I have started working on my own business in December 2008. Here’s the progress so far.
Idea is very simple: Â web gallery with shopping cart for wedding photographers. For more details see my older post.
Fotrel is a web application. My clients use it as a service. The whole software-as-a-service model has a great appeal to me. I can make money while I sleep. There is no pain ofÂ acquiringÂ new clients.
I’ve set the price to $95 per month right from the beginning. I didn’t want my product to look cheap. On the other hand it is flat price. I don’t like the idea of charging commission for this kind of service. For some reason it feels like putting my hands in client’s pocket. After all, my expenses are exactly the same regardless of how many orders my client gets.
Then, after reading Jay Abraham’s book I got an idea: charge $95 per month only if photographer has sales in that month. This creates a safety net for my clients: if my product doesn’t bring profit to them at least they are not losing money on it. This should be especially appealing to small (one-person) studios. Also, when you have sales paying $95 feels like giving away part of the profit, not parting with your own money. So far people like this idea. It certainly makes it easier to say yes rather than no.
Not everyone pays me each month because of the pricing structure. So it is somewhat hard to tell if someone is my customer. A photographer could sign up for my service just to try it out and then never come back. I define my client as someone who has uploaded at least one wedding or portrait gallery in past 3 months.
At the moment I have 15 clients.
On average, I get $300 per month.
You might be wondering why I have those redÂ months with negative profit.
- I hired web designer twice.
- I sponsored few AIPP mentoring sessions.
Hosting is the biggest part of myÂ expenses at the moment – about $150 per month. I’m using Amazon EC2 and Softsys Hosting.
Overall, I’m happy with my progress. For now, my focus is on preventing those red bars from appearing again.
P.S. You can take a look at my product here: Fotrel.