Case Study: Fela Photography

Posted 17 February by Blaine Bertsch in Case Studies

Fela Dales is a busy wife, mother, and founder of Fela Photography, with a life mission to help women see the true beauty inside of themselves. She focuses her art on accentuating her clients’ natural features and photographing them in such a way that encourages and empowers them to see their own inner light.

The seeds were first planted from an early age when she was described as an “Ugly Betty” in school. Her mother saw beyond the damaging self image: the unflattering school uniform, poor posture, and big glasses, and took Fela to a stylist in preparation for her yearbook pictures. When the photo set was returned, Fela almost didn’t recognize her own true beauty shining through! Now she does the same for other women that her mother did for her, though her work with Fela Photography.

After making the decision to convert her business ideas into reality she was faced with many choices to continue her forward momentum. How much should she charge for sessions? How much would her expenses and transportation eat into her bottom line? How many clients would she need to make ends meet each month? Fela found she was redefining her goals constantly as there were many factors that added up to create the big picture.

I can see how the decisions I make impact my cash flow and I can decide when is the best time to move forward.

Originally, Fela worked everything out on paper: “When I am writing and doing all the doodling it kind of connects with my photography.” But converting the information into digital format for accounting, banking, and tax programs was time consuming and inefficient. “I am a very visual person, so when I started using Dryrun…it would show me what was going on, forecasting how my next month was going to behave. It helped with decisions because I could manipulate scenarios and have as many as I want so I can begin to see all of the possibilities.”

Fela sets aside time every month to update Dryrun and understand her expense picture, payroll and forecast planning for future decisions such as hiring and large purchases. “Dryrun has shown me what my current decisions will do to impact me later. I can see how the decisions I make impact my cash flow and I can decide when is the best time to move forward.” Business growth is very important to Fela, and using Dryrun helps to ensure that any staff she hires can be retained long term and photography equipment purchases can be timed appropriately with the cash flow she has coming in. “I have gone through low months in my work, so draining my resources on a big purchase when the time is not right might mean that my business does not survive”, she says.

Understanding her company in this fashion has allowed her to ensure she has a cushion of cash flow well into the future. “Keeping everything as it is set up now, even if I had no income whatsoever into my business, it could hold on for six months.”

Much like her photography, Fela learned to uncover the inner workings of her business and let them shine through. Dryrun has allowed her to do that in a visual way, so Fela Photography can continue helping women see the true beauty within.


Dryrun is a simple way to forecast your cash flow, build budgets and track sales projections.

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