Three Things to Prepare Your Business for a Post-Covid World
by Dave Shay
If your business has been anything like mine, there’s a pretty good chance there’s been a healthy amount of flying by the seat of your pants over the last few months. What started as (what I thought was) my wife being overzealous with Clorox wipes on an airplane on our way to WPPI, very quickly became many rescheduled events, the total liquidation of my commercial income, and worst of all, the loss of a friend whose wedding I had photographed just a few years ago. While the dust has hardly settled, and there’s so much uncertainty still about, there are a few things that we can be working on in our businesses today for whenever we are able to work again, in whatever that capacity might be.
I had a really good contract. That’s worth mentioning. I paid a professional, and I was covered for every situation… except this one. Before you book another event, no matter how far in the future it may be, make sure your contract has learned from this lesson. The ShootProof and Táve teams asked John Kivus of Morningstar Law to provide sample contracts that photographers could use during this time. In addition to a Date Change Contract Template (that you can install right into your Táve account here) for all your events that may have rescheduled, there’s also an example force Majeure clause here. Just double check that the terms and the formatting aligns with your contract and your policies.
(Important note: Please note that Táve is not a law firm and cannot advise on the applicability, enforceability, or legal consequence of any template or model contract provisions it provides.)
2- Backup Plans
“Plan for the worst, Hope for the best”
I’m somewhere around the 300 wedding mark in my career, and I’m still waiting for a wedding to go according to plan. One time, I was photographing a wedding, and a 6th grade teacher was marrying a captain in the Army, the ceremony was ten minutes away, and for the first time, I thought we were actually going to make the timeline… then bam– limo driver fixing the veil, now we’re ten minutes off again. Just like my contract was perfect for every situation but this one, a lot of the backup plans I had didn’t seem to account for a pandemic. In addition to looking at your contract, take some time to analyze your backup plans both for an event, and for your business in general. I’ve taken time to budget my business tighter, plan forecasts out for the upcoming year, and expand on my network of local photographers in case any of us found ourselves in an emergency situation in upcoming years.
3- Your Communication
Now more than ever, our communication to our clients has to be timely and informative. As you look at your workflow, the templates you have made, and the touch-points you keep with each client, ask yourself two questions:
1- “Is this information helpful to my client?”
2- “Is this information delivered in a helpful way?”
I found a few of my email templates were giving vital information to clients, but could maybe be reworded to be a bit more sensitive to their needs. Take this time to look at your client journey and ensure that every interaction you have with your clients, via email, phone, or appointment– There’s a good chance there’s room for improvement.
What About You?
Obviously, there’s a lot of unknowns and every business is unique. These times are different for everyone, and these are just three ways I’ve found to feel like I’m working, without taking on enormous tasks. What are you doing in your business right now that others should be doing too? If you’re looking for some additional Táve Resources in handling COVID-19 in your business, head here.
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