We recently received a submission from a very unique group of women, known as Picsee Studio. After reading a little bit about them, we immediately wanted to share their story with you. Sometimes people want to go into business with a partner or partners, but they may not know how to go about doing that in the most effective way. These women are a great success story of doing just that, and they are a great source of knowledge to other photographers that are looking to do something similar.
About Picsee Studio:
We’re Becky, Jennifer & Christy (aka “the Picsee chicks”), the creative forces behind Picsee Studio. We’re passionate about finding the love and beauty in everyday life, and capturing significant moments with southern style is our specialty! The business, which began over 4 years ago in the back room of Becky’s house, has now grown to include an 1,800 sq. ft. downtown studio space, a wonderful office manager/production assistant, many accolades and achievements, and the most AMAZING word-of-mouth clientele we could ever ask for. Picsee’s journey has been a very exciting one, full of many twists and turns which have lead us to where we are today – totally and completely blessed, and loving every minute of what we do!
The Nitty Gritty:
1. How did you come up with the idea to go in business together?
We were all just beginning our photographic journeys, starting separate businesses, each of us with different strengths, but we knew we had common values and vision – it was really just the perfect storm! The three of us all shared an awesome passion for photography through our individual talents and gifts, and we felt that combining those elements could lead to great things!
2. Once you made that decision, what steps did you take to make that happen?
Well, we were very lucky in that we were still in the start-up stages and our individual businesses weren’t quite established, so it was actually quite simple to “merge” things. We did a LOT of talking, initially – had many heart-to-heart conversations and put everything out on the table. We discussed our time commitments, our future desires for ourselves and our careers, and really thought hard about the potential pros and cons of going into business together. Then we moved forward by creating our mission statement, knowing we were a God-centered business, focused on capturing the emotions and fleeting moments in our clients’ lives. We received our business license and followed all the necessary policies and procedures to become legit (which is SO important, and often overlooked!), signed on our first studio space, and got to work!
3. How did you protect yourselves (did you write up contracts, other safety precautions that you took to safeguard the assets of yourself and the business)?
Since we weren’t exactly savvy business women (much like many other photographers out there), we sought out professional advice, and would highly recommend any new business do the same! With the help of Legal Zoom and the knowledge of our accountant, we were able to draw up contracts to protect and retain our personal assets, as well as to determine ownership percentages for payroll purposes, and to adhere to in the event of a dissolution of Picsee. We initially established ourselves as an LLC, but have since changed to an S-elect on the advice of our accountant.
4. Are there any helpful tips that you can give our readers regarding what it’s like to go into business with friends?
There are SO many things we’ve learned along our journey, but the most important is this little gem – entering into a business partnership is like entering into a marriage! We girls always joke that we’re married to each other (and our spouses agree), but in all seriousness, it’s SO similar! Here’s why:
- You must be prepared to work on communication.
- You must be willing to change, adapt, compromise, and know that not everything you’ve envisioned will work out according to plan (God always has a bigger plan).
- You must define your expectations (job responsibilities, non-negotiables, time commitments, etc…) and consistently reevaluate them.
- You must be able to work independently, AND together…when one needs help, the others pitch in.
- Don’t let busy-season put distance between you – it’s still important to have team meetings to stay organized and ensure everyone is functioning!
- Have FUN! Whether it’s outside of work, or a little splurge during the week…watch a movie, have lunch or dinner…it’s important to keep lightheartedness in your life!
- Make sure everybody is given the opportunity to use their unique strengths and talents! One little book that’s helped us immensely is StrengthsFinder – it’s an assessment designed to help uncover your individual talents and apply your strengths in everyday life.