Starting up a photo booth business may seem like a bit of a daunting task at first but with proper planning, good research on the product offerings out there, and a bit of entrepreneurial spirit, it’s definitely a growing business sector worth exploring.
It all starts with Market Research
For starters, you need to know what kind of industry you are getting into.
You need something that has a constant stream of clients so you need the kind of demand that (almost) never runs out.
If you are located in the right area, then you may well find that a photo booth business does indeed offer an almost limitless supply of potential clients.
Let’s start with the basics – Start-up Capital
So how much money do you need to start up a photo booth business?
Well you are definitely going to need a few thousands of startup capital as well as a few details on how to run the business.
Your photo booth is both your earning vehicle and your constraint – if you only have one photo booth, you can only do one gig at a time. The more booths you have, potentially the more income you have and the more customers you can service.
Start up from scratch or buy an existing photo booth business?
You have two options when it comes to getting started.
The first option would be for you to takeover a current and active photo booth business from someone already running it.
Taking over from a current operator would mean that you are not only taking over the equipment, you are also taking over his territory and the current client list he may already have.
A full photo booth business kit should have a pair each of DSLR cameras, high quality printers, as well as a couple of touch screen monitors. Why a pair? Well you need a backup of some piece of equipment breaks down at an event. (Now you know why the startup costs can be in the thousands!)
You will also be getting a booth, and mostly a website and one or two clients who have already been booked previously.
Of course “photo booth business for sale” is not something you will see advertised too often – and if you do, you would have a lot of due diligence to do to ensure that you are buying into a sound business.
The second option (and most likely) would be for you to start everything from scratch.
Again, just to give you a bit of a heads up, this is something that may sound far easier than you would think.
You are going to need all of the same basic equipment mentioned above but you are going to need to add in more!
You will need to make sure that you have an insurance policy that will cover you for any potential liabilities. You need something that will be able to mitigate any possible risks.
For any event-based business this is very very important.
It is usually best to get any insurance agreement checked out by a lawyer. Get everything proofread and verified by a lawyer before committing to anything.
Without Marketing you are nothing!
If you want to make an impact on the market quite quickly you will need to budget for basic marketing costs.
You’ll need to budget for your website build, and ways to generate traffic to visit your website – nowadays the number one marketing platform to advertise on is Facebook – you can target specific demographics very easily and ensure you get good value for your advertising dollar.
Photo Booth Hardware and Software Requirements
Let’s start with the basic booth structure. You’ll want something that is easy to dismantle and something that is easy to set up as well.
Now you may prefer to go ahead and buy the pieces bit by bit and create your own photo booth setup, but there are several vendors out there who will offer you a full kit with everything you need.
You also want something that is portable and not too heavy to lug around. Having a photo booth business means that you are going to be on the move all the time and you or your staff need to set up and pack up all the time in every event that you cover – so it should be light and easy to assemble.
Camera requirements for a photo booth
You will also need to invest in a couple of DSLR cameras – Now, since this is a “fun” photo booth business that you are just starting with, you do not need the most expensive cameras the market has to offer. They are reserved for the professional wedding photographers out there.
However you do need something that will be robust enough for the bumps and knocks your booth will no doubt suffer, so you at least need to go for something that is medium range in terms of build quality.
Also think about future-proofing – go for something that can record video, which is a nice add-on that you can potentially offer. Having something with video capability would mean that you will have the option to do something so much more than the basic photo booth service allows.
Think about power requirements as well – Ideally you’ll need a camera with an AC adapter that will let you plug the camera directly into an outlet. This is more out of convenience, really. This way, you will not have to worry about batteries running out because you have a continuous power source.
Computer requirements for a photo booth
You need a basic laptop computer with a decent enough memory to store the files and run the photo booth software pretty easily.
You also need a touch screen monitor that you can mount directly onto the booth.
For printing you’ll need a high quality printer that can print within a 60-second timeframe of having the picture taken and software that is touch screen capable with an option for either black and white or colored photos.
So if you are thinking about how to start a photo booth business, there is a lot to think about and this article just scratches the surface – search through our blog for help on specific topics and use our business directory to find the hardware and software supplier to help you get that business off the ground – good luck!