<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=216560828685735&ev=PageView&noscript=1" /> Top 10 Tools to Run your Small Business

We're Pat & Mahlia! We specialize in Wedding & Event Photography, Website Design & Branding.

We're based outside Nashville TN but we absolutely love to travel! We have captured weddings throughout Tennessee, Kentucky,  Montana, Florida, Oregon, Alabama, Connecticut! 

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A Winter Wedding at Rippavilla Plantation

november 7, 2016

A Beautiful Belize Oceanside Engagement

march 8, 2017

Photography Bucket List

1. colored wedding dress

2. chapel in the woods

3. Winter Snow Wedding

4. zoo wedding

5. emerald lake

6. cheekwood botanical

7. engagement at a carnival

8. traditional tea ceremony

9. paris wedding

10. the biltmore estate, nc

11. museum wedding

12. lost river cave, ky

Top 10 Tools to Run your Small Business

October 24, 2019

Running a small business is a whole lot more work than when you initially come up with your business plan. Thankfully, there are some other small businesses that are now much larger businesses that have created tools to help you with your business! Below are some of the tools suggested by brand strategy melbourne, that we feel are some really important ones to help you with your business. Some of these are software and apps that we ourselves use and some are ones that we have been recommended by other professional friends.

1. Client Management Software

You’ve got clients coming in that you are ready to serve, but tracking invoices, contracts and communication can become overwhelming when you go from 10 clients to 35 clients and then 70 and more. The more success you have the more there is to manage. There are some awesome client management software options out there, several even geared towards photographers. Our personal favorite is Dubsado (Save 20% with code – ivorydoor). A few other popular options that you can look at include Tave, Honeybook, Studio Ninja, Iris Works, ShootQ, ShootFlow, Sprout, Pixifi, 17 Hats.

2. Website

In our society, launching a business without a solid website makes it very difficult to be taken as a legitimate company. Surprisingly, launching a professional website is both affordable and relatively easy to do. We use Showit for all of our websites. A few others that we recommend considering are Squarespace, WordPress, and Good Gallery.

3. Cloud Storage

Perhaps this differs on what line of business you are in but backing up all of your business files is a really smart idea. You don’t know when something is going to happen to a harddrive and it can be thousands of dollars to have the files attempted to be retrieved, and that doesn’t even guarantee you will get them back. So for a bit of peace of mind and assurance we recommend looking at Carbonite or Backblaze.

4. Video Conferences

Working with clients who are not within driving distance but want to have a face to face meeting? You’ve got this! Check out Zoom for an easy breezy conference call. This is especially a great option if you have multiple people in different locations.

Southern Romantic Tuscan vibes for a Spring Styled Wedding at Stone Gate Farm in Murfreesboro, TN.

5. Social Media Management Software

Nowadays running a business means being a full time social media manager as well. If you do not have employees to help you with this, don’t worry, you’re not alone! This was why social media management software options were created. A few of the most popular options are Buffer, HootSuite, Tailwind, Later, Meet Edger, Planoly. Most of these companies will have free trial options, so jump in and take them for a test drive & see what works best for you!

6. Business Phone Number

Don’t worry, you aren’t going to have to go buy a second phone! We absolutely love Google Voice. Not only is it easy to use, y’all… it’s free! You will be able to have a second number that is exclusive to your business and will ring through to your private cell phone through an app. You can receive texts, calls, and voicemails easily with clients and prospects.

Nashville Studio Space featuring Sheena and Anthony of Love at Any Stage

7. Staff Communication

If you have enough people working together, it may be worth it to look into a group chat communication platform such as Slack. It’s a simple interface and will keep everyone connected without sending tons of emails and texts back and forth. Asana and EverNote another great communication platform allowing clients to track and work on projects and assignments together.

8. Accounting Software

Snooooooze. Knowing your numbers is pretty much one of the most important things about running a successful small business. But, let’s be honest, sometimes that’s a bit boring. So keep it simple and get some software such as Quickbooks to keep track of your finances. Bonus? Your accountant will be thrilled!

9. Email Marketing

Keep in contact with your past, present and future clients through email newsletters. Your clients will want to be a part of your email list for first access to limited edition sessions and be the first to hear about discounts and sales. There are a ton of options out there, some are geared towards larger companies and some smaller. Two of the most popular ones are MailChimp and Constant Contact.

Murfreesboro Wedding and Event Venue in Tennessee, Unique and Modern

10. Mileage & Expense Tracking Apps

Tracking things such as your expenses and mileage will help you when you compile your annual taxes for your business. With today’s technology, this is easier than ever! Two popular expense apps are Expensify and Shoeboxed. And MileIQ can keep track of the miles you travel for work.

SOKY Bridal Show in Bowling Green Kentucky Spring 2019

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  1. Tyler says:

    Thank you for this! I absolutely LOVE Showit – they are amazing!

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Murfreesboro Wedding Photographer
The hunt for your ideal Nashville wedding photographers can seem really intimidating at first when you realize just how many there are in Middle Tennessee. It's important to find the right fit for you as a couple. You are going to chat with your photographer a lot during the months leading up to the wedding, you'll spend time together for your engagement photos, bridal portraits and any other sessions you include in your Collection including day after, rock & trash the dress, and more. Plus, you'll be spending the entire day of your wedding together! We value every moment we spend with our couples. Our Nashville based couples are fun and enjoy images that reflect that joy but are also elegant and creative. One amazing compliment we constantly hear from our clients is how relaxed we made them feel, that they actually have fun during their engagement session and can't wait to spend their wedding day with us. In fact, they return for yearly anniversary photos with us! We are based in Murfreesboro, TN but we love to travel and serve all of Middle Tennessee - including Nashville, Franklin, Brentwood, & Belle Meade. We have even photographed weddings in Montana, Kentucky & Florida as well. We have traveled through Tennessee including Knoxville. As international photographers we service destination weddings, engagements, proposals including Disney World & Belize.

Nashville Tennessee Photographers
To us, Wedding Photography is about Connection. We chose this specific path to specialize in because we truly love the connections we make with our couples. From the first moment we meet them, through the planning process, engagement session, wedding day, delivery, & into their anniversary sessions. We truly connect and make friends and love seeing the joy that our work brings to a couple & their families. Then when we photograph their friends weddings years later, we immediately reconnect when we see a past couple. Personal connections are just as important as emotional connections. When you truly capture a moment there is no explanation that needs to accompany the image - because the photo itself tells the story. You connect to it. It could be a photo that isn't even one of your own but a complete strangers & when you connect with that image and it triggers a memory from your own past, that is what is truly amazing. 

Nashville Wedding Photographer
Our business is based on community. We want to cultivate and inspire our couples to become friends with us, as well as friends with one another. We believe that there is power in finding like-minded people and connecting with them. Our business & the community we are designing stands for creativity, authenticity, & style that reflects & expresses without words. We believe in having fun and being yourself no matter who is in the room. We believe that inspiring others and paying it forward is important to ones own happiness. We believe in the joy of a sunset and the love of a best friend. We believe in great light, unforeseen adventures, & the romantic moments. We believe in supporting quality people, products, & relationships. We believe that emotion drives the most important moments, and we believe in the importance & responsibility of being there to preserve those emotional moments. We believe that every couple is unique but we all have commonalities that make us want to commune together. That is why we stand for & believe in the community to we designing.

We are Pat & Mahlia Dooley, and we are Nashville Tennessee wedding photographers. Ivory Door Studio’s mission is to impact the lives of our couples through authentic & viable personal connections, tangible products, a personalized wedding experience and quality service that exceeds expectations. Ivory Door Studio has been established and operating in Murfreesboro Tennessee since 2014. Since our doors opened we have had the pleasure of photographing ceremonies nationally in states including Montana, Kentucky, Oregon, Tennessee & Florida. We capture portraits primarily in natural light while implementing professional lighting when needed. We have experience working with flash to curate beautiful reception photos, intricate detail pictures, and outdoor night portraits.

Ivory Door Studio primarily serves Middle TN including Murfreesboro, Brentwood, Franklin, Belle Meade, Nashville, Gatlinburg, Chattanooga. We have traveled for destination weddings in other states including Orlando, FL - Portland, OR - Bowling Green, KY - Bozeman, MT - & an engagement session in Belize!

Mahlia & Pat have had the pleasure of working with numerous couples from outside of the area. We have had clients choose Nashville as their destination wedding venue. They & their loved ones have flown in from states such as Illinois, California, Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, & Connecticut. 

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