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Thread: Exit Strategy

  1. #1

    Default Exit Strategy

    Hello all....

    I have been thinking a lot lately with the above topic.

    No, I am not selling my business... nor thinking about selling it... just some random thoughts about the business.

    Anyway, it is kinda true but sad about exit strategy about any business... some successfully sell their business but some just would have to end it for various reason.

    What is your thought about this?

    Can a photography business be sold?

    The true is, when a company hit all time high, they won't be interested to sell their business... however, only think about it after the business is in downhill slope... but who will buy a downhill slope business?

    Regards,

    Hart

  2. #2
    Senior Member oracle0711's Avatar
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    Default Re: Exit Strategy

    Thanks for starting this. This I believe is a question that small business owners will think from time to time. I personally did not sell any photography business away because I choose not do do it as a platform for bringing bread to the table.

    On the other hand, i did sell 2 other businesses away some time back. I did it because it was at all time high in terms of business growth. The height of things was what made it most sell-able. At the same time, I was growing tired of the endless effort of meeting goals that was set time after time. After that I took a back seat and take things a bit slower to spend some times with family members. Looking back, it was the right choice. Money does not measure success. A quality family bonding is life success for me.

    Personally, I doubt you can sell photography business. In a small business environment, many deals and contracts were closed because of who you are. It is 'you' that represents the business. Photography in one aspect is even more personal than other type of business. This makes it even more difficult to pass your customer to the next chap who takes over your signage and runs the shop (studio). You skill and style would be difficult to replicate. This is especially so for long term clients who like the way you work and the works you produced. To me, all these personal touches are difficult to 'unglue' and 'transfer'.

    Just my personal opinion of things. Others, I am sure, will have more insightful opinions.

    Daniel

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Exit Strategy

    interesting topic but i think its still possible.
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Exit Strategy

    Quote Originally Posted by oracle0711 View Post
    Money does not measure success. A quality family bonding is life success for me.

    Personally, I doubt you can sell photography business.

    Your skill and style would be difficult to replicate. This is especially so for long term clients who like the way you work and the works you produced.

    To me, all these personal touches are difficult to 'unglue' and 'transfer'.

    Daniel
    Hi Daniel,

    Thanks for your input... To certain extend, I think you are dead on with a few points. However, it is sometime how one will grow the company to something that is "sellable" makes it interesting....

    I was told, if me, myself is a business, there is no business really... just a high pay self-employment....

    Will have to find a way to make some different to everything...

    Sure, money don't measure success.... and I agree with that.

    Regards,

    Hart

  5. #5

    Default Re: Exit Strategy

    Quote Originally Posted by oracle0711 View Post
    Personally, I doubt you can sell photography business. In a small business environment, many deals and contracts were closed because of who you are. It is 'you' that represents the business. Photography in one aspect is even more personal than other type of business. This makes it even more difficult to pass your customer to the next chap who takes over your signage and runs the shop (studio). You skill and style would be difficult to replicate. This is especially so for long term clients who like the way you work and the works you produced. To me, all these personal touches are difficult to 'unglue' and 'transfer'.

    Just my personal opinion of things. Others, I am sure, will have more insightful opinions.

    Daniel

    Dead on.

    Seriously IMHO photography business (at least for the majority of all) is a self-employment job. There is no leverage like a real business has.

    The same thing as famous criminal lawyer Subhas Anandan cannot sell his job to another person nor can our successful local actress Fann Wong could sell her job too.

    Some photography business were constructed from the start as a 'house' or 'group of professionals' as opposed to an 'individual', that might work but it becomes way harder to maintain consistency in style, service and branding and the owner ends up becoming more like a people manager and the 'house' is easily torn down by individuals each with different artistic aspirations and varying levels of loyalty to that manager. Once this charismatic manager and motivator of people is gone, the house is gone too and there would be nothing much left to sell.
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  6. #6
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Exit Strategy

    yes, photography business can be sold, just like bridal boutiques or any other business.

    the first thing you need to name your photography business properly, try not to associate your own name with the business. so people only know the company, not the photographer/s.

    Secondly, register as Pte Ltd, do all the proper paper work. So when time is right, you can sell the company away like any commodity.

    of course, if the business is barely surviving, there is noting to sell.

    For those more well know people, they don't sell their "job", but sell their name by endorsing certain products, services, or join venture into some bushiness (using their name as pay up capital, allow the company to use their name to advertise the business).

    anyway, we have seen these everyday, just don't really notice about it.
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Exit Strategy

    Sometimes peope might just want to try out a new career, so they sell their business.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Exit Strategy

    Some people just want to enter the biz and hence buying over one is easier. This happens to dental, provision shops, graphic design company, etc. If a photography biz has as a reputation, client base and has a system in place (rather than the owner running it himself), then its a working business model.
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Exit Strategy

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    yes, photography business can be sold, just like bridal boutiques or any other business.
    Only bridal boutiques can be sold because they don't relied on repeat customer.
    For commercial photography it quite impossible because the client will and only use the photographer they know.

    Quote Originally Posted by JacePhoto View Post
    If a photography biz has as a reputation, client base and has a system in place (rather than the owner running it himself), then its a working business model.
    How many commercial photographer you know operated this way?

  10. #10

    Default Re: Exit Strategy

    Quote Originally Posted by expro View Post
    Only bridal boutiques can be sold because they don't relied on repeat customer.
    For commercial photography it quite impossible because the client will and only use the photographer they know.
    How many commercial photographer you know operated this way?
    Hmmm, actually bridal boutiques does replies on repeat customer exactly the same way wedding photographers does, that repeat customer doesnt necessary get married again, but rather their sisters, brothers, friends and colleagues, sees the same thing, wants the same thing. I would rather think that bridal boutiques sells products (just like a clothing store) and doesn't require the specialist skills of an individual with a particular style (like a photographer) and thus can be operated by anyone. In other words, the owner can put it on auto-pilot mode after the business is fine tuned properly and then does nothing or only need to do very little work to keep it alive. A photography business crafted heavily around the photographer would be very different.

    But I agree with Jace and uncle Ben that photography business can be sold if crafted in the right way from the start, but IMHO its just harder to do so and harder to excel as a brand name. Its like a bridal studio can be sold coz they do not rely on any big name photographer in the first place and do not give much identity nor value to their staff so that they won't grow reliant on anyone, hires a out of town guy to shoot standard SOP images (house style), a retoucher that creates SOP plastic skin for the images (house style again), and the standard flushmount album, the standard sales pitch, a good marketing campaign, all their staff are dispensable (sackable/resignable) and can be replaced for the next guy or girl. But the standard stays stagnant.

    IMHO.
    Last edited by sjackal; 16th October 2010 at 04:35 PM.
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  11. #11
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Exit Strategy

    in local, two good example I can think of now, the coverlook/makeover franchise business (in the 80's) and the Raffles Studio.

    in oversea, it is very common, just look at the ads in professional/trade (photography) magazines.
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  12. #12
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Exit Strategy

    Quote Originally Posted by expro View Post
    Only bridal boutiques can be sold because they don't relied on repeat customer.
    For commercial photography it quite impossible because the client will and only use the photographer they know.



    How many commercial photographer you know operated this way?
    take First Photos as an example, they have many photographers in the company, big jobs small jobs all can makan. those clients are not that particular about who are the photographers is shooting, will just pass jobs to them, and client can be very certain that job will be done and delivery on time.

    those one man show business, especially brand the photographer's name to the business, very hard to sell, unless the one who takeover business are trained and groomed by the old photographer.
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