So, we’ve been in the photobooth industry for quite awhile now, since 2012. We started with one booth, with the intention to hire this one booth out each weekend. At the time we thought, we’d be happy with 1 booking per fortnight, we never imagined that we would grow from 1 booth, to many by the end of our first year. We never imagined that we’d average 230-250 events each year, just operating in the one city, Melbourne. In our second year of business we made the decision to sell the booths we designed, the booths that we found worked for us, the same booths and the same processes that made our business a success. Since then, we’ve helped quite a few people get started in the industry, all across Australia, we’ve seen people succeed and sadly we’ve seen people fail.
I was once asked, ‘What makes a successful business’? This question stayed with me for awhile and I started thinking about all the people that we helped get started over the years. The success of a business is driven by the people behind the booth, the people that drive the business. The owners that are more driven to push their business against all obstacles and all hurdles are the ones that succeed. These owners take the time to learn their booths, learn their hardware, learn each device, learn software, train staff. They encounter issues at events, and put measures into place so it never happens again, they improve their systems, they streamline their processes. They invest time in improving their system, they take time in improving their Google rankings. The more effort that’s put in, the more successful the business.
One power couple I came across was Dan and Janelle from Wooshka Photobooths. We all have similar stories of getting into the industry, and there’s was much like mine. I saw a booth for the first time at an event and thought, hey that looks like a brilliant business idea, I think I can do that! They took the plunge and got started two years ago, and since then their growth has been ridiculous. They now have 8 booths, a large team of reliable attendants, streamlined processes for efficiency, and they’re continually pushing to get their business to first place on Google (officially this happened today).
So, it got me thinking further and chatting with other business owners to see what are the 4 most important factors in running a successful photobooth business? Success can viewed in many different ways, and largely depends on the values of each person. For me, success is seen as setting a goal or an objective and being able to reach or surpass that goal. It can start out as small goals, and each year those goals are pushed further. Whether it’s setting a goal to have your booth booked out each week, or whether it’s to scale your business to go global. Anyway, without rambling on too much, here are our top 4 important factors in running a successful photobooth business.
Top 4 important factors in running a successful photobooth business:
#1 – Traffic/SEO: Take the time to learn SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), if you master this, and learn how to apply this onto your site, you’ll drastically improve the number of inquiries. You might have the best booth, the best website, and an amazing service, but without traffic, you really don’t have anything! SEO can be learnt, take the time to read articles everyday, take action everyday to improve your SEO, and eventually if you continually push, it’ll happen, you’ll get to the first page and your hard work will pay off. Best of all you’ll realise that you’ve saved so much money on paid advertising. Things don’t happen overnight, so whilst you work on your SEO take advantage of sites such as Photobooth Finder, and other directories that will drive traffic to your site. One thing is for sure, traffic is important, so if you can’t get to the first page of Google, you’ll need to set yourself a marketing/advertising budget and learn Google Adwords and/or Facebook advertising.
#2 – Conversion: So, the second most important factor is converting that traffic into bookings. This can be through the strategy you decide to adopt, whether it be pricing, brand, website, unique features. If everyone has the same product/same service/same price, you’ll find yourself always bringing down price to compete. If you improve your site and try and build a brand you can try and differentiate your service. Price is a big factor, people are always shopping for lower prices, but there are also people willing to pay more if you can justify why they are paying more. All depending on how many booths you have, you’ll be able to play around until you get the right pricing.
#3 – Processes/Structure: As your business starts to grow, you’ll start getting busy. If you have processes that are streamlined, it’ll make running a business easy. Especially during the peak seasons. Take the time to put together training programs for new attendants, have a process for everything including booking systems, template designs, invoicing, checklists. When you have processes, it helps reduce any risk of anything bad happening, which is usually caused by human error! Structure your business, so eventually you can focus on growing your business.
#4 – Evolve/Improve: The traditional photobooth has changed, and with the speed of technology, new features are continuously being added to popular off the shelf booth software. As more competitors enter the market, they offer more services, more features, more ways in which they can differentiate their business. Companies are getting creative and investing more into their business to stay in the game, better backdrop variety, better props, better lighting, more social features. The photobooth game is evolving, and the ability to move with change will play an important factor in the success of your business. You can learn from other photobooth companies and share information on how to improve your business by joining popular Facebook support groups, there are plenty out there, and trade tips, and share information.
So that’s it, my top 4 factors in running a successful photobooth business!