Profit Calculator Support - Fundamentals

Basic Assumptions

This help section covers the Fundamentals section of the Profit Calculator. Each question within the section is listed here with explanations provided.

How much money do you expect to profit per year from weddings only?
This for your wedding business only and does not include other revenue streams such as portraits, seniors or commercial work. Profit is what is left over after all of your expenses are subtracted.

This number may be any number you like, but for your first time through the calculator I recommend an attainable goal for the coming year. Your ultimate goal may be to earn $500,000 per year but if you’re on target to earn $50,000 in the coming year, use the $50,000 number.

Do not take taxes into account for this estimate. When running financials such as we're doing here, taxes are not factored in because the amount in taxes you will actually pay depends on many considerations outside of the scope of this program. Under Generally Accepted Accounting Principals (GAAP), profits generally refer to income before taxes (and interest, depreciation and amortization - commonly referred to as EBITDA). (Taxes are not an expense by the way since they are based upon your profit, not your overall income.)

How many total weddings do you expect to book for the year?
Consider this question from the perspective of an entire year or booking season. Again, a realistic goal will make the results more relatable.

How much do you charge for Coverage Only?
Coverage Only refers to your most basic coverage with no deliverables whatsoever. I'll repeat - no deliverables!  This often trips people up so please review this carefully.

Coverage Only, for the purposes of this program, is defined as wedding coverage only with no deliverables. No album. No prints. No disk. If you offer second shooter with your Coverage Only, include him or her in your pricing because that does not constitute a deliverable. (You may however include an online gallery for viewing images since the images aren't be delivered in any physical way.) 

For example, if your Wedding Coverage, Package One or whatever you call your base coverage includes the following:

Base Coverage: $X,000.00
- X hours of wedding photography coverage
- Second shooter
- Digital files
- Engagement session

Break it down to the following:

Coverage Only with second shooter and online gallery: $X,000.00 
Digital files: $X00.00
Engagement session: $X00.00

You may not actually offer Coverage Only or these products separately, but it is important to treat every service or deliverable that you offer to the client as a separate item so that we can examine the costs relating to it. Once you have your Coverage Only price, you will add various options to it using the once you get to the Combinations section.

Finally, if you offer Coverage Only with six hours of coverage and also Coverage Only with eight hours (or unlimited or something similar), start with your minimum Coverage Only set here. Later, you'll start with the minimal coverage and then add extra hours in the Combinations section.

How many hours of coverage do you provide with Coverage Only?
Use your most limited version of Coverage Only only here. If you do not specify how many hours of coverage you provide (in the case of unlimited coverage), then list the average number of hours that you typically spend at a wedding. 

How many images do you shoot on average with Coverage Only?
This question refers to total number of images shot before culling or editing. We’ll deal with the number delivered to the client in the next question. This includes images from both you and your second shooter.

How many final images do you deliver to the client?
How many images do you provide to the client on disk, in print or online. This is your final edited take with color and whatever other adjustments you may make.

On average, how many total hours do you spend culling down and prepping files from Coverage Only for delivery to the client?
What is the total time you spend working on images for delivery to the client once they’re in your computer? From time to sort, rename, cull down to your selects, to color adjust to work on your favorites in Photoshop, how much time are you spending on your images from start to delivery to the client? Always estimate high because we tend to underestimate in general.

How do you pay your second shooter/assistant?
A second shooter/assistant may be someone working with a camera or it may be the person who carries your bag. Basically, this question refers to whomever you are paying to help you at the wedding. If you work with your spouse or business partner who isn’t cut a check or paid specifically for second shooting, then select the “Don’t Use One” option. The next question will change depending upon your answer to this one.

What is the hourly rate that you pay your second shooter? or What is the flat rate that you pay to your second shooter?
This question is with regard to Coverage Only. (We’ll figure out how much extra the assistant is paid for additional hours added to basic Coverage Only later on.) If you pay an hourly rate, be sure to include any and all taxes that you may pay (if you do).

How much do you charge for an Engagement Session?
If you offer a Bridal Session instead of an Engagement Session, list that instead. If you don’t offer any sort of session, then enter “0.”

What percentage of your wedding payments are made with a credit card?
If you don’t accept credit cards, select “0.” This question relates to all of your different clients and the payments that they make. Some may pay the retainer with a check and then make subsequent payments with a credit card. Given all of the payments you receive for wedding contract payments, what percentage are made with a credit card. Note that payments for purchases made after the wedding should not be included here.

What is the rate you pay for credit card processing?
This refers to the rate you pay to your merchant processor. For example, if you use the Square Card Reader, your rate is 2.75%.

How much on average do you book after the contract is signed?
Across all clients, how many extras do you sell after the wedding or engagement session? This may include wall prints, engagement albums, slide shows, and online prints. If you book ten weddings and five spend $200 on print orders, then your average is $100 per client.

How many total hours per week do you work in your wedding photography business including shooting weddings, production, marketing etc?
This is an average across all seasons and weddings. If you work a lot in the summer, but less in the winter, what is the average number hours that you work on and in your wedding business handling all facets of the business - from shooting to meeting with clients to editing and album design to bookkeeping to developing your knowledge with programs like this?

Once you have completed this section, your next step is to click on the Cost of Goods Section and review the Coverage section.


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