Angela has worked with a wide array of clients from the fashion and music industry. It's a wonder she had time for this interview! Thanks a ton for talking to us, Angela!
Tell me about your current business. What are you doing exactly?
I help clients create a brand identity, through photography.
When did you start the business?
Angela Photography has been up and running since 2004.
What were you doing before this, and is this your first business?
I worked for SunTrust Bank, while in school for photography. Once I was done with school, I pretty much jumped in with both feet and got started. If you don't count the lemonade stand when I was 5, yes, first business.
What advice would you give to somebody else who wanted to start a similar business?
Have a clear business plan, which maps out exactly what you want to do. Start small, too. Owning a business doesn't mean you have to act bigger than you are. If you are good at what you do, people will want to hire the skills- not the size. Things like buying equipment as you land more jobs, working out of your house and networking, all go a long way.
Temporary labor can be a great asset to an entrepreneur. Have you ever hired temps or contractors? Would you suggest this as a strategy for new business owners?
My assistants are all freelance contractors. I highly recommend them. They make the workload easier. Pick someone who is competent, as well as someone you can get along with. Sometimes the stress level is so high I need that person to say something ridiculous to make me laugh.
How has your experience in running the business been different from what you expected?
Sometimes it is lonely to run a business by yourself. When you run the business from start to finish you have to be efficient in all areas, AND be your own cheerleader at the same time. Multitasking is key. On the flip side, I didn't realize how rewarding it could be. When I have a client appreciate what I do, it's the best gift.
How did you come up with your business idea?
I got into photography pretty much by chance. My husband needed a picture of him for his band's website. I directed him on what I wanted him to do, how he should look and took a Polaroid of him. When I looked at it I thought, 'dang, I made him look hot' and I have been having fun with it ever since.
Do you own a business with family members? What do you think are the benefits and challenges to running a family owned business?
Yes, I own a social media platform called My Audio Bio with my husband. While it is hard to always separate personal from professional, it is also nice to have a partner to share the weight of the business with. That being said- I would REALLY think it through and have the proper paperwork in place before going into business with family. Money and family often don't mix, and I've seen greed ruin relationships and split families.
For women entrepreneurs, what specific advice would you have for young women who would like to become an entrepreneur? Are there specific advantages, disadvantages to being a women business owner?
Find a mentor, a female one if you can. When I have a new client, I often don't include details about my personal life. Many people consider a married woman or a woman with children someone who is going to flake out when the kids are sick. A lot of people think that you will not be as available as a man could be.
Once again, thank you for talking to us today Angela and good luck with your photography!