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How to Make Real Profits with Your Photo Booth Business

Getting to the truth of the matter.

A Post by Red RobotPublished August 10, 2015

A company charging $1000 for a four hour hire works out to $250 per hour. Sounds like great money right? Certainly beats a day job. but many people get this wrong are working for free.

When you look at the amount of money a photo booth company charges from the outside it looks incredible. And you’re smart enough to know the difference between income and profit, but unfortunately there are many people getting into business that just don’t get it.

But this doesn’t mean that these kinds of profits aren’t attainable. The main reason people don’t see enough profit is due to the cost of running inefficient equipment – spending too much time moving heavy gear and paying too much for media.

That’s why it makes sense to invest your money in the most well-designed, efficient equipment you can. It lowers your running costs, so you walk away with a maximum profit. Win-win.

So What Does It Actually Cost to Run a Photo Booth Company?

Let’s take that example hire fee of $1000 for a four hour event.

These are the costs you can expect to incur when you hire out your photo booth:

  • Wear and tear on your Photo Booth
  • Fuel and car registration
  • wear and tear on car/trailer/van
  • Support/setup person wages
  • Booth butler/attendant
  • Album
  • Pens
  • Tape
  • Printer media
  • USB flash drive
  • Wear and tear on props
  • Mobile internet

By far your biggest cost will be staff wages. Generally most other photo booths can include increased costs for 2x staff, extra setup time due to heavy weight, and operational inefficiencies, total estimated cost = $623 in costs.

All Red Robot Photo Booths are designed to be a single person setup to streamline your operation. The same costs with a Red Robot Industries Photo Booth with just a single person operation, total = $307 in costs. That’s less than half the price!

You can see in the nifty graph below the difference in costs out of your $1000 gain.

Red Robot: Operation Cost

But Wait – There’s More!

You also need to have a good handle on the fixed and recurring costs of running your business.

These include:

  • Admin time and wages (ie paying yourself)
  • Superannuation, 401k and taxes
  • Vehicle and business registration
  • Advertising
  • Amortisation
  • Consulting and accounting
  • Depreciation
  • Insurance
  • Marketing materials
  • Stationary
  • Rent
  • Software subscriptions
  • Phone and internet

Lets assume these costs are $350 per week (and you need to decide what to pay yourself as well), and we also assume that you only manage to get 50 bookings for the year, here’s the breakdown.

Competitor’s Profit = $13 per event, or $1300 per year after paying yourself.

Red Robot Photo Booth Profit = $329 per event, or $32,900 per year on top of what you pay yourself.

Red Robot: Income Comparison

Tip: The Photo Booth you choose to run your business will affect your profits in a big way. Efficiency of operation makes a huge difference. Remember that it’s hard to pay off a $10,000 Photo Booth with only $1,300 per year in profit.

The point of this post is not to scare you out of the idea of starting a Photo Booth business. Like any industry there are a lot of pitfalls to watch out for. Fortunately for you, we have seen them all and learned the hard way. Red Robot has been designing and building Photo Booths with the express purpose of helping people, like you, start successful Photo Booth businesses since 2007. So why not leverage our experience.

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