business could be automated. Technology has made it easy to automate online print orders and even send those images directly to your wide format printer. Other tools speed up the process to book a new photo client, for example.

Look for key trends.

Finally, the way The Salty Fox has begun the process of moving to international sales is by spotting key trends. One of those trends showed visitors that weren’t in Australia, prompting the launch of sales in New Zealand and soon, other countries.

In the same way, photographers can keep an eye out for trends that show what tomorrow’s clients may be looking for. Whether that’s a different print product or a new type of session or something as simple as a cute prop, watching the trends can help business owners work smarter, not harder.

Working smarter doesn’t have to mean working solo — Photo Direct’s team is here to help evaluate your business and spot potential for expansion through new tools and products. Contact us at sales@photodirect.com.au or 03 9894 1644 today.

Hey, photo businesses - are you following the newest marketing musts?

Hey, photo businesses – are you following the newest marketing musts?

Business owners and marketing experts know that marketing is typically divided into four categories: Product, place, price and promotion. While those categories aren’t going anywhere, the business world has changed drastically in the last decade and following those traditional marketing categories may leave out some modern but essential considerations. Inside Retail Australia suggests there are two more Ps to consider: page and performance.

But what do the new marketing categories mean for photo-focused businesses? Photo Direct breaks down what those new categories mean for print shops, photographers and other photo-based businesses.

Page

Page is all about ensuring that a business’s web page is working to drive the right customers to make a purchase. While companies selling a physical product try to convey a sense of what the product looks and feels like, what about photos? Print products should be accurately described both in text and, well, digital images of the printed photos. Allowing customers to leave reviews for others to read is also a positive for webpages.

Page, however, is also about the user experience. Is it easy for potential customers to find the information they are looking for? Is ordering online simple and straight-forward, or confusing and time-consuming? Webpages should make ordering photos online, or finding information about a brick and mortar location, simpler, not more stressful.

One more thing to consider under page (and all the other categories as well): brand. Does your webpage reflect your brand? If your brand is a luxury, high-end artisan print shop, make sure your webpage has a luxurious design and not the bright, clunky colours of a drug store with a photo print service.

Performance

That page, however, means nothing if customers can’t find it. The last new P for marketing covers performance, or the part of the web pages that are difficult to see but play a huge role in driving new sales.

Is your website search engine optimised? Can potential customers easily find your webpage? Do your social media accounts drive traffic to your website or store? If not, it may be time to get an SEO audit of your website to determine what to improve and how to best drive additional performance.

Performance also means seamless integration between the in-store experience and the online one. Having the right online ordering system is a key consideration for performance for photo-based businesses.

Today, businesses need to do more than ever to stay relevant.  Along with product, place, price and promotion, page and performance are essential to consider too. For photo-based businesses, creating relevant, well-made webpages that are easily searched and offering a simple online ordering platform play a big role in the business overall.

Not sure where to start? Contact Photo Direct’s customer service and let us share examples of successful photo businesses who have reaped the benefits of expansion. Let us work with you to ensure you are offering all the right products and services for growth. Ask us as you will be amazed what other opportunities we have ready for you now to add to your business mix. Call 03 9894 1644 for more details today.

How to get a discount on a new large format printer -- and free up office space too

How to get a discount on a new large format printer — and free up office space too

Technology ages — and as printers come out with more efficient designs and higher image quality, replacing aging equipment makes sense. But what do you do with your old printer? Use it to make your new printer cost even less. HP is currently running a trade-in program for DesignJet and PageWide XL printers through the end of July. With the HP DesignJet and PageWide Trade-In, upgrading to a newer model is an even more cost effective solution — here’s how it works.

First, chat with a representative at Photo Direct to check for trade-in eligibility. With a long list of available trade-ins for DesignJet and PageWide printers, chances are good that your older model is on the list.

Before filling out a trade-in request, you’ll need to know what printer you’d like to trade up to, so while you’re chatting with us, explore the latest options from HP that may work for you. The latest DesignJet, for example, is the Z6 and Z9+ with HP Pixel Control and Dual Drop Ink for better prints with more efficient performance.

Next, fill out a trade-in request and send it in following the instructions on the form. HP will respond via email with a no obligation quote. You have 45 days to decide whether or not use the offer. To accept the trade-in, use the link provided in the email and enter your information. You’ll also need a proof of purchase for the new HP printer.

Finally, you’ll send in the old printer back to HP. Once the company receives the old printer, you’ll receive a refund for that portion of the new printer, as specified in the trade-in agreement.

HP’s trade-in program solves a couple of common issues with upgrading to the latest technology. One, it reduces the cost of the new printer via a rebate. And two, it frees up office space for the new gear in an ecologically responsible way.

Ready to submit your trade-in, or have questions on the program? Photo Direct can help with trade-in requests — just remember, the deadline for HP’s current program is July 31.