Start a Photobooth Business: Essential Tips on Building a Successful Hustle | Kimberley Chiu | Skillshare

Start a Photobooth Business: Essential Tips on Building a Successful Hustle

Kimberley Chiu, Engineer | Explorer | Learner

Start a Photobooth Business: Essential Tips on Building a Successful Hustle

Kimberley Chiu, Engineer | Explorer | Learner

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7 Lessons (13m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Class Project

    • 3. Getting the Right Equipment

    • 4. Market Yourselves

    • 5. Getting the First Job

    • 6. Lessons Learned

    • 7. Wrapping Up

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About This Class

In this class, I will be showing you the simple steps to take on starting a successful photobooth business as a side hustle. 

This class is for anyone who is looking to scratch that entrepreneurial itch, get a little creative without wanting to put too much capital on the line, and have fun getting invited to events where everyone is looking to have a good time. 

This is a useful class for anyone who’s ever wondered how to start up a small business, wondered what to buy for photobooth equipment, and how to even get that first job and subsequently grow that side income. 

The materials needed in this course is your attention, computer, internet connection, and your imagination.

Meet Your Teacher

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Kimberley Chiu

Engineer | Explorer | Learner


Canadian engineer who loves numbers and data just as much as I love adventure and exploring. 

Traveled the world with my husband for months at a time, and started a photobooth business to fulfill my entrepreneurial and adventurous itch.

Striving to be brave, not perfect. Continuously looking for meaningful challenges, constant learning, and pushing outside of my comfort zone with interests in business, finance, and technology.

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1. Intro: Do you have a creative or entrepreneurial side that you want to explore outside of your full-time job without having to take the full VIP and believed, if so, I understand how that field I'm an engineer in a major Canadian corporation with many active interests on the side. I started a photo booth business two years ago with my husband to explore the ins and outs of running a business for a time, I felt like I had to fit into a certain mold and ignore some things that I really wanted to do. And some of these things may not fit into the, the expectation that other people may have had this course is for anyone that's interested in building a successful side business or hustle while working full time. And specifically in the photo booth space. This is a really fun, relatively simple side hustle that anyone can do. Now, you may ask why a photo booth, they're fun, they're popular. Probably one of the most popular activities that wedding goers like to go to and people that go to big events like to go to. And honestly who doesn't like to take pictures when they're all dressed up and ready to have a good time. They're also relatively simple to set up with the limited amount of capital expense needed. And photo booths are great opportunities to meet people in the community and get access to great venues. I thought Photo Booth was such a cool idea because our friends in age group at the time were getting married and they were also planning these great fun weddings. In every single wedding, there was a photo booth. This was a great activity that everyone would line up for. Because at the end of the day, you get to bring home a great picture and the memory we saw how busy desirable and how much these wedding vendors were making, because it is quite a lucrative business. And we thought, why couldn't we do it? So I went to work looking into how to build a photo booth business. I will be going over a lot of the information that I combed through trying to set this up at the time when we were planning this business. These are a few of the things that I'll go through, equipment and materials needed, doing the market research, marketing, your business, tips on getting that first job and lessons learned. 2. Class Project: Feel free to download the given exercise and templates that are given on this course and jot down some ideas and notes as you go along with me. And as we go through the lessons, I'd like you to think about a name for your business that resonates with you. There will be sections to run through market research in your local area to get an idea on price ranges for photo booths services and what you would be able to charge once your business is up and running. 3. Getting the Right Equipment: To begin, we need a DSLR camera, a Microsoft Surface Pro, a shell to How's your equipment and to set up a printer, prompt, paper, flash strobe and umbrella, a Power Bar flash adapter, USB software to run your photo booth. So dark room, backdrop Stand backdrops, as well as the transportation method for us. We used a dolly. Now to start off, we didn't even buy all these items and new. You truly don't need to if you already have material or equipment that you already own that's in relatively good condition for us. We already had a DSLR camera that was in great working condition. In total, the capital expenditure for us came out to be 5 thousand Canadian dollars. This was a necessary expense you can't really get away with not spending anything because you need to buy these equipment to get set up and to run your events, it works out to be worth it as you proceed because each job in our area worked out to be $1000 per job. We estimated that we can make our capital expenditure out front, back within a year or after five jobs. This setup is very simple. Once you get the materials as you run through the list, the equipment gets hooked up and can be set up with two people on under an hour. In the next lesson, we'll go over ways to market your business. 4. Market Yourselves: When starting off, it's important to do your market research. It doesn't have to be a lot of time, but knowledge is power. It's a cliche that's been proven true time and time again. I'd recommend that you take a look at the local photo booth companies in your area or your local city. Doing this will give you an example for what to strive for and could also give you inspiration on the price point to said and also what services to offer prices, their package offers. And this exercise is a good way to have you think about what sort of unique value you could bring to your future clients. This could be anything from superb customer service or customized template design or unlimited printing. This will be a key factor in helping you land that first job, as well as to get word of mouth referrals. Next is to think about building or setting up your website. This is the gateway to your business or service. So you wanna make sure you give a good first impression. It's very challenging in this world nowadays to not have anything or any presence online. If you're able to code from scratch or build a webpage by yourself, that's great for most people. It is still a challenging thing and not everyone has the skills to do that, but that's okay. There's lots of really good platforms that have very user friendly interfaces and are great for someone who doesn't even have any experience with building website. We started out personally not knowing much on how to program or build a website. So we used a couple really good platforms that are available and allows users to set out very visually stunning website in a very simple way. My recommendation is to use Squarespace or ways we set up on Squarespace. And it was super unable to get off the ground and running. The interface was very easy to use and it's extremely intuitive. It uses a blocked mechanisms so that you can plan and put certain content in places that you want them to go. I encourage you to scroll through some of your favorite webpages for inspiration, everyone has an idea on how they'd like their page to look or what they put out there to represent about themselves. Everyone has very different tastes and aesthetic. I'd recommend to plan something out on a piece of paper with a pen and pencil. Just jot out and block an idea of what you'd like to see as you go on a web page. I wanted to keep our website clean and focus on the content with a few images to break it down into a few simple category, the highlight is to build on. And with each job, especially after the first job, you'll be able to build more content. So once you've decided on a template, now you can build it out. You can start off using basic information, nothing too fancy. For example, have an About tab, rates, details, gallery, and contact forms. Start filling out details from your business. Since you would have done some market research beforehand, you can flush that out while you build out this page. In the next lesson, we'll go over how to get that first job. 5. Getting the First Job: When we first started, we didn't know how to get that first job. We had finished our site, blasted and our information out to our family and friends and just kind of waited. I recommend doing the following because this gave us our first job and thus subsequently gave us many jobs afterwards by word of mouth referrals, we posted on our local city classified something called Kids EEG. And this was the site that gave us our very first job after it was posted on there for a little bit, we got our first inquiry. One day, a local charity had reached out to us and asked if we'd be willing to help out with their event and provide photo booths services for the children's wish foundation. When first starting out, it's important to build your base for show and provide content that you're able to do the service that you're offering. This was our first chance. And even though it was for free, we jumped at the opportunity to showcase our professionalism. We treated it like our most important job because this was our first client and we wanted to make sure that we could offer what we propose after this job, we had lots of great marketable content that we could use and then subsequently were able to get more jobs that we're paying. We wanted to make sure that we did a great job and brought miles to all the kids and also had good, marketable content to you. This was a good way to show future clients what we had to offer. It went off without a hitch. In the next part, we'll go over some good lessons learned that we've learned along the way. 6. Lessons Learned: The following are tips that we've accumulated as we built out this small venture. The first thing to consider is how exactly are you going to transport your heavy gear from one event to the other or one location to the other, it's important to make sure that no damage occurs to the equipment that you bought because some of that equipment is not cheap. This is why the first tip is to consider buying a case for your shell and printer. Because your shell will. How's your most valuable items in the list of equipment, this includes the touch screen, the camera, as well as the shell itself. It's worth it to have a good quality transporter. Another thing that would be worth to invest in or search for is a dolly. And you don't have to buy a brand new because we bought ours off of GGG for $20. But it just makes transporting a heck of a lot easier as you're going from place to place. And you can transport a lot more at one. I always like to think about this mantra where one person's trash is another person's treasure. There is lots of really good gems that are available on the classifieds if you just spend a little time looking. The second tip, not to be afraid to take that first job for free. The reason is this will help build your base. It'll help build clients and also word of mouth referrals. This was the case for us as we only did our first job three. And then everything else came Quite a lot faster. And they were paying jobs because people could see what we could do. Don't get caught up in it being unpaid because this will pay off in dividends for the relationships that you. So the referrals that you get and the content that you can use to market yourself. After. For my last and final tip, I'd like to leave you with this, be patient with yourself, leave some room for failure and trial. This may be hard for perfectionist or recovering perfectionist to hear. But don't let the fear of failure stop you from trying new things. Everyone was new when they started out. And everyone I've learned over the years is just figuring it out themselves. You will figure out what works for you and what you are ultimately capable of. 7. Wrapping Up: First, think of a name that you'd like to start for your photo booth business, work through a website framework. You'll need at a minimum, your rates a little about section for your business FAQ gallery and a form that people can fill out for inquiry's Don't forget to buy your domain name. Research the tools that you need using our lists by those tools, whether it's through piecemeal or through a turnkey package, we'd recommend piecemeal as it's not that difficult. And it can also be a lot more economical. Tests are set up to make sure everything's connected and that everything works. Plug it in, correct. Any issues and run through the cycle a few times just to make sure that your touchpad and your printer and everything works. Have faith in yourself, get creative and market yourself so that you can share what you've worked on C or show notes for a template of what we use when we send a reply back to inquiry requests and also to market ourselves. Good luck. See you next time.