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048. 3 Ways To Know When To Take Your Boudoir Business Full-Time

048. 3 Ways To Know When To Take Your Boudoir Business Full-Time | See more at tracylynncoaching.com/podcast

A private coaching client recently asked my thoughts on when to quit her day job to go full-time in her boudoir business. In this episode, I’m breaking down three ways to prepare to quit your day job.

Another podcast sparked this conversation.

This client told me she’d listened to a recent podcast from a well-known coach who’d said to give up your 9-5, you need to pick a date and then make it happen.

I told her that I disagreed with this statement–my thoughts are entirely different, to be honest.

Picking a date without a strategy to support this date and decision can be dangerous for your financial situation, business, and life. 

It’s a good way to set yourself up for failure, in my opinion.

Three different strategies to take your boudoir business full time

Before we dive in, I want you to understand something. When working a full-time job, booking a full-time boudoir photography schedule, or making a massive amount of money each month will be next to impossible.

You have different working hours than a full-time photographer. How could you possibly photograph that many sessions or bring in that much money?

I want you to set realistic goals that you can actually achieve. Once you give up your day job, you will have all the time to work on your business. 

Your schedule will book out quickly, and you will make way more money because you have more time to focus on it, you know?

Decide a specific monthly revenue goal you must hit for a certain number of months. Let’s say your goal is to bring in $5K/month… and you want to hit that goal 2 months in a row. Once you’ve hit it two months in a row, you resign from your day job.

We aren’t just coming up with this number from thin air. It just comes down to a simple formula. 

The number you need to pay yourself ÷ 30% = total revenue you need

Based on the Professional Photographers of America Benchmark, the average photographer pays themselves 30% of their total revenue. 

If you’ve been in business long enough, maybe you know you pay yourself 45% or 60%. That’s awesome; you can use that number instead of 30%.

Let’s say to survive, you have to pay yourself $3000 per month.

$3000 ÷ 30% = $10,000

So what you’ll need to do is bring in $10,000 per month, two months in a row before you give up your 9-5.

Maybe $10K seems scary to you. And that’s why pricing correctly and doing in-person sales or IPS is so important. Listen to episode 44 for more information on this topic.

Does this strategy resonate with you?

If so, ask yourself, what do you need to bring in to survive each month at the minimum? 

Remember, you can book more and make more money when you don’t have your day job. You’ll have time then.

Right now, though, we’re just setting goals to get you out of your day job–to free up your time to build your business and the freedom you desire.

Once you’ve figured out what you need to make to pay yourself, divide that by 30%. That is the number you need to bring in to give up your day job confidently.

  1. Have a specific number of sessions on your schedule for a set amount of months.

When you have sessions on your schedule, you have guaranteed income. Unlike the first strategy, now we’re banking on what’s to come in the future.

Both of these strategies are great, but seeing a schedule full of sessions is a great indicator that it’s time to go full-time because you can see you’re already booked out.

And if you open your schedule up more, you will quickly hit your big money goals too.

Let’s say you work 9-5 Monday to Friday, and you shoot three weekends a month on Sunday and two sessions total each Sunday you work.

If you can stay booked eight weeks in advance, you should feel secure enough to give up your 9-5.

You have 12 sessions on your books, and when you have more free time after giving up your 9-5 and you open your books even more, you will easily book out your schedule.

If this strategy resonates with you, I want you to open up your boudoir business schedule for the next two months and fill any open sessions ASAP.

Once you have your two months filled, turn in that resignation letter!

  1. Have a specific amount of money in the bank.

A savings account is necessary, especially when trying to go full-time. 

For one thing, early in your business, you are still determining when your slow season will be. You may have a month or two where you don’t have any clients.

A strategic amount of savings in the bank to pay yourself–and your business bills–will make your boudoir business feel so much more secure.

Here’s the formula to know how much money you need in your savings.

Total Revenue ÷ 75% = Monthly Recommended Savings

Monthly Recommended Savings x 3 months = Total Recommended Savings

For the average photographer, the cost of sales is 25%. You won’t need your COS for a slow month because you won’t have costs associated with that month.

This is where 75% comes from. 

Here’s an example:

Let’s say you need to bring in $10,000 to keep it simple.

10K(total revenue) ÷ 75% = $7500 monthly savings

$7500 monthly savings 3 months = $22,500 Total recommended savings

If you’re anything like me early in business, you might think, “I’ve never seen $22,500 in my bank account. I won’t ever be able to go full-time with this strategy.”

You can if you’re disciplined.

Remember, it’s only for a short time. You can make it through this, save money, and start living your life BETTER than you are right now–with more time, money, and FREEDOM to do what you want.

The sacrifice is worth it.

048. 3 Ways To Know When To Take Your Boudoir Business Full-Time | See more at tracylynncoaching.com/podcast

Here’s the strategy I used to take my boudoir business full-time.

… a combination of all three!

In the first strategy, we were looking at our recurring income–ensuring we were consistently bringing in a certain amount of money each month to break even.

In the second strategy, we’re banking on what’s to come in the future. Booking sessions in advance so we knew we had guaranteed income on our books.

In the third strategy, we already had a buffer in our savings account to ensure we could survive if things got slow.

When deciding the best time to go full-time, I used a combination of the three strategies. 

I was working full-time as a dental hygienist and covering my bills at the minimum, still struggling, but I wasn’t going into debt either. 

My business WAS booming, though.

The year 2017 was my first six-figure year. In August of that year, I started talking to my business coach about what I needed to do to go full-time.

I created a plan to turn in my resignation to my dental office when I consistently brought in $8K or more, booking out every Sunday I worked with three sessions each. I had $15K in the bank. 

By December, I was hitting my monthly income goal and booked through February and into March.

I remember opening my bank account and specifically seeing the number$17,880 in the account–I’d never seen that much in my account at once.

That was when I knew it was time.

Do you know how great it felt to walk into the dental office for the last time, knowing I wouldn’t have to return?

I want you each to feel that feeling–ASAP. It’s the best feeling in the world; every photographer should experience it.

A few months of discipline to gain a lifetime of freedom.

I want you to understand that it takes discipline to go full-time comfortably.

You will probably have more money in the bank than you ever thought possible, and you must resist the urge to spend it on fancy new equipment, props, and everything else a photographer dreams about.

The money you make in your boudoir business while at your full-time job needs to sit in your bank account and grow while you’re still working your day job.

That’s how you’ll get out of your day job and into the career of your dreams.

Download my free guide for boudoir photographers!

I know the numbers we’ve discussed today might scare you a bit–that’s exactly why I created my free download, “Five Targets To Spot-Check In Your Boudoir Business This Year.”

Inside this free PDF, I take you through my 5-step process to simplify your business–including pricing your boudoir sessions and products well. 

Pricing right will help you hit those goals you need to switch to leave your 9-5.

tracy

Tracy Lynn is a boudoir photogapher for brides-to-be in the St. Louis area, and a mentor + coach for photographers looking to level up their businesses with better systems and processes.

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