Closing for now Tiny Toes and Paws Photography.
I did not take the closure of my business lightly. It was a difficult decision that I contemplated for a few days and it wasn’t until my husband showed me the statics of how California had 3 confirmed cases to over 300 in a matter of days that I decided to close for now. I have all the infection control precautions in place to protect my clients from me but I realized I don’t know what my clients have, they could be bringing something into my home and putting my family at risk so because of this, I had to close temporary. ( I have a home studio)
On March 15th , I decided it was best to not see clients for now and on monday March 16th I annouced it.
Thank goodness for amazing clients and everyone understood why I was doing this and a few of my mom’s actually appreciated it because they were scared to continue but didn’t want to over react so they didn’t want to cancel on me.
What I posted:
"This was tough decision, but with Corona Virus on the rise in our area and my concerns for my sons health who has severe Asthma and those of my clients who have young children, I've decided to post pone all sessions until further notice. I am so sorry everyone! We resume our sessions together but date will be to be announced." Please take this time off to spend quality time with your little ones and wash those tiny hands! Avoid public places and if you need educational resources contact me, I will be home schooling my kids during their month off, I told them " this is not a vacation " 😂
So the biggest question is , HOW AM I GOING TO STAY AFLOAT during this time. I AM NOT, lol. I am just taking it one day at a time and my focus right now is to not lose clients. There is nothing I can do at this time to make money off of my business because we are all in the same boat. I’m not working, my clients are not working. So guess what… No income. And that’s ok. I can’t focus on the negative because there’s nothing I can do.
I can tell you what I’m NOT DOING
1. I’m not buying props. STOP SPENDING MONEY OF PROPS, You need to save that for essentials like toilet paper lol.
2. I’m not selling PROPs. I NEED THOSE WHEN MY BUSINESS PICKS BACK UP.
3. I’m not booking new clients – I CAN’T GURANTEE A SERVICE I DON’T KNOW WHEN I CAN PROVIDE. I have current clients I need to work with. If you don’t have clients lined up then yes, book future clients but give them full disclosure and tell them you can’t guarantee a time frame.
4. I’m not going in public places. Stay home and wait this out. There is nothing we can do. It’s a virus!!! It’s not going to pass you up because you have a business to run. STAY HOME.
5. I’m not mad at the world, the government, at china. The outbreak is here, let’s just get through this.
6. I’m not stalking my competitors. JUST DON’T DO IT. Who cares what others are doing. It doesn’t benefit you so just stay in your own lane. If that photographer next to you wants to continue working and booking clients, and some ones get sick. We all know what happens.
What Am I doing?
1. Education – focus on bettering myself, Ana Brandt is amazing and has come great online classes and I CAN TELL YOU FIRST HAND, her classes are totally worth every penny. Kelly Brown also has some amazing online courses .If you had money to spend, I WOULD SAY SPEND IT ON CLASSES not PROPS.
2. Being present on Social media so people know I am still here. I did not just start a business and disappear which is a big concern for people. I’m still here, just not booking due to the current situation. I will still continue to post on my social media platforms. I plan to resume business as normal when I can .
3. Work on marketing materials for when I start booking again.
4. Focus on business goals. What am I going to do when I start booking again? I need to plan a calendar for the ages of my current clients and what I can do for them when I can start booking sessions. My Easter Mini sessions are on hold and I’ve decided to do those regardless of the time of year we will be in when I can start booking again.
5. I’ve contacted ALL of my current clients and let them know my business plan. All sessions are canceled for March. I’ll touch base in April and see what we can do. If they would like a refund I totally understand and will honor it due to the circumstances. I don’t normally offer refunds but with a state of emergency- give people back their money if they want it. People need that money to feed their families. ( If you can’t refund, offer them a credit for the future)
6. I have several newborns to be born, what is my plan for when they arrive? Do I wait it out and book them at a milestone or do I travel to my families. Thank god this year I created a plan that allows me to travel to my client’s home. I have a fantastic work flow that I’ll share in another post. To be honest I don’t really know until I get there, we’ll see what the COVID-19 recommendations are at that time and revisit. As of right now, I have 3 newborns from February that I can’t see- I am planning to see them at a 3month milestone session hopefully. I have two newborns being born and my hope is I can get them before they hit one month but I’ve explained to my moms, I don’t really know and we may need to see them at a milestone session. DON’T PROMISE SOMETHING YOU CAN’T DELIVER.
7. Be creative, create an action plan for your business and don’t get stuck in this “I can’t book clients, what about my business” worry more about public safety and health.
8. Try to stay positive and spread positive juju to my photography community ;)