A ton of questions from a newbie.

chop
chop
First of all I want to complement this forum.<div>I have spent hours reading all your post the last 2 days.</div><div>It has been a great help.</div><div>
</div><div>I never even heard of the photo booth business until 2 weeks ago when a friend of mine went to a wedding and saw a photo booth.</div><div>
</div><div>He said everyone went wild over the booth. It was a smash hit.</div><div>
</div><div>That got our collective entrepreneurial juices flowing to the point where we have 100% convenced ourselves to give this a try.</div><div>
</div><div>We want to go all out on this.
The goal is a 46" touch screen that can upload to Facebook and twitter.</div><div>Also with a virtual guestbook where we can save all the picture on a jump drive to be given to the bride and groom.</div><div>
</div><div>Another idea we thought of is to have a separate screen or maybe a projector that can display all the pictures that are takin in a slide show format for everyone to see even those not participating in the pictures.</div><div>
</div><div>
</div><div>Doing Google searches brings up hundreds of venders and options.</div><div>
</div><div>Software as low as $50 and as much 4K.</div><div>
</div><div>Turnkey complete setups in the 3k to 15K range.</div><div>
</div><div>Even a franchise company that cost 32K to join.</div><div>
</div><div>We dont know where to begin.</div><div>
</div><div>Can anyone give me some sort of idea on where to start?</div><div>
Is there a such thing as software worth 4K?</div><div>Is there any benefit to paying 32K to join a franchise?</div><div>Are we too ambitious trying to be too fancy too soon?</div><div>Should we start small and work our way up to the fancy setup we eventually want to setup?</div><div>
</div><div>Any help would be great.</div><div>
</div><div>Thanks for the great site.</div>

Comments

  • LorneChesal
    LorneChesal
    first... welcome. second.. take a deep breath.

    If you've only been aware of this business for 2 weeks, I would suggest you are in a good place to "catch up"

    Where is the market you want to enter? Is your partner in for the work or just the $$$? Same for you. Do you have a day job? Will this replace it?

    What did you your partner "see" when at the wedding with the booth? Have you seen one in the meantime? I'm afraid "smash hit" is not much of a business plan.


    To answer some of your first questions and offer some observations...

    IMO, a 46" screen is not a good way to start. There is a market for that, but is it yours? Start smaller and determine if you can get the $$ that type of offering needs. You see, a 46" screen is twice the size most of us use, so will require more of everything to deliver. Bigger booth structure.. bigger vehicle to move it around and so on.

    Is there software worth 4k? To me no. Software is worth what it will bring you back in fees etc. It's part of the cost of doing business. Knowing what's out there for booth software, I don't know which software you're referring to at that price point. That sounds more like a system of some sort.

    A franchise is always risky. Always. Tread carefully. I can't see what a franchisor will offer you ongoing that would be worth that kind of fee. IMO, you'll learn way more than that by just starting smaller.

    I wouldn't use the term fancy. Think over-featured. Or ambitious. Again, if you know little to nothing about the business, how can you even "know what you don't know" yet?

    Ask questions here... Specific questions about hardware, software, marketing, et al. Walk before you plan to run.

    I am confident we can help.
  • chop
    chop
    Thanks Lorne.

    Let me fill you in on some of the questions you asked me.



    My partner is a friend of mine I have known for over 10 years.



    He lives 1.5 hrs from me. We live in separate markets. Both markets are doing very well in the current economy. We live in Louisiana where the oil business is alive and well.



    We both work for the same company and we both have a very unique schedule.



    We work in the Gulf of Mexico for 7 days then we come home for 7 days. We both are gone and home at the same time.



    On the 7 days we are home we can devote the entire 7 days to the photo booth business. On the 7 days we are gone we can't work the business at all.



    As you can imagine this schedule has a lot of positives and negatives. On one hand we can treat it like a 100% full time business when we are home. On the other hand we have to completely abandon the business the 7 days we are gone.



    I don't think our goal is to leave our current job anytime soon or even at all.



    This just seems like something that is fun that we would enjoy and make money at the same time.



    The photo booth that my friend saw according to him was very basic. Far less fancy then the one that we are talking about building. He said everyone at the wedding loved it. The wedding he went to was his nephews wedding. My partner asked his nephew how much he paid for the photo booth and was told 700. Then he was told that the person who owned the photo booth lived over an hour away from the location of the wedding. So this is giving us the impression that there are not a lot of people offering this service.



    Then me and my potential partner decided that we would try to pretend that we were trying to find a photo booth for an event and frankly we had a very difficult time finding anyone in the business .



    This got us to the conclusion that our markets are either wide open with almost no competition or this may have already been tried in our markets and that just simply is not much demand for this service.



    If I had to guess I would say its probably the former and not the latter.



    The demographics for our markets seem perfect for this business.



    So right now we believe that we are in a perfect spot to start this up but don't know quite where to start.
  • Mike
    Mike
    Welcome to the community @chop<div>
    </div><div>To best get answers to your questions I recommend that you break each question into its own discussion. Otherwise the discussion will wander around and be of no use to anyone by the end.</div><div>
    </div><div>Also have a look at https://photoboothowners.com/get-photo-booth-support-quickly</div>
  • bassqee
    bassqee
    when setting up a buisness you need ot have a plan.<div>
    </div><div>Such things as</div><div>
    </div><div> initial funding - how much do you plan to spend? What are you going to spend it on? </div><div>Market - what is the market in your area? Don't guess, go out and speak to event planners, photographers, brides, party shops etc find out if its something that would work for your area.</div><div>Principals and perception - how do you want people to percieve your business are you cheap and cheerful? exclusive? vintage? modern? What sets you apart from others. </div><div>pricing - how much do you want to charge for your hire? What options are you going to offer?</div><div>Advertising - how and where do you plan on advertising your service?</div><div>running costs - whats to costing to keep thing running.</div><div>
    </div><div>Theres plenty more but thats always a good start.</div><div>
    </div><div>
    </div>
  • LorneChesal
    LorneChesal
    <blockquote>This got us to the conclusion that our markets are either wide open with almost no competition or this may have already been tried in our markets and that just simply is not much demand for this service.



    If I had to guess I would say its probably the former and not the latter.



    The demographics for our markets seem perfect for this business.



    So right now we believe that we are in a perfect spot to start this up but don't know quite where to start.</blockquote>



    That all sounds good. I agree that it's not likely a lack of demand.

    If I can offer this advice which often puts me at odds with other boothers... I am also a wedding photographer, a way of life that has gone through tremendous changes in this digital age. Most are good. Some are not.

    The issue I find with those who go into business to make a little money on the side and have some fun is they don't make choices and/or decisions like a a businessman. They carry on their business without any thought of turning a reasonable profit. This extends to pricing as well as what they provide to their clients.

    That's why I offered the point about the 46" screen. Knowing a little more about your market now, starting with such a huge screen is a bad business decision. It may have a huge wow factor, but you probably won't need such a "toy" to start and build your business.

    Do things that make good business sense first, and if it's cool as well, all the better. You won't find too many booths with a huge screen even in the big markets. There is a reason for that.

    Like Mike says... split your queries up...
  • bassqee
    bassqee
    Very True Lorne - a side business should still be run like a full on business.
  • chop
    chop
    Bas, most of those questions are the ones we are trying to figure out now.



    Financing is going to be self financed.

    <div>I have no idea how to build a booth.</div><div>
    </div><div>Im not worried about marketing.</div><div>This is one of my strong points.</div><div>I just dont know if we should go big or start off small.</div><div>
    </div><div>Lorne you seen to think I should not go big.</div><div>I respect that.</div><div>And as far as treating it like a business we fully intend on taking it seriously.</div><div>
    </div><div>This is going to be more then just a hobby.</div><div>
    </div><div>
    </div><div>
    </div><div>
    </div>
  • LorneChesal
    LorneChesal
    <blockquote>Lorne you seen to think I should not go big.<div>I respect that.</div><div>And as far as treating it like a business we fully intend on taking it seriously.</div>
    </blockquote>



    I think you should go as big as you need to. If the market you're in is that immature, offering a Vegas style booth is perhaps not the most effective way. You "may* end up pricing yourself too high right out of the gate.

    This is the type of business you can scale up fairly quickly in response to business demands. I don't believe it scales downward easily. Hard costs of getting rid of gear aside, you may end up needing to have a second chance to make a first impression in your market if your business model changes early on.

    If you look at some older threads here, I think you will find many new operators who, after their first few real events, begin to adjust their booths as a result of "what happened" vs. "what I hope happens"

    One of the questions you may want to ask is... "if you had to start over, what would you do differently..." My belief is not many will regret starting too small or slowly.
  • bassqee
    bassqee
    going big is always a risk, especially if you have zero experience. Small means you learn fro mthe ground up and the mistakes you make will not cause huge waves that could derail you.

    the fact that your job takes you away for 7 days every other week, where you cannot do anything for the business could be a hindrance unless you have a dedicated other person to deal with inquiries etc during these times.

    finance - set a budget :D

    Colin
  • chop
    chop
    You guys and gals have been great.<div>
    </div><div>One thing this thread made me consider is I will have a lot learn.</div><div>Not only am I going to have to learn this business. I have personally never even seen a photo booth setup at a wedding.</div><div>
    </div><div>Im also going to have to learn the wedding and party business.</div><div>I could learn it a lot quicker if I did not have to worry about setting up an elaborate display with complicated software.</div><div>
    </div><div>Maybe I need to start out simple so I can concentrate on the business itself.</div><div>
    </div><div>
    </div><div>Another factor I need to consider is the fact that on the 7 days I am gone I am either going to have to shut the business down completely or im going to have to have a setup that a family member of mine can easily handle.</div><div>
    </div><div>
    </div><div>This brings me to my next question.</div><div>I confess I did not read all the terms of service when signing up so I will leave the product names out of this in case using product names is against the rules.</div><div>
    </div><div>
    </div><div>I have found a company that is offering a turn key simple photo booth setup with a 20" screen that prints all the pictures etc.. Easy to set up the display for around 7K.</div><div>
    </div><div>I know you guys with experience could probably make a booth yourself for several thousand less but do you think this would be a good idea for me just getting into the business getting my feet wet?</div><div>
    </div><div>I have to keep other people in mind in all this.</div><div>I am pretty good with computers and software but the family member that will do this for me on my days at work probably cant handle the big setup that me and my partner want to ultimately setup.</div><div>
    </div><div>Remember me and my partner are gone the same 7 days and home the same 7.</div><div>We are going to need our families to do this business when we are not home.</div><div>
    </div><div>Both of our families are excited about doing it. </div>
  • chop
    chop
    As far as breaking all this down into several threads, my apologies.<div>I will keep that in mind in the future.</div><div>
    </div><div>
    </div>
  • Mike
    Mike
    No worries, it just helps keep discussions on topic and can build a real nice knowledge base for everyone.<div>
    </div><div>Glad to have you here</div>
Sign In or Register to comment.