Welcome back to our "Productivity During a Pandemic" blog series Part 2. If you need to get caught up, here is the link for Part 1.
Today we are going to wrap up our tips with the remaining five ideas for keeping your business active during a "shut-down" and finish off with a freebie for three ways to "recession proof" your businesses when things open back up.
6. Go Through your Inventory
OK, I know you all have a closet, or in my a case an entire room, filled with equipment, inventory, props, or fill in the blank with items relevant to your business. Now is the time to work through all of this "stuff". Purge the trash, sell what you do not use, and organize what you plan to use when you open back up. I promise you will find something to get rid of to help declutter your space and likely acquire income in the process. In the words of Marie Kondo (yes, I'm an organization junkie and read her book!)
"It's a very strange phenomenon, but when we reduce what we own and essentially 'detox' our house, it has a detox effect on our bodies as well."
I promise you will feel lighter and more in control after you complete this step.
7. Start a Personal Project
An interesting phenomenon happens when you turn your passion into a business. The activity that most likely brought you joy in the beginning, has now turned into work. I know from personal experience, when I have a break at the studio, the last thing I want to do is touch my dSLR camera. Now is the time to dust off those personal projects and get excited again! Make a list of ideas that inspire you and get started. You will likely learn new techniques that will make your business stronger when it is back up and running. Get those creative juices flowing again!
In 2019, 224.1 million people shopped online. There is a HUGE market out there that reaches far beyond a physical store front. If you have been a traditional merchant in the past, now is your time to expand. Think about the products that you can sell online starting today. Or, get creative and brainstorm products or services that can be added online as an extension of what you already offer.
A couple of changes that we made last month were to move out dance groups and schools that were shot in early March, to online proofing and ordering through h+h image host (an extension of h+h color lab). This allowed for parents to preview and order their child's portraits eliminating our traditional method of printing proofing envelopes with in-person money collection.
We have also been BLOWN AWAY with providing Senior Yard Signs for purchase online through our website. We have never offered this product to clients before but there was a need in our community which also provided our studio income during a time when we are no longer allowed to shoot portraits. This my friends is Win/Win. (If you have never read The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People add this book to your notes for tip number 3!)
If online sales are new for your business, you will need a merchant provider. This can be as simple as PayPal or Square or you may want to pursue more secure options through your banking institute. Also, you might consider a "platform" to list your merchandise. If you followed me through Part 1, you know how much I love my website provider (Photobiz) which also offers an easy to navigate ecommerce section on your site. With time on your hands, exploring this tip can provide sales now.
9. Share your Knowledge
This is arguably one of my FAVORITE tips of this series. For those who don't know me, I actually have a degree in education and love teaching others. Several times per year, I teach an in-person Beginner's Photography Class inside the studio to move people through all of the camera modes and settings. While face-to-face is off limits at the moment, there are tons of ways to teach virtually: YouTube, designing online courses, hosting webinars, blogs, etc. I am a firm believer that when you teach others, you increase your own knowledge about the subject. Growth will happen for you and your students.
"If you can't explain it, you don't understand it well enough."
10. Diversify your Revenue
The great news is that the challenge small businesses are facing right now is temporary. I hope the the tips I have shared through Part 1 and Part 2 of this blog series will provide you with the much needed income to cover your overhead during a shut down of physical store fronts and face-to-face interactions. However, if these new avenues are successful for you, there is no reason why you can't continue them when your business reopens. Having a diversified stream of revenue only makes your business more secure when problems arise.
I hope these tips have given you the confidence needed to continue working on your business despite the enormous changes we are facing with the current the COVID-19 Pandemic. I would love for you to leave a comment to let me know which tip you found most useful for your business. Be sure to unlock the FREE "How to Recession Proof your Business" guide below to ensure when your business reopens, you will be ready for anything!