Hi! I'm Dane Carlson, and welcome to the Business Opportunities Weblog. I've been publishing this website, by myself, and sometimes with the help of others for over twelve years now. You'll notice two things about this site right away:
As we are in the digital age with digital cameras and special phones that can do everything imaginable, it’s no surprise that we’d change the way we scrapbook too. Photo Inspired is a mom-owned business which will take a batch of your photos and turn them into a slide show movie which you can put into your DVD player and watch. With the song of your choice, and the photos of your choosing, you can take any special holiday or birthday and turn it into a video that can bring back all those fun memories each time it is watched.
Intrigued by the idea of photo videos, I asked Heather a few questions about her business.
What was the inspiration behind your business, Photo Inspired?
My husband created a keepsake video for me for my first Mother’s day. It contained pictures of my newborn son, my friends & family to the song “Remember When” by Alan Jackson. I cried throughout the whole video. It was so inspired and moving that I had to create more!!!
What do you enjoy most about taking photos and putting them on DVD?
It seems to be my virtual scrapbook. I would love to scrapbook but I don’t have the time or money to spend on paper and embellishments. I feel that watching your life right before your eyes is much more meaningful than flipping through a photo album. It seems to take you back in time, especially when combined with the songs from that same period.
Have you always wanted to be an entrepreneur? What do you enjoy most about running your own business?
I have always wanted to work for myself. It seems that I have new business ideas all the time but I just don’t know how to turn them into a reality. Videos however, I can handle! I LOVE making them and I love being able to work when my kids are sleeping. How great is that?
What is it like trying to balance your schedule? Between your job outside the home, family and your business, do you have any special tips for making it all work?
Create a schedule!!! Plan your day out minute by minute if you have to. That way you feel that you’ve made time for everything in your life. My schedule has everything on it, ie: laundry, dishes, activity time with the boys, reading time, lunch & dinner prep, work time, cleaning, etc. It’s just a guide, I NEVER get everything done on my schedule, but if I didn’t have a schedule to guide me I KNOW that I would get MUCH less done. I have my schedule posted on my blog under Home Management Binder if you want to view it.
How much does your basic photo DVD cost? How do you determine your fees for each order?
My basic DVD order is $35.00 for 30-60 photos and 1 song. I decided to rate my prices based on the number of photos to be included in the video. That way any potential customer can easily calculate how much they want to spend based on how many photos they want in the video.
How long, on average, does it take for you to create one photo DVD?
1 song is on average, 3 minutes. One minute of video footage usually takes me about 1 hour to complete. This includes scanning in pictures, editing/enhancing pictures, adding them into the program, making the special effects, etc. So the standard DVD of 1 song takes me about 3 hours to create.
What has Photo Inspired taught you about business since your launch in March of 2007? How have you been able to apply that knowledge?
I’ve learned that getting your business out there is not easy! I have no knowledge of internet marketing/advertising. Nor do I have a budget for this at time seeing that my business is still a baby and in the early stages of growth.
What was the hardest thing about starting a business? What did you do to help ease some of the strain?
The hardest thing for me was website design. I found a great hosting site, but their prices were too high. So now I’m listed with Microsoft and I’m slowly learning how to customize it to fit my needs. I would recommend that if you have it in your budget to hire someone for graphic design and website design, it would probably help ease a lot of stress in the beginning. As you go further in your business these areas can be learned and you can take them over. Just beginning you want to WOW people, so it pays to have your site reflect you and your business in only the best light.
What goals would you like to reach over the next few years? Would you like to expand your business or possibly start up a new one?
Goals: I would like to generate enough monthly income to allow my husband and I to purchase 2 newer vehicles and pay for a yearly vacation with the family.
Expansion: I want this business to stay small, just myself, for now. I have many other business idea that would make great chain stores, but I’m not ready to invest any time in those just yet.