Overcoming the Pandemic
Overcoming the pandemic may seem like an impossible challenge, right now. Times have certainly been tough in the last few weeks, for everyone. For gig workers, such as wedding & event vendors, times have been very tough. For our business, we have certainly felt the impact. Literally, within seven days, all of our events for March and April events were canceled.
We’ve never experienced anything like this in the entire time we’ve been in business. I was at a loss for words, but I completely understood and agreed that canceling was the right thing to do. That day, it seemed as though overcoming the pandemic was not possible. 🙁 I know that every wedding vendor, nationwide, is also experiencing the same issue.
Doing the Right Thing
All but one of our events decided to reschedule. For the one event that did not want to reschedule, she literally canceled the day of the wedding, last Tuesday, March 17th. In her email, she said, “I can’t believe the pandemic happened… I know I won’t get any of my money back.” In any other circumstance, she would have been correct. However, with all of this happening, I decided to give her a good portion of her money back. It was the right thing to do. She replied and said she was in tears and she was very grateful. It was the least I could do during this time. My wallet was not happy, but my soul was. 🙂
I know not every wedding or event vendor is able to do this. You have your contracts and are well within your rights to abide by it. For us, however, we felt that we needed to do what we thought was best. She may not ever book us, but I am more than sure that she will certainly tell her friends and family about us during this time, which is great. We may have lost one event, but may have gained several more! 🙂
It’s hard to look at the bright side and be optimistic during these times, but we must. Fortunately, all but one of the events are rescheduling. This time has forced me to go over my contracts with a fine-tooth comb. Your contract may not have had anything remotely similar to a pandemic, so it’s a good idea now to look for wording to include situations like this.
Like many of you, we missed out on all of the income that would be coming in from the remaining events. All of our staff missed out on income, as well, which we really hated. Luckily, nearly all of our regular staff have a few streams of income, as do we. We felt the pinch, of course.
- Wedding Websites – I wondered what we could possibly do to reduce our expenses. I reached out to our local Knot representative and I was able to at least get 1 month of fees suspended (to be paid later). It was not much, but it was a small relief. If you have not already done so, you should do the same.
- Advertising – If you do Google Ads, or any other monthly advertising, now would be a good time to pause the campaign, if you are willing to do so. I know you want to book for future dates, but as we’ve experienced, not many people are wedding planning right now, so it may be a good idea and it will save you some money, too.
- Other Expenses – Take a look at any other expenses you have and see if you can suspend payments, “skip a payment,” or pause your campaigns, if possible. All of these expenses will add up and be able to save you some money. It may not be entirely possible for all of your expenses, but it is still worth the effort to look into them to see what you can do.
Now, let’s get to some solutions that will possibly help you make money during this time.
- Consider Asking for Payments – This may seem strange, but consider asking your clients if they’re willing to pay the remaining balance off, early. You’ll likely have to provide an incentive for doing so, such as a discount for paying it off early, a free upgrade, etc. They may be willing to jump on the opportunity!
- Get Creative – Many of us are creative and we’re certainly entrepreneurs at heart. Look for ways you can get creative with your business. Think of ways you can offer your services in a different setting.
- Catering If you’re in catering, perhaps you can let people order family-size meals for up to 8, versus the usual larger orders.
- Cake businesses, you can certainly still make smaller cakes for birthdays and other occasions. Even though people cannot get together in large groups, people still love great cakes and desserts!
- Florists can offer special occasion bouquets (birthday, anniversary, etc).
- Photographers can still do headshots, engagements, or other small group photos.
- Videographers can still make promo videos for businesses, and even other wedding vendors!
- DJs can still create custom first dance mixes, surprise dance mixes, or even 1-hour custom music mixes for people.
- Wedding Officiants can still do small ceremonies and elopements.
- Wedding Planners can still do online consultations and meetings. This may not be income-generating, but it’s still helpful to meet with clients.
- Other Opportunities – Many of us have many talents and skills. Now is a good time to start using those to generate another income stream. Consider getting on sites such as Fiverr or Upwork, if you’re able to offer a service that businesses or people may need. I know smaller sales may not be as great as larger ones, but small sales do add up! Remember, the ocean is made of drops of water!
The Opportunity During the Pandemic
Albert Einstein once said, “in the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity.” He was 100% right! I know it’s hard to imagine that there is actually an opportunity during the pandemic, but there is. As difficult as social distancing may seem, it may help you out. Here are some opportunities that you can consider.
- Take a Course – Right now, you may have a lot of extra time on your hands. Use this time to learn a new skill. There are plenty of free ways to learn something. You can take a free course on sites such as EdX, Coursera, Udemy, etc. If you’re tech-savvy, you can even consider learning to code. There are dozens of free sites to learn how to code, too!
- Read, Read, Read – I know some of you may not like to read, but it’s very beneficial to read! Learn more about things you may need for your business, such as learning how to master Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, Google Analytics, etc. Again, many sites offer courses, free. Hubspot is a great place to start for some of these courses! Personally, I’ve read 3 books in the last week. 🙂
- Learn Marketing – Like it or not, you need to know marketing! Every business needs marketing. The more you learn, the better it is for your business. Now is a great time to take a marketing course, read or download a book, read websites, etc. If you want a good marketing blog, I highly recommend Seth Godin’s blog!
- Advertise – I know above, I mentioned that you can cut your advertising costs, and yes, you can. However, if you can afford to keep it, there is an opportunity here. The supply and demand rule always applies. Since the demand will surely go down, the price is likely to go down, as well, which is great for you! Advertising that may not have been affordable, may actually be more affordable now!
- Hiring New Staff – Once all of this begins to change, and the pandemic comes to an end, there is an opportunity! Unfortunately, there will be a lot of people looking for work. The bright side is that you get a chance to hire new people, who will be hungry for work! They’re going to be motivated to work hard and do a great job. Those are the people you want on your team!
I know right now, in the midst of all of this, it seems like the sky is falling. I want to bring you a message of hope and let you know that this will come to an end. If we look at China, we can see that things will change. We have to be persistent and do our best to fight this challenge, together.
Taking action and being productive during the pandemic is far better than simply consuming yourself with panic, all day long. Take a break from social media and watching the news. If you can’t, then at least just limit your exposure. I’ve vowed to stay productive and only look at the news and social media twice per day. It has really helped!
As always, leave a comment, or contact us, if you need more information about our services, or just want to chat. 🙂 Good luck and stay well!
Austin’s Best DJs & Photo Booths
p.s. DJs, if you’re looking for DJ-specific tips, you can read the blog I wrote on being productive during social distancing.