Learning Fixed and Variable Small Business Costs

Pricing, Videos

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

If you’re 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!


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Hey there! I'm Jamie and I equip photographers to build flourishing businesses with creative marketing, stand-out client experiences and profitable pricing. I'm glad you're here!

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jamie delaine watson






Marketing and pricing resources to help photographers build a business too exceptional to ignore.