PPA recently finished analyzing the 2011 PPA Benchmark Survey, the latest comprehensive financial review of a broad range of PPA member studios. Compiled from 2010 year-end financial data, the 2011 Benchmark Survey follows two previous surveys, one conducted in 2005 and another in 2008. The surveys have led to a series of benchmarks, or recommended financial targets, that PPA's Studio Management Services (SMS) has put in place to help member studios reach a higher level of success. By adhering to the benchmarks, you can lower costs, improve profitability, and make well-informed business decisions based on real financial evidence.
One of the most useful byproducts of the 2011 Benchmark Survey is the evidence of how the benchmarks could guide studios through a difficult economic period. From 2006 to 2010, the combination of a nationwide recession and a massive influx of new photography studios into the marketplace caused a significant drop in sales for most existing studios. However, the studios that followed the benchmarks performed much better than those that missed the targets. Some even managed to increase their bottom-line profits despite an overall decrease in sales. In our ensuing coverage of the Benchmark Survey's latest results, we'll detail how these studios kept profits high even when sales were low.
In the coming weeks, PPA will roll out a series of member-exclusive articles and financial tools to help members take advantage of the 2011 Benchmark Survey:
- We'll boil down the exhaustive analysis into easy-to-understand summaries and follow up with clear action items for your studio.
- We're working on some interactive resources and handy guides so that you can keep your critical numbers in mind without losing your mind.
- We'll explain why SMS opted to adjust several of the key benchmarks.
- We'll discuss what you can do to enact positive change at your studio.
This all may sound like heady stuff, and you probably didn't get into photography to play around with accounting, but here's the good news: By following the benchmarks, you will improve your profit margins, you will gain a better idea of how much you need to sell to take home a suitable personal income, and you will understand how your expenses affect your bottom line.
At the end of the day, you'll be able to manage your business better, make more money and, hopefully, enjoy a less stressful relationship with your studio.
Now those are some results that we can all applaud. Want to learn more? PPA members can peek at the key findings and new benchmarks here.
Remember that PPA's Benchmark Survey details are only available for PPA members, so see how to join here: www.ppa.com/joinppa/