I’m all about efficiency, ya’ll. If two things can be done at once, that’s excellent. If a process wastes time, cut it. If it wastes money, kick yourself for sticking with it for so long and then kick that to the curb and move on. I spent my week of vacation narrowing the focus of Allison Patel Photography, making things more efficient, ditching some processes, refining goals for the upcoming year, and analyzing the places I spend my time and energy.
Only in the academic world do we consider September to be the start to a new year, but I’ll run with it and use the chance to end 2015 refreshed and focused.
So here’s what’s going away:
Paypal. I’ve officially switched from Paypal to Square, as of September 1. The switch will help me keep my prices from going up to cover fees, because Square has lower usage fees. Clients shouldn’t notice a difference, because you can still pay with credit cards or debit cards.
Etsy. At the end of the year, my Etsy shop will close. I’m not able to give Etsy the attention it deserves and maintain the shop the way it needs, and with Etsy fees and Paypal fees, I haven’t been able to justify keeping the shop open. So I will channel my inner Elsa, and just let it go. The prints that are in the shop will be there until they are sold, but won’t be renewed, so there’s only one of each (limited edition). Meanwhile, if you’re interested in purchasing photos from my fine art or street photography posts, you can email me for pricing at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s what’s new:
Gone paperless. Gone are the days of paper contracts, mailing them via USPS and waiting weeks, hoping that it doesn’t get lost in the mail (I had at least 1 contract get lost in the mail in the spring – it makes things much more complicated). In July I started using a new online contract system that allows my clients to read and sign our contracts instantly, so there’s no confusion, no waiting, and no getting lost in the mail. It’s super efficient and also eco-friendly to boot, so that’s a bonus.
Gift Cards. While not a new idea, I’ve been quiet (or more aptly, silent) about their availability in the past. Do you have a friend who is having a baby, but already has everything she needs? Do you have a group of friends who want to go in on a gift together, but don’t want to buy a crib? Are you interested in giving a gift that will last far longer than a box of diapers? The APP gift card covers the cost of a session and a $100 credit toward prints, albums, canvases, or digital images, for $200. The gift cards don’t expire, and can be used for family or maternity sessions. If you give a pregnant woman a gift card and she decides she’d rather save it and use it as a family session after the baby is born, she is welcome to do that.
Tuesday evening edit: Look! the gift cards are real! Here’s a terrible cell phone picture of them, after they arrived from the printer this afternoon!
I think these changes, the ways that I’m narrowing the focus at APP, will help make the client experience even better, and will make sure I stay efficient and effective in what I do, while boosting the convenience factor for all clients. If you’d like to learn more about the new things I’m putting in place, click here to contact me and ask a question.