Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in photography but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Lola Oliver, Founder of Lola O Photography, located in Honolulu, HI, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business is centered around portrait photography. My main customers are tourist families visiting the island for vacation.
Tell us about yourself
Photography began as a hobby for me, and I initially took photos of models for my blogs, www.RawMess.com and www.ThinkLikeAModel.com. It is really motivating knowing I can provide visual memories for families celebrating various milestones.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment is being able to go full-time back in 2019, turning my side-hustle into my main source of income.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Being a business owner means having to find the right work/life balance and not always being able to clock out at a reasonable hour.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- You may have to pay your dues. Work for free in the beginning until you feel confident in your abilities to provide quality services (unless you are selling products).
- Set boundaries with your clients/customers. Do not be available all the time, or people WILL take advantage of this. Do not do free work after you've begun charging for your services, under ANY circumstances. People will try to get something for nothing. Clearly spell out your policies and enforce them when needed. Don't let people walk all over you!
- Show appreciation for your valued clients/customers. If you're providing a service, give your clients a small gift. Even something as small as a lollipop for your client's children who are present goes a long way!
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Find a way to stand out from other businesses in your industry. As an outdoor portrait photographer in Hawaii, I provide accessories, props, umbrellas, bobby pins... I also play island music during my sessions and give goodie bags to my mid to top-tier clients. People appreciate and remember these details. Because of this, I have many repeat and word-of-mouth clients!
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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