Hey there friend… are all the articles, social posts, and text messages getting a little overwhelming? Are you struggling to see how you can protect your clients, your business, and your family?
The CDC as of March 12th, has put 29 countries on Level 3 due to the Coronavirus epidemic. If you’re not aware already, the Coronavirus is now considered a pandemic (multiple locations / widespread) as it continues to spread, it’s going to have a major effect on service business as well as small business entrepreneurs. That includes photographers, videographers, florists, wedding and event planners, hair and makeup artists, wellness coaches, rental companies, real estate agents, and even construction companies.
Without causing mass hysteria with this blog article, even places like Disneyland in Southern California, who have only shut down 2 other times in the history of their company are temporarily closing doors until the end of March. March Madness canceled by the NCAA, Ohio governor closes schools for the next 3 weeks, and MLB delays opening game plus cancels spring training games. Several factories have temporarily closed, plus hundreds of companies have stopped production and sent staff home. Universities and primary schools are shutting down as well. The state of Ohio has banned any type of get together that has more than 100 people in one area, to help prevent and hopefully stop the spread of the Coronavirus.
If you’re a service based business- there’s been massive talk in public groups and forums about the effects the Coronavirus will have on small service based businesses. Since many people are now canceling and postponed their big events or putting them on hold.
If you’re in the events or wedding industry… I’m sure you’re wondering “How am I going to manage to keep my business afloat during the Coronavirus closures!?”
Those that are in the wedding industry, help host or run corporate events industry, or private parties, etc. you should be concerned and taking precautions! Same goes to those that meet with clients face to face. If you’re a personal trainer, a hair stylist, etc this applies to you too.
It’s your responsibility to take the proper precautions before potentially exposing yourselves and your clients to this deadly virus.
Alright let’s dive in on how you can prepare yourself, your clients, and your business during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Oftentimes during situations like this, people start to work off fear. Now is the time to stay connected to your clients and be transparent.
Here’s some ways to reach out and stay connected:
One of my COSMOS Collective members has gone above and beyond to inform her clients. See how she’s doing it.
We have insurance for a reason right? Well, creating a backup plan for a small business is crucial.
I’ve personally seen tons of comments in closed groups about this, I’ve received personal message, plus in my own group The COSMOS Collective we have members who are facing this situation right now! As stated above, encourage postponing events, weddings, workshops, etc. Don’t encourage canceling!
Alright, what we know. People may want to cancel weddings, events, portrait sessions, etc. Proms are already being canceled across the US, which is extremely unfortunate that they aren’t being postponed. The loss of memories is sad, not to mention a lot of industries will be greatly effected by proms being downright canceled. Now imagine that for the wedding industry too!
Since not everyone will understand that canceling will most likely mean they won’t get a full refund, and since they will most likely wait until the last minute to cancel – or they will wait until a venue temporarily closes their doors… There are going to be people who will want their money back.
Be prepared with the proper contracts and agreements. Speak with a lawyer to see what grounds you have if a client requests a full or partial refund, and what steps you’ll need to take.
Make sure the process for cancellations is covered thoroughly in your contract, as well as having a solid ‘force majeure’ clause.
UNFORESEEABLE CIRCUMSTANCES THAT PREVENT SOMEONE FROM FULFILLING A CONTRACT.
Check out this article if you’d like help Drafting and Enforcing Force Majeure Clauses in the Wake of COVID-19: Details Matter!
Create a postponement agreement ahead of time that way you have it in case someone needs to postpone their wedding/event. Postponing an event means you can apply any retainers or money paid to you towards another event date instead of having to refund.
Along with those cancellations, we are most likely headed for a global recession. My suggestion would be to eliminate any business/personal debt you might have.
There’s no sense in having ads or marketing campaigns up and running – if people aren’t booking during this time.
Yes, most people who catch this virus will be okay, but for others it will be very serious. Those with respiratory conditions or autoimmune issues will need to be extremely careful.
Please take the necessary precautions to protect not only yourself and your loved ones but your clients as well. It’s our responsibility to flatten the curve.
You might have heard this term, or maybe not. What it means is simply this…
Taking COVID19 seriously is not just about protecting any one person. It’s about protecting our society as a whole. The healthcare system. The weak among us. If we can use measures like social distancing to slow down the spread of the virus, we save millions of lives.
This isn’t about my opinion vs. your opinion.
It’s about how life is going to change for all of us in the next 60 days and what we ALL can do – in whatever manner we can – to flatten the curve and change the trajectory of how history will remember us.
I want everyone to be able to share their experiences, ask questions, and learn how to get prepared… rather than worrying about posting on social media and looking “extreme” or crazy.
We are truly in this together. We are human, and we are facing a global crisis of hard-to-comprehend proportions.
I am going to link up a bunch of articles at the bottom of this post if you’d like to read them. Feel free to these this post as well as the tagged ones. Let’s all be well informed, and accurate with what we’re facing.
If you see people worried, don’t shame them or belittle them. If you see people being careless about protecting others, speak up.
I’m working hard to strike the balance between “life as usual” and recognizing that this is a unique time for us all and that will require us to reach down and find our humanity and compassion for each other.
And… we all have to work together to flatten the curve.
References: 1: Minor changes to Julie Stoian original message to me this morning but as requested, I’m sharing her words and insight. Thank you for opening my eyes and heart even wider!
Along with being an “elder millennial” wedding and lifestyle photographer, I’m also a family gal. I’m recently engaged to my best friend of 10 years, mama to a rad teenage daughter (who happens to photograph weddings with me), the owner of (2) cute little pups, and driver of a yellow Dodge Challenger. On non-wedding days, you’ll most likely find me in the gym by 7:30 am getting my cardio on and then hitting up my favorite local San Luis Obispo California hotspots with my fiance, daughter, and friends. Traveling adventures are my jam, there’s no place I won’t go with my camera in hand.