Clare Metcalf In the Spotlight

This month I interviewed Photographer Clare Metcalf. Clare shares some valuable insights on the need for balance and standing out from the crowd.

Tell us a little about the person behind the business?

My name is Clare. I’m a wife to my wonderful husband Luke and mummy to our son Leo. We moved to Victoria in 2006 so I could complete my Diploma in Photography at RMIT, and we now call Melbourne home.

And now a little about the business itself?

I started the business fresh out of Uni in 2007. I knew I wanted to work for myself and decided to jump in feet first. I was very lucky to have great support from my husband.

The business itself is a portrait and wedding studio, I shoot around 30-35 weddings per year and capture lots of great families in between.

How did you come up with your business name?

Pretty easy, it was on my birth certificate! I wanted to use my own name for the business. It’s me that clients are paying for so I wanted that reflected in my branding.

What made you want to begin a WAH business and how did you get started?

I have always wanted to work for myself. Who doesn’t? Starting out at home just made sense for me. It kept overheads down and gave me time to work on my marketing and build a client base. Early last year we moved to a bigger place and I now have a home studio which makes working from home even easier.

What inspires you to keep your business going?

My family and my love of photography. I know how lucky I am to have a flexible job doing something I love, and it’s not hard to keep motivated because I genuinely enjoy what I do.

Being self employed and working from home is not always a walk in the park. Like any job, it has it’s down sides but there is nothing else I would ever want to do more.

I have wonderful clients and meeting new people all the time ensures I don’t get bored.

How do you advertise your business and which methods have proven more successful?

I have tried print advertising and it didn’t work for my business. The best tool I have to reach new clients is the web. We are so lucky to live in an age where business networking is at our finger tips.

Social media, user forums, blogs and websites are all fantastic business tools, so many of my new clients find me through these outlets and they continue to prove successful for me year after year.

How do you juggle your family and your WAH business? Any tips for other WAHPs?

It’s not easy, I have a young son and spending time with him is my biggest priority, but the business and my clients need me too. I make myself have one day off a week (Mondays) and Leo and I usually sleep in, and then hang out together all morning. It’s nice to have a day off to look forward to. If you don’t make yourself have a break then you’ll burn out pretty quickly.

When your desk is at home, it can be hard to tear yourself away and stop work for the day; so set yourself work hours and stick to them.

And finally, what advice would you give to anyone wanting to start a WAH business?

Take your time! Opening a business overnight is not the way to go. Put in the ground work at the start, do your research, refine your product and test the market.

There are so many new businesses sprouting up everyday, many offering the same products/services, so if you want to thrive you need to set yourself apart from the crowd. Don’t rush into decisions. Take the time to think through each step thoroughly.

A good foundation for your business will make it a success!

Do you offer any discounts to Support a WAHP members?

Yes, $50 off any booking until December 31st 2012, just let me know Support a WAHP sent you!