By Mayra Etayo
Not that long ago, home based businesses were as rare as an Orlando winter. Now, they are becoming increasingly popular – especially in Florida. With all the technology available to us today, it really isn’t that difficult to start one. But beware. Many people start a business because they find the benefits of flexibility appealing. Doing what we love AND we get to be our own boss…what could be better, right?
But you’ll quickly learn that owning a business means being a jack of all trades. You have to know about State, County and City requirements, insurance, tax codes, payroll, customer service and technology. And for your business to succeed, you need to know, understand and spend a good deal of time marketing your company.
It’s not easy. Not all survive, so let’s highlight one that’s getting it right.
America Rodriquez and her family have lived in East Orange County for four years and owns and manages America Rodriquez Photography.
Q – How do you drive traffic to your business?
A – Mostly, through word of mouth and social media like Facebook.
Q – When you “advertise” a package, like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Spring – do they tend to sell out quickly?
A – Spring packages tend to me slow months for me because more families had just had their “big” yearly family Holiday photos done just a few months prior. I try to offer packages that are very budget friendly and appealing. Generally, I will only have 1 or 2 weekends booked for “Spring Portraits”.
Q – Are the majority of your clients, from East Orlando?
A – Yes, but through word of mouth and social media I have had clients visiting the Florida area call me from Arizona, Georgia, California, New Jersey and New York to book a session.
Q – If you could name three marketing strategies that best work for you…what are they?
A – 1. Word of mouth-People who use your services time and time again are happy with the product and will suggest you to family and friends.
2. A great referral program. I offer my clients a great way to earn free products if someone they have referred them to me uses my services.
3. Social Networking-Everyone is using some sort of social network. It’s free advertisement and its and great place to show new work!
Q – With so many businesses struggling – even here in East Orlando – do you believe you’re best option for business traffic is keeping it an at home business, or do you plan to branch out to a storefront.
A – I would love to have a storefront! It’s just too expensive when I can easily do the same for pennies in my own home. I am limited to certain services being that I am home-based but I try to think of outside the box ideas of places I can go, in my own community, to create backdrops of the families I photograph. It keeps the creative juices flowing!
Q – What’s your #1 measure of success?
A – My #1 measure of success is that can do what I love and still be a stay at home mom to my 3 great kids. Being happy in both my professional life and personal life is all I have shrived for. When your passion starts to become a “job”, then the reason for documenting one’s life is less enjoyable. I have been able to watch families grow all from behind my camera and it’s so worth it when you see a mother tear up at the sight of her children’s photos that I have taken!
Learn more about America Rodriquez Photography by clicking here
Over the course of her extensive twenty-two year career Mayra Etayo has worked with over 50 local, national and international companies including, American Red Cross, March of Dimes, and AMACO Oil, the Village of Key Biscayne, encompassing media relations and press conferences, community relations, events production, newsletters, and crises communications. You can find METV on www.youtube.com/metvthechannel. Follow Mayra on her Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/metvthechannel, or follow her on Twitter: www.twitter.com/NJCEvents