Since the start of the recession, many businesses have had to adjust to a new reality. Everyone is in competition with everyone else and the only growth sector has been the printing of money as the Government bailed out banks to prevent a crisis in the luxury yacht industry.
For most of us though it comes down to hard decisions on what we invest in to help grow our businesses and what we cut back on to save the bottom line. Do you lay off the chauffeur and spend the money you save on a new website? Sell your children’s kidneys to fund an advertising campaign? All difficult decisions. Since my children don’t smoke or drink and can function perfectly well with only one of each vital organ, it’s been a bit of a no-brainer for me (which is handy since I sold my brain), but some of you may have tougher choices to make.
So when it comes to deciding on whether to refresh the photography on your website, or buy a new iPad or new leather-faced office chair, let’s think about which of those things will help your business the most.
The chair is lovely to sit on, meaning you’ll spend more time at your desk fielding crank calls from angry customers or playing solitaire on the PC while pretending to fill in the forecast spreadsheet for next year. What good is a forecast anyway? You predicted 18% growth for the last financial year, only to have to revise it last-minute by adding a “-” to that figure so forecasts are as useful as business plans or bets on the dogs.
You’re not sure why, but in your heart you know the iPad will help grow your business. Ok, in your heart of hearts (the one that isn’t real so can’t be sold on the black market) you know you just “want” it because you do, but you’re desperate to justify the silly cost on what is essentially half a laptop with a solitaire app built in. Now you can pretend to fill in spreadsheets while on the move. Amazing.
This is the bit where I say tah-dah! and announce that what you really need is some top-notch photography because that is what will help your business in a very positive way, and right now your business needs all the help it can get.
So there I’ve said it. Get some decent corporate photography. It sounds self-serving for me to say it, and not as fun as a new executive chair or an iPad, but if you look back to the start of this piece I said that everyone is in competition with everyone else. If one truth can be truer than another, this one is: You’re not just in competition with other businesses in your sector. You’re in competition with every other business out there since most people only have a finite amount of money to spend, and more often than not they’ll spend it on the shiny things. Every business is in competition with every other business, and nowhere more so than on the web.
How can photography help? By using professional photography, in a professionally-designed website or brochure with well-written copy, properly set up for search engines, you can make your product or service more findable and desirable than not only your direct competitors offerings, but also all the indirect ones competing for the same pot of money.
After all, what was it made you desire the iPad and the shiny office chair? Was it the rubbish photography and the cheap-looking ad campaign and website?