As you all know the current pandemic situation has severely affected the Wedding industry. The industry, that we all thought was immune to the economic slowdowns, has been and will be one of the most affected. At this point of time no one can say with surety for long this situation will last. Here I am not giving you a solution but only some ideas that might help your business to stay afloat during these difficult times.
Stay positive - With all the uncertainties lingering around, it is very normal to get anxious and worried about your future. Firstly, accept the fact that this is a very adverse situation. It will have an impact on the way things were done earlier. We are yet to see what regulations and restrictions are imposed by the government and for how long. Also, this will change the way people interact with each other which will have an indirect effect on social gatherings. You have to ACCEPT this reality! But having said that, there is no doubt that weddings will keep happening. Even if the scale comes down slightly in near future. This is the most awaited day in many people life and they won’t give it away so easily. Online weddings are not practical so don’t let that bother you. You and your profession will remain relevant which brings me to my second point.
Keep afloat - The main concern for most of the businesses at this point of time should be to maintain liquidity and stay afloat. The industry will eventually revive but your company and your brand should remain alive to see that day. With so much uncertainty it is difficult to say whether you should prepare yourself for six months or one year but if you think you can last three months without new income then try to reduce you expenses and try to last at least 4 months, if you can last six months then aim for eight and so on.
In words of Jack Ma (Alibaba Group): “For people in business, 2020 is really just a year for staying alive. Don’t even talk about your dreams or plans. Just make sure you stay alive. If you can stay alive, then you would have made a profit already”.
Evaluate your monthly expenses on rents, staff salaries, maintenance & electricity bills etc. Don’t forget to include all the subscriptions like software, music licensing websites, any other membership that doesn’t add value. Go through your credit card and bank statement to look for hidden expenses. Cut down all unnecessary expenses NOW! Don’t wait for tomorrow.
Go through all your receivables and collect them on time. If some payments are linked to the delivery make sure you don’t delay it too much.
Businesses that are able to survive are the ones that will come out strongest after all this is over. So, prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
Prepare - Educate, learn, upgrade - Use this time to upgrade your processes, educate and increasing skills of your staff. Your employees are your assets, improving their skills directly increases your asset value. So, keep motivating your employees. Avoid downsizing or at least delay it as much as possible. Some measures might have to be taken to ensure the company survives but be considerate. Have an open dialogue with them about the situation, I am sure they will understand.
Improve your processes and thus increase your efficiency. Reducing the turnaround time of projects means you can pick up few more projects with the same resources and thus marginally making up for the lost business.
Improve your online presence through your website, social media pages and by updating your profiles on other websites if any. This is something that always takes a back seat although one of the most important aspects of branding. More and more people are coming online these days, and this will keep on increasing so make use of the opportunity and increase your visibility.
Keep time for other things – Trying to increase your online visibility does not mean you get stressed and forget everything else around. You will notice everyone around you is doing something or the other every time you open your Instagram or Facebook. You will keep getting live session notifications from all your fellow photographers and other people you follow. It is good to get inspired to work harder and do something yourself but DON’T PANIC. Doing something doesn’t mean you need to start the same thing that other people are already doing.
Sometimes staying away from social media also helps. Keep your phones away to DETOX.
Do things that make you happy even if they are not related to your field for example cooking, reading, writing etc. Use your time to acquire new skills.
Spend time with family and friends. Make use of the modern technology to connect with people. It will help you sail through the stressful times.
Take care of yourself and all your close ones.
In all this uncertainty one this is for sure – IT WILL BE A BRAVE NEW WORLD!