Phoebe's Photo Studio

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Photography Studio Business Plan

Strategy and Implementation Summary

The key element of Phoebe's strategy is to reach parents of newborn babies in target neighborhoods soon after they leave the hospital. Parents and other relatives want baby photos several times a year, and this pattern can form the basis of a long-term relationship.  We will take the initiative to phone parents to take pictures instead of waiting for them to remember, when parents request this service.

Referrals will be solicited from clients through specialty advertising to reach their friends and family.  

The target market is female professionals. Professionals are more likely to have the means and taste for professional photographs. 

The world is becoming more digital and we will exceed the competition in providing access to digital files easily and affordably. 

Strategy Pyramid

Our strategy is to become an indispensible, recurring family expense by developing long-term relationships with clients and taking the initiative to to call them when it's time for new pictures.

Our tactics include:

  • Using individual photos as gateway products to our programs of ongoing photos. Programs include:

Targeting Baby Pictures: By correlating public records of births with zip codes of target families, we will solicit baby pictures. Baby pictures can be the gateway to our programs of ongoing pictures for the baby and the whole family.

Web Site: Our website will offer free CDs with digital images of photos taken for high school senior photos. Many families who order senior pictures haven't established a relationship with a photo studio for other pictures.

  • Developing long-term relationships through personal connection and programs  for calling for appointments when they're due.  Programs include:

Annual Portrait Program: We take the initiative to schedule the annual portrait and we replace it in last year’s frame while saving last year's photo in a portfolio.

Baby Picture Program: We arrange pictures of the baby at 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, 1 year, 18 months, 2 years, 2½ years.

Child Portrait Program: We arrange a portrait of the child at 3 years, 4 years and 5 years, or until the child begins to be photographed annually for school pictures.

Capturing Memories Program: We arrange an annual portrait of the family and individual picture of each member of the family. Photos include pets and the house and grounds, if desired.

  • Soliciting referrals from the friends and neighbors of our clients.

Specialty Advertising: Giving away interesting promotional products that are cool enough and inexpensive enough to ask them to give others away to their friends.

Competitive Edge

Our competitive edge is that we provide not only a photograph, but a program of ongoing portraits to capture the special moments in a family's life. We then make the digital images of their photos easily and affordably available for distributing on the Internet.

Marketing Strategy

Phoebe's Photo Studio is unique in having programs to capture the special moments of a family's life. These moments can easily pass by and be lost by busy professional families. We take the initiative to call them, if they request this service, to schedule appointments to mark the special stages of growth in their families.  We're there for baby pictures, high school senior pictures, wedding pictures and photos for their professional needs. 

Our prices are about the same as those at other photo studios, but we email digital files of our clients' images for free to help them put their pictures on the Web. There is no charge for our calling service, either, so we are a great value.

We will get the word out by conventional advertising to start, and by a yellow page ad and a website. We have a targeted marketing effort to families of newborn babies.

Distribution Strategy

Phoebe's Photo Studio will be located near where women dine and shop for higher-end clothes.  Because of our parking, toy room and ample couches, we can accommodate more than one family at a time.  Women who shop together can have their family pictures taken together or at the same time.

We will also be available for photo shoots at clients' homes or in nature.

Marketing Programs

Our marketing programs include:

  • Website development by ACE Marketing Communications
  • Yellow page ad developed by ACE Marketing Communications
  • Direct mail program to parents of new babies in our target area
  • Newspaper display ads the first six months
  • Radio spots the first six months

Details are provided in Milestones.

Positioning Statement

For female professionals and wives of professionals with children who need to capture their growth and special moments and share them with wall portraits and the Internet, we have a program to remind our customers when photos need taken so these moments aren't lost. Unlike our competition, we take the initiative to make these calls and include inexpensive CDs and free emails of their digital images.

Pricing Strategy

Our prices are competitive with other high-quality professional photographers in the area, but digital files are delivered affordably by CD or free by email. Our value added is in our programs of calls to capture the growth of the family.

Promotion Strategy

We will have a professionally designed Yellow Page ad and a website. In addition, baby pictures will be targeted using public birth records and mailings to families in our target areas.

During the first six months, we will run display ads in the local paper and radio spots on several different local stations.

Sales Strategy

A special for the first baby picture will be a regular feature of our pricing structure. This is offered with the intent of getting the whole family on an ongoing basis as clients, because babies need photos frequently and we want these families to be clients for life.

Sales Forecast

First year sales are projected at to double by 2008.

The sales forecast for 2006 assumes slow growth at first, a decline over summer and a large increase in fall for senior photos. 

Sales are shown in terms of units of individual portraits at $100 each, photos at home at $200 each, and wedding albums at $2,500.

The per-unit cost is estimated at 10 percent for  portraits and family photos, and 20% for weddings. This cost includes all expenses for outsourced high-resolution printing, as well as materials for producing digital products (CDs, labels, etc.). The direct costs are higher for weddings, because this sales category is the most traditional, and will result in a much higher percentage of printed final products than digital ones.

Sales Forecast
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Unit Sales
Portraits 300 600 900
Family Photos On-Site 109 218 436
Weddings 32 34 36
Total Unit Sales 441 852 1,372
Unit Prices Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Portraits $100.00 $100.00 $100.00
Family Photos On-Site $200.00 $200.00 $200.00
Weddings $2,500.00 $2,500.00 $2,500.00
Portraits $30,000 $60,000 $90,000
Family Photos On-Site $21,800 $43,600 $87,200
Weddings $80,000 $85,000 $90,000
Total Sales $131,800 $188,600 $267,200
Direct Unit Costs Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Portraits $10.00 $10.00 $10.00
Family Photos On-Site $20.00 $20.00 $20.00
Weddings $500.00 $500.00 $500.00
Direct Cost of Sales
Portraits $3,000 $6,000 $9,000
Family Photos On-Site $2,180 $4,360 $8,720
Weddings $16,000 $17,000 $18,000
Subtotal Direct Cost of Sales $21,180 $27,360 $35,720


  • Installation of electric sign during the month of December.
  • Move in during the month of December.
  • Employee training while moving in during the month of December.
  • Website development by ACE Marketing Communications by December 1, 2005.
  • Yellow page ad developed by ACE Marketing Communications by December 1, 2005.
  • Design direct mail program to parents of new babies in our target area, with mailings to begin January 1, 2006.
  • Display advertising in the Register-Guard for the first six months.
  • Radio spots on radio stations targeted to female professionals the first six months.

The budget for these milestones has been included as start-up expenses, except the sign, which is an asset.  Other details are provided in the accompanying Milestones.

Milestone Start Date End Date Budget Manager Department
Web site development 9/12/2005 12/1/2005 $2,000 ACE Comm. Contractor
Radio spot scrip 9/12/2005 12/1/2005 $1,000 ACE Comm. Contractor
Yellow Page ad design 9/12/2005 12/1/2005 $1,200 ACE Comm. Contractor
Direct mail system for newborns 9/12/2005 12/10/2005 $5,000 ACE Comm. Contractor
Newspaper display ad design 9/12/2005 12/15/2005 $1,200 ACE Comm. Contractor
Electric Sign Installed 12/1/2005 12/30/2005 $3,000 A1 Signs Contractor
Move in 12/1/2005 12/30/2005 $0 Phoebe Owner
Employee training 12/1/2005 12/30/2005 $1,500 Phoebe Owner
Radio spot production 12/1/2005 12/31/2005 $3,000 ACE Comm. Contractor
Newspaper display ad run 1/1/2006 5/30/2006 $3,100 ACE Comm. Contractor
Radio spot run 1/1/2006 5/30/2006 $4,000 ACE Comm. Contractor
Totals $25,000

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