Small businesses are being hit hard by the coronavirus lockdown. Photographers especially are struggling as they can no longer shoot their models in the same way. With social distancing in full force for the foreseeable future, photographers should start adjusting their business practices to prepare to reopen and protect their clients in the process. Read on as Daniel Doyle Pleasantville NY shares his tips for photographers getting ready to reopen following the pandemic.
1. Determine the Financial Damage
The first step to rebuilding your photography business after COVID-19 is to determine how your business has already been affected. For most photographers, these social distancing rules forced them to stop seeing clients and rely on monetizing their digital skillsets. If COVID caused you to lose clients, now’s the time to look at these hard numbers and assess the damage.
Start by updating your financial statements including cash flow and profit and loss. Then compare these numbers to last year’s to identify how your business will be affected going forward. In addition to looking at numbers like cash flow, profits, and sales, consider the cost of equipment as well as rent if you own a studio. These will all be important when it comes time to research financial resources to help with recovery.
2. Update Your Business Plan
The next step in moving forward is to update your business plan. Though your former business plan might have worked prior to COVID-19, reopening your business in a post-pandemic world will require a different type of business model. During your planning, be sure to consider how the business can adjust to this new normal involving contactless photoshoots, digital-based projects, and similar services that take social distancing and sanitation into consideration. For example, if you predominantly relied on foot traffic coming into your studio, now is the time to focus on a digital expansion that will help you profit off your digital talents.
3. Offer Digital Photoshoots
Daniel Doyle Pleasantville NY shares that many photographers are hopping on the “FaceTime photo shoot” trend. In this trend, photographers are using video chat apps like FaceTime to digitally photograph their clients. Though this will require a bit of an adjustment for photographers that are used to shooting in-person, this is a viable way to monetize your skills, which is especially true for photographers that are also skilled in digital retouching. By offering these services, you’ll be able to provide a completely contactless photoshoot experience for your clients.
4. Decide If You Need Financial Assistance
Reopening your business may not be possible without some extra cash flow. If this is the case for you, take this step to determine if you’ll need financial assistance. Freelance photographers may consider resources like the SBA, the Paycheck Protection Program, Economic Injury Disaster Loans, and similar short-term financing options to help you jumpstart your business in the first few months of operation after reopening.
Keep in mind that funding is scarce and limited. While you may find working capital for your initial reopening, it’s important to find a consistent and stable financing solution for the long-term. Consider financing options like credit cards, merchant cash advances, equipment financing, and the like to help you get your business back on its feet.
5. Take Steps to Protect Clients
In addition to making sure your business is in a position to reopen after the pandemic, now is a good time to focus on how you can protect your clients. Follow the WHO’s guidelines on best practices for working with clients. In addition to having the proper protective equipment like masks and gloves on hand, take extra measures to keep everything clean. For example, if you’re opening your studio to clients, now is the time to develop a strategy to sanitize your equipment, furniture, and studio before, during, and after every appointment.
In addition to this, it’s a good idea to ask each client about their current health condition as well s their personal self-distancing measures. Ask your clients about their current symptoms, if they’ve traveled in the past 14 days, and whether or not they’re currently in isolation. This way, you’ll be able to make sure each client you work with and bring into your studio is healthy.
COVID has changed the way we all work with one another. Business owners like photographers must adapt to these changes as they prepare to start working with clients again