No matter where you are in the world, the subject of coronavirus is one that you can’t avoid. For many celebrants and officiants, concerns they had about how it would affect their business, have now become a reality and many more are worried about what will happen during this period of uncertainty.
You may have already noticed that your business is slowing down or you find yourself in a type of business paralysis, as couples put off wedding plans until calm and certainty are restored. You may also be fielding postponements, cancellations and a lack of enquiries all at the same time.
Whilst many of us face being restricted and limited in the way that we operate and run our businesses, there are things that you can do, things that you can control within your business which can help you through this difficult time.
1. Get it out of your system
I don’t know about you but I have so many feelings swirling around my head about how I’m processing what’s going on in the world and with my celebrant business. I’ve been journaling everyday and writing it all out and it makes me feel so much better.
Even if you don’t normally journal or write stuff like this down, just try it. Get out all of your fears, frustrations and worries and put them down on paper. What have you got to lose in recognizing and acknowledging how you feel?
It can help you to make sense of what’s going on inside your head and even rid those negative feelings and boost the positive ones, too. Because above all else, your state of mind and your mindset is what is going to help you through these difficult times.
2. Make a new working plan
The restrictions on how we work might mean you need to change how you work. So you might need a new contingency plan of action for how you work over the next few months. Maybe you were used to having lots of face-to-face meetings with your clients which you now need to take online or via a phone call.
Or like me, who now has my seven year old at home on a full-time basis, much of my work has been pushed to the evenings. Whatever your situation, planning out how you’ll work and building a new routine for yourself is a good plan of action! It will give you some stability during this uncertain time.
3. Review your business operations
If you are in a situation where you have less client work to get on with, or you’re not in the best frame of mind to write about love and happiness or deeply sentimental feelings, then you can use your free time to review your business.
This is a fab opportunity to do all the admin and behind-the-scenes things that you’ve been putting off. A good business review and refresh can leave you ready for positive action when normality returns. Here’s some tasks you could look into doing:
- Review all pages of your website. Check the text still works for you and update any images. Check your links and contact forms still work and that they do what they’re supposed to. Use this time to renovate your website.
- Review your social media platforms. Do your bios and ‘about’ pages still seem relevant, fresh or say what you want them to say?
- Clean up your bookkeeping. Get up-to-date with invoices and paperwork.
- Review your contracts and booking agreements. This situation might make you want to review your current practices and strengthen existing contracts or make new ones for the future. As well as looking at how you take payments and request money. I wrote a post on this last week.
- Create email sequences for different situations and get your email templates planned out and written. You might be interested in my templates, here.
- Re-do leaflet designs, business cards or any marketing materials or materials for your couples. You don’t have to do any printing now but having the designs in place using CANVA is a great start.
4. Reduce your expenditure
Maybe if your income has already been impacted or you foresee it happening in the near future, now might be the time to rid yourself of non-essential expenses. Are there things that are a luxury within your business that you could go without? Services that you’re not using? Or don’t really need? At the same time, don’t go culling yourself of things which you need, that keep you sane and grounded and are essential for your business and business growth during these difficult times.
5. Learn new things
If your wedding workload has been reduced somewhat now is such a good time to get learning and developing your celebrant and business knowledge. What about those courses you’ve bought and never completed? E-books you’ve downloaded and never read? Topics that you’ve been meaning to learn more about or teach yourself that you’ve not got round to doing yet? Podcasts, like mine, that you’ve not listened to yet!
I say this especially to members of my Collective who have a Resource Room of e-books and downloadable resources to get stuck into, not to mention a Learning Lounge full of how-to videos and recorded webinars on the most fantastic celebrant business topics. Make time to use these resources, peeps!
Next week in fact, we have our online LGBTQ business webinar with Lisa Vine of Equality Weddings, who’ll be looking at common mistakes that wedding business owners make when it comes to LGBTQ inclusivity. Now with the increasing number of self- isolations and lockdowns, this webinar will not only come as a welcome distraction but is going to be full of so much great advice and tips for your celebrant business.
If you’d like to join us for this webinar on Wednesday 25th March a 11am GMT, as well as have access to all of our resources and videos as a new member, then come and join us here. And as always, it will be recorded for those who can’t make it live.
6. Keep in contact with your couples/clients
And lastly, this is a better time than any to stay in healthy contact with your couples. It can be tempting to want to crawl under a rock and not come out until all of this is over, but now is a good opportunity to be present and visible to them.
You could send a newsletter style email to them keeping them updated with what you’re up to, and you can use your social media as a narrative for how things are going.
I saw a great feature the other day that suggested to businesses using social media to not maintain ‘toxic positivity.’ So don’t go pumping out posts about how wonderful weddings are, without even acknowledging the current situation. Use this time to be more balanced with your posts and to shape your narrative to be a good combination of current affairs, hopeful positivism, as well as wedding inspiration and advice. Use your platforms realistically and wisely.
Also, whilst I’ve not listed it as a tip, one good thing that you can do for your business is also to step away from it! Just temporarily of course. But use this time to have a bit more time off than you usually would. If you’ve done all you can do for the day or the week, invest in yourself and your loved ones.
Read books, binge-watch tv shows, join online exercise classes, bake, cook, crochet and knit – whatever you can to soothe your mind. My husband has just made a start on some fabulous pallet cloakroom shelves that he’s not previously had the time to do! Yay! Finally!
Remember, this situation won’t last forever. We will get through this, so let’s make the most of our days, and of family time. And let’s ready ourselves for being on the other side of this global disaster and for business being back to usual.
Okay, that’s it for me for this week. Don’t forget you can join me and a whole host of other awesome celebrants and officiants from around the world in my Facebook group, here. You don’t have to go through this alone.