If you want to start a small photo printing business to help people relive their favourite memories, you’ll need a plan. A business plan can provide you with clear objectives to get started and refer back to as you progress. Your aims may change over time, but you can analyse your success by comparing your positions to your expectations.

More than that, you may need to cover costs for a shop location or require equipment to get started. A business plan will help you secure funding to make your print shop possible. 

This guide will cover writing a business plan for a photo printing business, including:

  • Business description
  • Products and services
  • Market analysis
  • Aims and strategy
  • Financial projections

Business description

Describe what the company is and what it represents in your plan, this will help explain the idea when approaching an investor or bank for a small business loan

Mission statement

One way to do this is by writing a mission statement for your company. It is a declaration of your business’ purpose and what it will add to customers’ lives or the local community, in the case of a small business. For example, you could seek to bring back an appreciation for the experience that photos provide and make that appreciation accessible.

Branding

With a mission statement, you have an idea behind the business, but to communicate that to your customers, you need a brand that suits it. Branding is the public identity of your business. How the brand presents itself goes further than a name and logo as well. To have branding that is cohesive, you can also put together brand guidelines

Your guidelines include what to follow in your marketing strategy, such as: 

  • Name — what variations of the name to use.
  • Logo — what variations of the logo to use.
  • Colour scheme — two or three colours the brand will use.
  • Tone of voice — the way you speak to customers (e.g. friendly and casual or corporate and serious).

Having a solid brand represented in your business plan shows that your photo printing company will build a relationship with customers and have growth potential. Branding is crucial to see for professional investors, especially.

Products and services

Another significant section to include within your business plan is what products and services you intend to offer customers. Your products and services should be fully explained through the plan. You may be presenting it to investors or lenders with little knowledge of your industry.

Unique selling point

Your unique selling point (USP) to your business is the core reason for customers to buy from you. Your point will either be a specific product you offer or a unique service you provide. 

Your unique selling point should be something that customers can’t get anywhere else. Your key selling point communicates the strengths of your business, which can also be used in marketing.

Market analysis

Market analysis is another important section for your business plan. Your analysis will feature two main things: what competition you have and who your customers are.

Competitors

To find as much out as you can about your competition, conduct market research. This activity involves visiting competitors’ sites or stores and noting their services and which marketing channels they use. 

If they sell similar products, purchase them and directly compare them with yours. Carrying out comparative physical research is called benchmarking, which may help you to create a better quality product than competitors. For example, perhaps you could look at the prints that competitors sell. 

Target audience

Continuing with your research, you should be investigating the groups of people who are most likely to want to engage with your business. You can speak to the public directly to help find this out. Surveys and interviews allow you to ask questions about what people want.

Suppose you start to find similarities between the people who respond positively to what you offer. In that case, these form your target audience. A helpful way to present those findings in your plan is to put together a customer profile (sometimes called customer avatar). A profile is a hypothetical person that represents an ideal customer.

Customer profiles should include:

  • Name
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Occupation
  • Lifestyle

Goals and strategy

If the purpose of your business plan is to help you secure funding, include your business goals. Beyond funding, including short, medium, and long-term plans for the business gives you something to work towards and track your progress. To make that easier for yourself to compare, make sure the goals can be measurable and set timeframes for reaching them.

When you establish goals, it’s also crucial to produce strategies to achieve them. For example, if you aim to have a hundred customers in the first month, you can plan how to market your launch. After the first month is over, you can look back to see if you reached a hundred purchases.

Financial projections

Financial projections is another crucial section that investors and lenders will look for. In this part, create a sales forecast to provide your plan with a detailed prediction of the expected money coming into the business.

A sales forecast includes your expectations for the number of sales you expect to earn multiplied by the amount customers will spend. Calculating that forecast can give you a picture of how much revenue you expect for a month, quarter or year.

How Countingup can help make projecting and managing finance easy

As you complete your photo printing business plan, and start your business, you’ll need to manage your finances well. By setting up a separate account for your photo printing business, you will be able to keep track of everything going in and out. Staying on top of your finances will also be useful when it comes to filing tax returns. Countingup can provide you with cash flow insights so you can keep a record of finances easily.

Countingup is the current business account with built-in accounting software. It includes an expense categorisation feature that lets you sort your costs together to look at different financial information for each business area. 

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