I think at one point or another, every photographer dreams of having their own studio. It's an amazing feeling to have your own place to call home, hang your own images, set your own lights, meet your own clients.
I wouldn't know. In the nearly 20 years of professional photography, I've not had one. I've also not had a need for one. But I have always wanted one.
If you're considering it, then it's time to ask yourself a few questions.
Will having a studio make you more money?
Not that we got into the photography industry to make boatloads of cash...but, with a studio, your expenses will increase dramatically. Is your business prepared to take on the added weight of extra expense?
Do you need a photography studio?
Sure. You want one. But do you need one? Will a photography studio fulfill a necessity for you? Do you find yourself constantly looking for rental studios or private space to shoot in several times a week, or do you shoot on location 5 days a week? If so, then, maybe it is time to consider a studio. If not, then what will that studio be doing for you when you're not shooting?
Have you considered the financial aspects?
When moving into a studio, you will most likely want to have a meeting room, with nicely framed photographs, a sitting area, coffee tables, albums or some kind of a multimedia presentation. You will also want to have a studio that is easily findable by your clients.
What is your contingency plan for your slow times?
An unfortunate part of the business...at one point or another, we all have slow times. What then? If you're able to solve this question and have a valid plan together to get you through the slower times in your business, then you are much better off. Remember, your studio might be your largest expense. You have to make sure you can handle that.
There are many other factors to consider when it comes to opening your own photography studio. Your marketing will most likely be vastly different and possibly have a higher budget, in order to attract more clients. You may need a staff. You may need to upgrade some of your equipment. Starting with these questions, however, will get you going in the right direction to make the right decision!