Archive for November, 2009

Grading form for Business Plan presentation by Natalie Fobes

Friday, November 20th, 2009

©2009 Natalie Fobes, www.fobesphoto.com

Please download and print this grading sheet. Hand it to Christopher Conrad when you introduce yourself.

Name:

THE BASICS

60 pts

Description of the business you are starting

The market and trends in the industry

Your competition

Your unique qualities or skills that will ensure success of the business

Anything else you think is important in selling your plan

Score_____

SUBSTANCE & DEPTH

20 points

Ability to respond to tough questions

Knowledge of particulars in your plan

Attitude and final Impressions

Score_____

PRESENTATION

20 points

Introduction of yourself and manners, ie thank you for meeting me…my name is…

Posture, eye contact, voice control

Proper grooming

General impression

Score_____

Simple Accounting by Natalie Fobes

Friday, November 20th, 2009

©2009 Natalie Fobes

The goal of any accounting system is to track your money. You need to know where your money comes from and where it goes. This knowledge helps you plan for the future, figure out your taxes and see trends in your business.

The easiest way to do this is to use a program like Money or Quicken that works with your bank. You want to be able to download your bank transactions directly into the program. You will need to enter the payee and a category for each transaction. For deposits you’ll need to enter who paid you and the category.

While this may seem like a lot of work it will save you lots of time in the future. It will allow you to track your business success and plan for future.

For example, every month or so I check to see how much money I’ve made. I compare it to previous years and can then estimate how much I will owe in taxes at the end of the year. I adjust my Estimated Quarterly tax payments accordingly.

In November I look at my tax-deductible expenses to see if I am comparable with previous years. If the deductions are less than the previous year’s I might make some purchases before the end of the year, or pay my professional associations’ dues a little early, or pay off the advertising invoice that will come across my desk in January to boost my deductions.

I can track how my marketing and promotion expenditures are doing by comparing income year over year.

Below are some of the categories that I’ve set up on my business software

Income

Weddings

Portraits

Stock

Lectures

Assignments

Salary

Misc

Sales tax collected

Expense

Employee Wages 1099

Employee Wages W2

Telephone

Storage Unit for slides/equipment

Equipment repair

Rental

Promotion and advertising

Processing and printing

Travel other than hotel, plane, auto

Meals, in and out of town

Office supplies

Misc

Internet

Computers

Auto expense

Plane

Insurance

Hotel

Shipping fed-ex, stamps

Education

Dues

Cost of materials (albums)

Sales tax is collected on retail sales only and is entered as a line item in my accounting program. I do not include it in my total income as it is only money I collect for the state.  I charge sales tax on my fine art print sales, my weddings and portraits. The tax is on both services and products for my weddings and portraits.

I do not charge tax on my assignment, stock, lecture or royalty income.

Taxes

Next quarter you will be required to get your local and state business licenses. After that you will be required to file forms for the state and city B&O tax (Business and Occupation) on either a quarterly or yearly basis. The state and city will let you know which schedule you are on.

If you have employees you must pay Labor and Industry and Unemployment taxes. You will be required to with hold money from their paychecks and contribute half of their medicare and social security taxes. If your employees are contractors, and you paid them more than $800 during the year, you are required to send them a 1099 at the end of the year.

Other taxes may include personal property tax on your equipment, an employee commute tax and a usage tax on equipment bought out of state that you didn’t pay the state’s sales tax on.

Taxes are complicated.

Check with a tax preparer to make sure you are doing your taxes correctly. Better yet, hire a cpa to prepare your taxes. It is tax deductible.

The Mission Statement by Natalie Fobes

Friday, November 20th, 2009

©2009 Natalie Fobes, www.fobesphoto.com

A mission statement is a succinct summary of your business/personal principles coupled with your business specialty. It is difficult to write because each word carries tremendous importance.  Think poetry, not prose. Just as each word in a poem is chosen carefully, you must thoughtfully choose each word in a mission statement.

The mission statement can help you make difficult decisions. You can ask yourself: does this fit with my mission. One of my friends was offered the long-term contract for a cigarette company’s advertising campaign. It was lucrative. After a few days of thought he turned it down. He told me it didn’t fit with the mission of his photography.

The mission statement can be private or it can be public. Here are a few that I found online:

BEA: Supporting photography that makes a difference (this is the non-profit I co-founded in 1996)

Bullitt Foundation: To safeguard the natural environment by promoting responsible human activities and sustainable communities in the Pacific Northwest.

Starbucks: To inspire and nurture the human spirit— one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.

Costco: To continually provide our members with quality goods and services at the lowest possible prices.

Gatesfoundation.org: has 15 guiding principles instead of one mission statement.

Nov. 20th class info

Friday, November 13th, 2009

Class will start at 9 a.m. on Nov. 20th.

Please work up a draft mission statement to read to the class. It should be one or two sentences. Think poetry where every word is critical and not prose. This is to help you focus on the mission statement for your business plan. While it is an ungraded assignment it is required.

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Friday, November 13th, 2009

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Customizing Lightroom Gallery by Natalie Fobes

Friday, November 13th, 2009

©Natalie Fobes 2009

Select the photos in Library. Then click on the Web Module.

Scroll down through the Template Browser on the right. These are HTML and Flash templates that come with LR. You can also create your own template. For simplicity’s sake select HTML gallery (default)

On the right you will see another column with options.

Site Info

Fill in the Site Title with your client’s name.

Collection Title can hold anything. I use it to describe the assignment and list the usage agreement if any. “For examination only, no usages allowed without permission from photographer,” for example.

Collection Description: I put my copyright information there.

Contact Info: My name

Web or Mail Link: My email

You can change the color of the web gallery by playing with it under the Color Palette. Double click on the boxes to the right of the words text, detail text, etc. to bring up the color picker. The slider on the right side of that box will bring in colors.

Appearance:

Choose whether you want a drop shadow, section borders, the number of rows and columns, cell numbers, photo borders etc. I don’t check “show cell numbers.”

Image Info

Check Title and then choose Filename that is an option on the right. I don’t check caption.

Output Settings I leave the image quality at 70. I check the box for “Add Copyright Watermark” I check Sharpening and standard.

Upload Settings:

While you can upload directly to your server I prefer to export to a folder on my computer. Don’t check anything here.

Then click Export. You will be prompted to name the folder and choose a location for it. Put your name here without spaces. Click Save.