so -- brief report from small business land

Scott ButnerScott Butner Senior MemberPosts: 3,918 Senior Member
3 months in.

- haven't lost any money yet (aside from the $15K we invested in new equipment and improvements to the studio at the onset). Also haven't made any. So far, haven't paid myself a dime.

- but we get closer every month. Actually, November could be good enough that we take a modest salary.

- slowly realizing that some of the ideals I had about pricing, market sector that I'm serving, etc are at odds with making even a modest living. I WANT to serve a blue collar clientele, and not be yet another service business, catering to the whims of the overpriveldged and affluent. That forces me to keep my prices far below what I know I can ask. Hanging in there with the hope that as I expand the offerings of the studio, I'll increase profits without increasing my prices.

- kicking myself because I've gone three months without hardly any starbucks, due to the tightening of our economic belt (6 figure income changed to net income in the mid-20's once our insurance bill is paid every month) -- and just now found out that I could have been drawing unemployment all this time even as a self-employed individual. D'oh!

- despite the money woes, enjoying the work a lot, and sleeping better (though still working tons of hours). As Gillian Welch sings in "Everything is free now":

"I can get a straight job
I've done it before
I've never minded working hard
it's who I'm working for..."

Oh yeah -- and after 3 months as a business owner, I'm proud to report that I'm still a Democrat. ;-)
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Replies

  • bakerloobakerloo Banned Posts: 980 Senior Member
    -

    Oh yeah -- and after 3 months as a business owner, I'm proud to report that I'm still a Democrat. ;-)

    That's because you aren't making any money.
    When you start making a bunch of money and giving it to "the man", you may feel different.
    Please remember what our POTUS said...
    "If you've got a business—you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen."
    "So what is big is not always the Trout nor the Deer but the chance, the being there. And what is full is not necessarily the creel nor the freezer, but the memory."
    Aldo Leopold
  • creekguycreekguy Senior Member Posts: 3,905 Senior Member
    bakerloo wrote: »
    Please remember what our POTUS said...
    "If you've got a business—you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen."

    It would be good, Bakerloo, if you knew what "that" in the statement referred to. He was talking about infrastructure like roads and bridges.
  • bakerloobakerloo Banned Posts: 980 Senior Member
    Ya I know... His comment was so brilliant that it has it's own wiki page.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/You_didn't_build_that

    I just hope Scott is thankful for the road and sidewalks outside of his studio. Without them, his long hours and $15K in equipment/studio upgrades would simply have been a waste of time and money. I thank the government every day for creating the internet.
    "So what is big is not always the Trout nor the Deer but the chance, the being there. And what is full is not necessarily the creel nor the freezer, but the memory."
    Aldo Leopold
  • creekguycreekguy Senior Member Posts: 3,905 Senior Member
    In fact, the WWW was created by DOD with taxpayer money. But you knew that, too.
    So what was more outrageous, the POTUS giving the opposition a chance to distort his meaning, or the GOP ads that blatantly lied about what he meant.
  • bakerloobakerloo Banned Posts: 980 Senior Member
    creekguy wrote: »
    In fact, the WWW was created by DOD with taxpayer money. But you knew that, too.
    So what was more outrageous, the POTUS giving the opposition a chance to distort his meaning, or the GOP ads that blatantly lied about what he meant.

    In his position, you have to say what mean and mean what you say.

    "if you like your plan, you can keep it,"
    Can you please explain what he meant by that so I don't get confused by a GOP ad.

    Thanks in advance.
    "So what is big is not always the Trout nor the Deer but the chance, the being there. And what is full is not necessarily the creel nor the freezer, but the memory."
    Aldo Leopold
  • dryfliedryflie Senior Member Posts: 1,442 Senior Member
    bakerloo wrote: »
    In his position, you have to say what mean and mean what you say.

    "if you like your plan, you can keep it,"
    Can you please explain what he meant by that so I don't get confused by a GOP ad.

    Thanks in advance.

    Who took those plans away?? Was it the ACA or was it insurance companies looking for an excuse to make more money. Obama's mistake here was believing what the insurance companies told him.

    Maybe what outraged conservatives can do now is insist that these discontinued plans, plans that generally were total ripoffs, be allowed to continue...you want a crappy plan then go right ahead and keep it. I guess that's what they wanted Obama to say.
    “The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.” - John Kenneth Galbraith
  • creekguycreekguy Senior Member Posts: 3,905 Senior Member
    It was untrue, although the insurance policies that are involved are rejected because they lack important coverage the new ones have. Many were policies designed to allow benefits to be denied.
    You started out by saying "Please remember what our POTUS said... "If you've got a business—you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen." Which sounds like you are seriously stating he was talking about a persons business, which is untrue. Which was why I responded.
  • HextallHextall Senior Member Posts: 9,520 Senior Member
    Scott, sounds like you are having fun starting up your business. That's pretty cool.
  • jbillyjbilly Senior Member Posts: 5,258 Senior Member
    Scott,
    Hope you business continues to grow. Heck you should just go into Starbucks with all the folks you have shot pics of I am sure you could get a cup or two on the house. Speaking of your phots...what gives....no scantly clad women in a long time...are you too god for us now. :D

    Glad you are enjoying yourself and that you are your own boss now.
  • NZ IndicatorNZ Indicator Senior Member Posts: 10,115 Senior Member
    - kicking myself because I've gone three months without hardly any starbucks,

    That must be horrible. You're going to have to start making coffee at home or in the office. Or be like the rest of us common folk and buy the .89 cent gas station coffee. :D

    The half dozen or so times that I have been to SB, I never understood the fascination with the place.
  • FishTXFishTX Super Moderator Posts: 8,024 Senior Member
    joekrz wrote: »
    The half dozen or so times that I have been to SB, I never understood the fascination with the place.

    You aren't a hipster like Scott.
    "We have to find someone who can not only fly this plane, but who didn't have fish for dinner."

    Crooow:This music would work better with women in bikinis shaking all over the place. I guess that's true of any music really.
  • Shawn C.Shawn C. Senior Member Posts: 6,960 Senior Member
    Scott a hipster! Funny!

    Well, I wish you continued growth and good fortune, Butner.
    It looks like comet ISON may not be worth a photo safari so you can stay in the Tri-Cities and make some money instead of traveling around!


    Sent from my ObamaPhone using Tapatalk
  • dryflie wrote: »
    Who took those plans away?? Was it the ACA or was it insurance companies looking for an excuse to make more money. Obama's mistake here was believing what the insurance companies told him.

    Maybe what outraged conservatives can do now is insist that these discontinued plans, plans that generally were total ripoffs, be allowed to continue...you want a crappy plan then go right ahead and keep it. I guess that's what they wanted Obama to say.

    Uh, Those plans were taken away by the Health and Human Services Department under its interpretation of the ACA.
    Insurers could try and offer very high end plans on the exchanges, but not all insurers believe the exchanges will provide the diversified policyholder base they would need given they can't underwrite.

    Edit to add. I thought you were talking about plans like that of Edie Sundby - the latest enemy of the Administration.

    For the low-end plans, they are still offered by a number of insurers - Assurant, Golden Rule/United Healthcare, Cigna, C.V. Starr, HCC etc., etc. But if you want them, you have to pay the penalty.
  • 3 months in.

    -
    - slowly realizing that some of the ideals I had about pricing, market sector that I'm serving, etc are at odds with making even a modest living. I WANT to serve a blue collar clientele, and not be yet another service business, catering to the whims of the overpriveldged and affluent. That forces me to keep my prices far below what I know I can ask. Hanging in there with the hope that as I expand the offerings of the studio, I'll increase profits without increasing my prices.

    I would suggest you read "Casting A Spell" by George Black. It's about bamboo rodmakers. The high-end artisan always faces the same problems.
  • MikeAMikeA Senior Member Posts: 4,027 Senior Member
    Congrats Scott! Wish I lived closer so I could come check the place out.
  • dryfliedryflie Senior Member Posts: 1,442 Senior Member
    Scott, are web sales part of your business plan?? Seems a lot of photographers sell ( or try to anyway) their work on line.
    “The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.” - John Kenneth Galbraith
  • creekguycreekguy Senior Member Posts: 3,905 Senior Member
    Steven wrote: »
    Uh, Those plans were taken away by the Health and Human Services Department under its interpretation of the ACA.
    Insurers could try and offer very high end plans on the exchanges, but not all insurers believe the exchanges will provide the diversified policyholder base they would need given they can't underwrite.

    Edit to add. I thought you were talking about plans like that of Edie Sundby - the latest enemy of the Administration.

    For the low-end plans, they are still offered by a number of insurers - Assurant, Golden Rule/United Healthcare, Cigna, C.V. Starr, HCC etc., etc. But if you want them, you have to pay the penalty.

    the latest:
    (Obama aide) Pfeiffer’s crime was challenging a specific, factual claim in Sundby’s powerful op-ed, that “Thanks to the (Affordable Care Act) law, I have been forced to give up a world-class health plan.” He did so by citing a ThinkProgress piece which points out that her insurance company, United Healthcare, chose to pull out of the individual market in California. They were not forced to, and in a statement announcing their decision, cited small market share and difficulty “administer(ing) these plans in a cost-effective way,” not the Affordable Care Act. The company had already decided, months earlier, not to participate in California’s health care exchange, Covered California.
    While Kelly dinged Pfeiffer for a lack of empathy, she didn’t offer much of a challenge to his facts, conceding that “I know United pulled out of the market for various reasons,” but added that “the CEO was explicit that Obamacare tipped the scales.”
  • You really think I'm not aware of how Pfeiffer and ThinkProgress have tried to pass the blame? This isn't the latest, it's days old.

    The attempt to shift blame is asinine. The Administration creates a system in which a company believes it can't prosper and then blames the company for leaving. The blame for Sundby's predicament lays with the creators of the system for not understanding - or lying - about what could happen.
  • creekguycreekguy Senior Member Posts: 3,905 Senior Member
    I'm sure others are interested in the issue, and will appreciate that viewpoint.
  • dryfliedryflie Senior Member Posts: 1,442 Senior Member
    Steven wrote: »
    You really think I'm not aware of how Pfeiffer and ThinkProgress have tried to pass the blame? This isn't the latest, it's days old.

    The attempt to shift blame is asinine. The Administration creates a system in which a company believes it can't prosper and then blames the company for leaving. The blame for Sundby's predicament lays with the creators of the system for not understanding - or lying - about what could happen.

    The issue, from my point of view, has to do with scam policies many insurance companies offered. Policies that promised lots delivered little and cost plenty. Free market you know. Laissez-faire or unfaire.
    “The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.” - John Kenneth Galbraith
  • dryfliedryflie Senior Member Posts: 1,442 Senior Member
    Let's see how fast this post can morph into an Obamacare rant!!!
    “The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.” - John Kenneth Galbraith
  • GoldenladleGoldenladle Super Moderator Posts: 3,897 Senior Member
    dryflie wrote: »
    Let's see how fast this post can morph into an Obamacare rant!!!

    IBB - if you like your plan, you can keep your plan or some **** like that.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

    Moved to Montana, gonna be a dental floss tycoon.

  • bakerloobakerloo Banned Posts: 980 Senior Member
    IBB - if you like your plan, you can keep your plan or some **** like that.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

    ****! I was asleep at the switch. Maybe next time.
    "So what is big is not always the Trout nor the Deer but the chance, the being there. And what is full is not necessarily the creel nor the freezer, but the memory."
    Aldo Leopold
  • NZ IndicatorNZ Indicator Senior Member Posts: 10,115 Senior Member
    bakerloo wrote: »
    ****! I was asleep at the switch. Maybe next time.

    You can still talk about saving every family $2500/year in insurance premiums. ;)
  • dryflie wrote: »
    The issue, from my point of view, has to do with scam policies many insurance companies offered. Policies that promised lots delivered little and cost plenty. Free market you know. Laissez-faire or unfaire.

    LOL. Insurance is regulated by the states.
  • NZ IndicatorNZ Indicator Senior Member Posts: 10,115 Senior Member
    dryflie wrote: »
    The issue, from my point of view, has to do with scam policies many insurance companies offered. Policies that promised lots delivered little and cost plenty. Free market you know. Laissez-faire or unfaire.

    How can you say its a scam policy when its up to the individual buying the policy to read and research the EOB, before buying, so they know what is covered and what is not covered?



    Sent from my DROID X2 using Tapatalk 2
  • Scott ButnerScott Butner Senior Member Posts: 3,918 Senior Member
    jbilly wrote: »
    Scott,
    Hope you business continues to grow. Heck you should just go into Starbucks with all the folks you have shot pics of I am sure you could get a cup or two on the house. Speaking of your phots...what gives....no scantly clad women in a long time...are you too god for us now. :D


    well, partly it's just that when it comes to paying clients, there are a lot more people with babies and dogs than killer bods.

    and frankly, I think I kind of like the kid shoots better, too. I really, really enjoy shooting photos of 1-2 year olds way more than I thought I would. And I'm good at it, so that helps.

    as far as scantily clad women, I have a shoot tomorrow where we are focusing on "body parts" -- I asked about wardrobe and the model simply replied "I wasn't really planning on any"

    those will NOT be going on Facebook. At least, most of them won't. lol
  • Scott ButnerScott Butner Senior Member Posts: 3,918 Senior Member
    dryflie wrote: »
    Scott, are web sales part of your business plan?? Seems a lot of photographers sell ( or try to anyway) their work on line.

    not QUITE yet -- there's always more things to do than time to do them -- but soon. very soon. ANd I do have customers lined up waiting to place orders for landscape stuff. I think it will end up being the most lucrative part of my business, which I hope is true because that will give me justification to go out on road trips, and get some fishing in during those hours where the light sucks.
  • Scott ButnerScott Butner Senior Member Posts: 3,918 Senior Member
    joekrz wrote: »
    That must be horrible. You're going to have to start making coffee at home or in the office. Or be like the rest of us common folk and buy the .89 cent gas station coffee. :D

    The half dozen or so times that I have been to SB, I never understood the fascination with the place.

    So for me, the "fascination" with starbucks is equivalent to why someone might go to their neighborhood bar to get a beer instead of picking up a six pack at the corner store. I don't drink booze, so Starbucks basically IS my "local" and I can go there and reliably run into friends, (*former*) co-workers, and potential customers -- can't really count the number of times that I've picked up a new customer as a result of hanging out at the local store (it helps that portraits that I've taken of the store employees are a popular feature on the wall there and have been for several years).

    On the days I don't go to Starbucks, I often don't bother with coffee at all -- I enjoy it, but am not especially addicted.
  • Scott ButnerScott Butner Senior Member Posts: 3,918 Senior Member
    FishTX wrote: »
    You aren't a hipster like Scott.


    oh yeah. And this ^ too.

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