I know I haven't posted here very much lately, simply because my focus has been on some new and exciting things for Laura Novak Photography. But I wanted to share a few tidbits of what I have been up to, and my reasoning for it in the event it might help others who are struggling with expansion vs. the economy right now.
I remember my first job was as a consultant the Bose Corporation out of Boston, and at each executive board meeting Dr. Bose would say "when the world goes left, we go right. When everyone goes right, we go left." I always remembered that in my business and throughout my career as a photographer I have intentionally always tried to buck trends.
This carries on to today, when just last week I bought a brand new two-story building for our studio just down the block (pictured above). Despite all the work I did on our leased space just three years ago, which you may have also remembered it featured in Professional Photographer and Rangefinder, I am thrilled to make the move this March.
Just as people are cutting back, and sitting tight we'll be making a big splash with the building purchase. If you have the means and nothing to sell (because you are renting), I highly recommend considering a building purchase because:
- This is a great time to buy. I ended up purchasing the building well under asking price, and the sellers were glad to have a buyer.
- All the building, painting, flooring contractors are very slow right now, and they are willing to negotiate for work. This has saved me quite a bit.
- The US govt. is under pressure to lend to small businesses to stimulate growth so I applied for and easily got a 504b small business loan with a lower interest rate, smaller amount down and longer loan terms (for a lower monthly payment). Every bank has the ability to partner with the government for a 504b loan so be sure to ask your bank rep. about the program.
As a result I am safely expanding with minimal increase in my monthly payment into a new building I could not afford to purchase under 'normal' economic conditions. Obviously I would not recommend going into debt if your business as failing, but if you have a busy thriving profitable operation it's something worth considering.
I also have a new twitter series starting called 'adventures in buying a building' so if you twitter, be sure to follow along @lauranovak.