Alice is a young Italian photographer located in Helsinki. Her core business is to photograph babies. Can you think of a cooler job? We met up with Alice in her studio, to hear about her customer story – she told us about her business and her top tips for budding entrepreneurs.
After some pretty serious Ecology and Evolutionary Biology studies, Alice joined the corporate world to work at a consulting firm. This working environment was a shock for the artist who had pictured herself running in the forest and saving trees. Instead of this she was stuck in an office 10 hours a day, meeting deadlines and following rigid processes.
A few stressful years later, she decided to pursue a more exciting and flexible career, something where she could see the actual results of her work.
Photography has always been her hobby and something she was good at. It was also an opportunity for her to express herself. After all, she was living in a country where she didn’t fully master the language.
I try to show parents what children are to me.
The moment Alice started to speak, it obvious how much she loves her job.
Sure, her typical working day starts with “screaming babies” and office work – but at least she can organise her workday the way she wants it to be. Changing between tasks, from post production to photo-shoots, makes her job more exciting. Naturally, being an entrepreneur has its own dose of stress and challenges. Photographing newborns, for example, can be problematic. It’s challenging enough to get them to pose and smile, but just imagine how messy those naked little cuties can get…
I spend much time in cleaning and doing laundry…
Moreover, pregnant women can be self-conscious. It is part of her job to build up trust and confidence in her customers. “People are more beautiful than they think they are” she says “often they ask me ‘You are going to Photoshop that right?’. And most of the time they think their photos were Photoshoped even though they were not”. And men can be are even less confident.
But a lack of confidence is something that even the entrepreneur herself experiences sometimes. She felt almost guilty the day she was paid for her work the first time. Looking at her amazing pictures, we’re really wondering why!
I don’t check other photographers’ pictures, because they always seem better than mine.
But despite these obstacles, Alice is happy with being an entrepreneur and wouldn’t change it for anything else. She can now see the exact results of her actions, and most of all, she can manage her work life balance as she wants to.
At the end of the day, I’m always happy.
Alice also has huge plans for the future. At the moment her main goal is to move to a bigger studio, where she can have a separate hangout room. Given her Italian roots, Alice would like her studio to be a place for the community; a place where women with small children can meet, talk and share experiences.
That’s all for the time being though. One step at a time 😉
Zervant – Her lifesaving tool!
Finally, the entrepreneur tells us how Zervant helps her to run her business.
“I used to do what other people do. I was using Word for sending invoices. I have to admit that I try to avoid accounting. With Zervant, I just have everything in one place. It’s so easy and everything is connected. “
I just need to click once!
She also likes the customer database where she can put all sorts of information – “I can store information for all my clients and packages, and add the names of every child, and what they like and what they don’t like. Sometimes I even add a picture of the family in the customer file. I’m really bad at remembering faces, so that way I don’t have to introduce myself to them again. It’s easy to do invoicing, because I can create new packages automatically – I don’t need to recalculate the final purchase every time.”
Finally, the artist has a few words about Zervant’s support: “The support service is good. I always get wonderful answers and I like that if I suggest something it is implemented, and it is dynamic and follows my needs. I know someone is taking care of me and that is really important to me”.
Pieces of advice for future entrepreneurs
✓ Have a business plan
✓ Follow your schedule every day
✓ Do not forget your marketing even though you might not like to do it
✓ Mind your networking
Concerning the last point, she explains further: “When people are doing the same things as you or are entrepreneurs, it is important to work together. Someone might see you as a competitor. I think that’s a bit silly, because together you can brainstorm, you have better ideas and can be more successful. Even though people might do the same job as you; they still focus or specialize on something else.”
Word of mouth plays an important part in her business as well, even though it is hard to measure. That’s why she always keeps a special relationship to her clients.
I love my customers.