It’s full-on cough and cold season and just to add to the never-ending gifts of 2021, there’s the super cold going around. Have you had it yet? Trust me, there’s nothing super about it. But you know how it is, you power through the ‘season’ and as soon as you start to slow down, every illness that you kept at bay seem to suddenly all catch up with you at once.
Like some cruel and annoying irony, it’s when you slow down and have some time for yourself that your body lets you down. It’s horrible, but your body is very wise. If you are experiencing some symptoms or feel like you might be ‘coming down with something’ it is usually trying to tell you that you need to rest. You need some recovery time. Nothing in nature blooms all of the time, listen to your body and take care of yourself.
So how do you know when your business is in need of some TLC too? Just like your body, there will be warning signs. Maybe this is the year that you’ve seen some customer dissatisfaction. It could be small issues up to full-on complaints. Yes, things have been tough this past 18 months in particular – that might be the reason why some things have slipped for you but try not to let it be the excuse for not delivering your best service.
Fight or Flight
When our clients take the time to give us negative feedback, it can hurt. A natural reaction to stress like this is Fight or Flight – fight back by not accepting their issue and trying to prove them to be in the wrong or flight, just try to run away from the situation or ignore it and hope it goes away. Neither solution leads to resolution or makes you feel better.
So how about accepting that this is telling you that your business needs some self-care? What could potentially ease your pain? My suggestion is that first of all you identify what your business pain points are.
CRM Is Your Friend
One might be handling your emails and enquiries. If this is stressing you out and taking up too much of your precious time then I suggest either setting up a CRM such as the wonderful Studio Ninja (Farmers even get a 50% off deal on their first 12 months with the code FARM). Many of the photographers that have been through my mentoring programme did not have an efficient process in place for admin like this and said they were too busy to set up a CRM. Well, here’s the rub, taking a tiny bit of time out to set it up, will claw back so much of your future time.
Shoot. Edit. Sleep. Repeat.
Another cause of stress might be your post-production – Are the edits piled up and you sometimes feel that all you do is shoot, edit, sleep and repeat? That’s a horrible mindset to be in and this can make it difficult to give your best to each couple. Trust me, it does not have to be this way. My 1-Day Wedding Edit class is your friend. Laura from One Moment said, “This course was worth its weight in gold! I’m so happy with the skills and tricks that I’ve learnt.”
Manage Client Expectations
Most customer dissatisfaction comes from expectations not being met. How could you manage these better? I’ve been experimenting with the Delivery Automations within my gallery provider, Pic-Time. Did you know that they have one set up by Sam Hurd that will send out previews plus updates on delivery times? It’s called Gallery To Backup System and it might take some of that pressure off you.
Reducing the amount of stress that you feel running your business, reduces the struggles that can arise and leads to a healthier business and a healthier you. As we near the end of this challenging year, let’s get aim to not carry forward any of these negative parts of our working lives into the next year. Are you with me?
Photography: Devlin Photos for Rock n Roll Bride Magazine
Concept & Art Direction: Kat Williams
Styling: The Bijou Bride
Flowers & Cloud Installation: Flos Flowers
Backdrop: The Gallery Wall
Hair: Love Hair Co.
Make-Up: Shani Mushington
Video: Loved Up Films
Assistants: Georgia Irving, Shiyan Zering, Katie Rogers
Models: Renee & Gemma via Zebedee Management
Location: The Brighton Studio