Are your receipts in shoeboxes? If you had to find your client's address in a pinch, can you do so? If you were curious about what kinds of images they last ordered, would you have a way of quickly accessing that information?
No? I didn't either. I was floating on that thing called “hope” … where I hoped I could find their address. I hoped I had all my receipts and costs of goods sold tucked away in a place where I could find them. And I definitely hoped I could go back to their client folder on my computer to figure out which images they ordered and in what sizes, the last time I served them.
Look, feeling a sense of “hope” is one thing. Running a business on “hope”? Sheer lunacy. Yet, I bet most of us run on that feeling of “hope.” For my photography business, something had to change and change quickly. If I wanted to send a quick email to my clients announcing a new product or a special portrait session, I was sunk. I had no way of doing it automatically and quickly.
Well, not anymore. Thanks in large part to Steve Saporito, a business consultant based in Australia, I was reintroduced to Light Blue Software, a robust, elegant and efficient database manager.
The first time I encountered Hamish Symington and his partner was at the Photo Plus Expo where they had a booth. I remember the program they were selling was all based around FileMakerPro. I regretfully didn't see the value in it back then. I know I would've been far better off if I had been able to track my transactions and create reports.
The company and the program has changed in recent years, moving away from FileMakerPro at its core. “Every line of code is new,” Hamish reassured me. In the last few years, the company pretty much dominates the UK market, making Light Blue Software the go-to database manager for photography studios.
If you are in the US, you are probably wondering (like I did) if currency, accounting and taxes could all be US-based. The answer is a resounding: YES! I've been using Light Blue Software now for about 6 weeks and it truly has paid for itself already.
What's more, while I am on the go, I can retrieve all of my data via my iPhone. Light Blue Software has an iPhone/iPad application which syncs to their cloud service. While synching to the cloud is an additional monthly cost, it is a huge time saver. Check out the iPhone/iPad app here.
I sat down to speak with Hamish Symington, Light Blue Software‘s founder, to ask him in general why using a database is good for our photography businesses and specifically what makes Light Blue Software so special. Check out our our brief conversation here:
Looking for a simple, elegant and intuitive database manager to get more organized? Give Light Blue Software a try.