I'm Ali - a photographer who built her business from the ground up and wants to help others do the same.







How I Started My Business with Less than $2,000

February 21, 2023

When I left my full-time teaching job, I had very little savings put away for…well, anything. We weren’t living paycheck-to-paycheck, but we definitely didn’t have much excess either.

So when I finally made up my mind that I was going to do the damn thing, I didn’t really have much to start with. Honestly, I am kind of thankful for that because I know that I didn’t waste too much, and what I did waste was totally unintentional and due to a lack of business knowledge/preparedness (which is why I created The Photography Framework!).

When I sat down and tallied it all up, my two highest spending start-up categories were: equipment ($836.94) and marketing ($301.06).

My reasoning behind this: I had to have equipment to produce my product (images) and I had to begin marketing my service to gain income. Makes sense, right?

But notice that I spoke about “sitting down and tallying it all up” in past tense. If I could go back and do it again, I would have created a budget and not just blindly spent money in places I thought I needed to.

What makes up the almost $900 or so difference are a myriad of miscellaneous things: business licenses, software, a contract template, and some office supplies.

This is not a humble brag…I am actually rather embarrassed how haphazardly I started my business. But I do think that this is real life. I didn’t know what I was doing, so I learned through trial and error. There were some major parts of my business that were lacking or totally absent in my non-existent start-up budget. Did you see business insurance anywhere within this blog post? Nope. And you know why? Because I didn’t have it. And that was a huge mistake. I am just lucky I didn’t have to pay dearly for it.

So my number 1 suggestion when jumping into a start-up:

Create a budget. That way you know where each and every one of your hard-earned dollars has gone and you know how much you are making/losing (like a Profit & Loss statement!).

If you want to see a comprehensive list of start-up expenses, as well as where I allocated the rest of that mystery $900 start-up money (and where I wish I had allocated my start-up money), that is available in the “Prioritizing Start-Up Expenses” resource in The Photography Framework shop.

See below for more Pricing blog posts:

The #1 Purchase I Regret Making at the Start of My Business

3 Things You Probably Overlooked When Calculating CODB

How I Deal with Haggling Clients

But They’re Only Charging…

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