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It’s impossible not to notice rapidly rising costs of, well, everything. The pinch of inflation is showing up everywhere- in your grocery carts, your gas tanks, in your costs to ship packages- everything you do and buy is more expensive right now than it has been in 40 years.

Prices on supplies, gas, shipping, and more are increasing at such a rate that is going to affect your business’ profitability if you do not work these costs into your business.

These rising costs are affecting every facet of your lives, including your photography business profits.

Read on to learn what these consumer price increases, record inflation numbers and smaller bank balances really mean for your photography business- and what can you do to offset them.  

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Where Does Inflation Show up in Your Photography Business?

Inflation has been increasing significantly over the past two years, and is predicted to continue increasing throughout 2022. Here are some of the ways you may see your business be affected by rising inflation.

  • Higher gas prices - This not only means traveling for your shoots becomes more expensive but shipping costs for anything (props, backdrops etc.) also have skyrocketed. Have you tried to order a large backdrop lately? 
  • Decreased availability of supplies - Every industry, including photography, is suffering from a  shortage of supplies due to supply chain issues. 
  • Consistently not being able to hit your profit margins - If you do not adjust your prices for inflation, you will start to see a decrease in profit with each sale. Eventually, your overall profit will decrease. 

If you don’t adjust for inflation, you may not be able to hit your profit margins (aka your take home pay!). How can you avoid this, or at least minimize the damages? By strategically building in the cost of inflation into different parts of your business.

How to Build Inflation Costs Into Your Business

Start by taking stock of what costs have increased in your business and adjust your pricing accordingly

When you are raising your prices consider the following: 

  • You don’t have to do it on every service or product. Do it where it makes the most sense and customers will be least likely to find it a shocking increase. 
  • You can also offer a smaller amount of services in your packages and keep the price the same in order to compensate for a price increase. 
  • Consider switching to different products or adding additional products which have a higher profit margin. 
  • Are you traveling long distance for your shoots? Perhaps add in a travel fee to offset those costs. 

Creating an Inflation Pricing Strategy That Works For You and Your Business

Raising prices might seem scary, but it is necessary to adjust your prices during inflation if you want to make a profit in your business. Here are some things to consider as you raise your prices and communicate increases with your customers.

  • Yes, you may lose some of your cheaper customers. But remember, this is always a risk you take when you raise your prices. Clients who are on your calendar only because of cheaper pricing are not going to end up being your ideal, repeat clients in any scenario.
  • In the simplest terms, if you don’t raise your prices and adjust for inflation in your business, you will not make any money.
  • If you are clear when communicating with your clients about price increases, you will create new opportunities to show your clients that you are providing top quality services and care about the quality of your work.

In the Inc.com article, “Why it's Time to Think About Raising Your Price,” author LJ Suzuki writes:

 “The right pricing strategy will depend on your business and your industry. I recommend performing a full competitive pricing analysis to determine the best course of action. If you do not have the time or resources for a full pricing analysis, here's a rule of thumb:

If there are shortages in your industry, you should raise prices.

That statement applies to well over half the economy right now, so odds are now is the right time to raise prices.”

Sound advice and a helpful perspective on a subject that many photographers find uncomfortable to address, implement, and communicate.

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Final Thoughts

When inflation rises, the purchasing power of your clients also erodes - in simple terms, they can now buy fewer goods and services than they used to. This means we have to find the balance between offsetting rising inflation with our clients having less disposable income. 

Plan for this by nurturing your current clients to get more repeat clients and referrals, and increasing your marketing efforts. Setting your pricing is not a one and done scenario. Make it part of your business plan to review your pricing and make adjustments as needed each year.

When you are ready to adjust your pricing, we have two articles that can help: 

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