Name: Grace E. Jones
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Type of business: Service
Number of years in business full-time? 8
Are you in a relationship that's financially supportive of you? Yes
If so, partner's annual income? $25,000
Home Rent: $700
List all of the years you've been in business and your revenue (this is money in before expenses are taken out):
2010 - $5,000
2011 - $5,000
2012 - $10,000 (I was still in high school for these years, so I couldn’t do full time work)
2013 - $10,000 (in school in another state)
2014 - $20,000
2015 - $25,000
2016 - $40,000 (year I got married)
2017 - $70,000
2018 - $70,000
You had a huge jump from 2016 to 2017, what do you attribute that to?
The huge jump was due to me raising my prices + booking more weddings! I went from 5 weddings in 2016 to 15 in 2017 + each year it keeps growing. And I got my butt in gear and started to blog more and make my website more SEO friendly!
Average monthly revenue?? $5,000
On average, what percentage of your revenue goes to expenses yearly? 15%
Average monthly expenses breakdown:
Photoshop/Lightroom - $10
PPA membership - $50
Gear insurance - $80
Cell phone - $90
Car insurance - $100
Apps - $5
Website - $10
Narrative - $9
Total: $354, 7% of average monthly revenue
What's been the best investment in your business? Learning about SEO
What's been the worst investment? Getting online guides from an Instagram famous photographer. Learned nothing and spent $200.
What percentage of your profit do you keep? 30% Avg. of $21,000
Money is so emotional. Scale of 10 being really positive, how you feel about your money overall? And why?
8 for sure. I feel really good about it! From a young age my mom taught me how to care for money and not to see it as an overwhelming thing (she’s also a small business owner) So since the age of 10 I have always had a savings account and have not put a big emphasis on money itself, I know that I am capable to bring in what I need when I need it, and fretting over it is only going to take up brain power that I can use to do my work.
What are your money goals for 2019? In 2019 I would like to get to $85,000-$90,000
How much longer do you see yourself being a photographer? Do you picture (pun intended) yourself pivoting? I want to keep doing it until it doesn’t bring me joy and becomes just another task to cross off the list. When that happens, I would love to go to school to become a Naturopathic Doctor.
Thank you so much Grace for shedding some light on the money trajectory of a photographer!
Graphic illustrated by the amazing Elloise Mae Foster of Budget Bae, a talented muralist that has a passion for female financial literacy and we’re channelling our raging feminism in this series, just for you.
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Currently seeking tech and product based businesses. If you’re service, would still love to hear from you! And if you’re a 9-5 but have a side hustle? Would love to have you too!