Learning Fixed and Variable Small Business Costs

Most creatives start their own service-based business because they love what we do and hope to make a living doing more of what they love. Very quickly, they discover 90% of owning a successful business is working on the business and only 10% is working in the business. One of the major parts of the “90%” is dealing with your company financials.

Learning Fixed and Variable Small Business Costs in Your Small Business! Plus a bonus download to help you figure out your costs!

Today’s Take-Aways 

1. Fixed costs are costs that don’t change month to month. Examples of fixed costs include studio rent, management software, proofing galleries for clients, your cell phone bill, internet, Adobe Creative Cloud membership, professional memberships, Bluehost blog hosting, etc.

2. Variable costs are fluctuating costs month-to-month or year-to-year. Examples of variable costs include online advertising, packaging, independent contractors and coffee meetings.

3. Write down all of your fixed and variable costs and add them together to find your “bottom line number.” This is the amount of money you need to make in your business (or off your blog!) in one year to break even.

4. Once you know this number, you can determine how many clients you need to find (or how many products you need to sell) to bring in your desired salary!

5. If you’re a photographer looking to get a better grasp of your business costs, I recommend my excel workbook for photographers called Knowing Your Numbers. It’s a package of customizable sheets that will show you what your photography business is currently earning and help you set goals to earn the salary you want!

1. Do you have a detailed document with your variable and fixed costs listed?
2. What are the most surprising “variable” costs in your business that have been hard to plan for?

Pay it Forward

Did you enjoy this video? If so, I’d absolutely love if you’d subscribe on YouTube, leave a comment below, share on twitter or facebook and pin to your pinterest board for future reference! P.S. Thank you to Brown Root Music for the video song, “Build Something With Me.”

5 Pricing Mistakes to Avoid in Your Photography Business: Plus Free Bonus E-Book and Income/Expenses Calculator!

If you’re interested in learning more about setting profitable prices for your photography business, you’ll love my e-book 5 Questions to Ask About Your Photography Pricing. It’s practical, actionable advice with real formulas to help you in your wedding and portrait photography business.

As a bonus, I also include a simple Income and Expenses Calculator for a big picture view of your photography business. You really have nothing to lose. 😉 Download it now!


This free guide will help you set profitable prices, provide new marketing ideas to earn consistent income in your off-season, as well as how to raise your prices and communicating all things pricing with clients.


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Jamie Delaine Watson