It’s a really good question. How can I, as a business offering commercial photography services in Norfolk, help my fellow local businesses during Coronavirus? And it’s one I’ve been spending a lot of time asking myself recently. I’m really conscious through my own experience as well as hearing the stories of other local businesses via organisations like AllThingsNorfolk and Buy Local Norfolk, and reading the national press, that not all small businesses will come out from the other side of Coronavirus. And that really hurts.
But I’m equally conscious that as well as a threat this time could represent an opportunity, even maybe a watershed. And I’m more convinced than ever that local is where it’s going to be at going forward. The collective spirit we’ve witnessed being shown in our towns, cities, county and region has been phenomenal. The prominence of support for small businesses within the overall support given to the economy by the government has also been very welcome. And the wide recognition of the sheer numbers of people that contribute to our economy as small and medium businesses, partnerships and sole traders is very encouraging.
For positive-minded, opportunity-embracing local businesses, then, it seems to me that when they come out of this, they’ll need above all else to plug in again quickly and efficiently to existing and new revenue streams. They’ll need to make money – fast! I certainly know I will. And how will that happen? Well, to my mind, through the ongoing cultivation (even during this awful time) of existing and new relationships. And through making sure those you want to work with know you’re able, ready and willing to work with them.
And that’s partly what this blog is about. I want to lo let you all know that, during and after Coronavirus, my commercial photography business is here to do exactly that. I am able, ready and willing to work with you.
But it’s only partly what this blog’s about. Because we need to recognise that the revenues of the businesses we want to work with will also have been hammered during this time and they may not have the means to invest in our services (even though they’re patently wonderful!).
So what to do? I don’t have all the answers by any stretch but I think that one thing is obvious. We will all need to be more agile and creative than ever before in how we market ourselves and our services from now on and probably for a good time to come. That will mean different things to different businesses of course so there is no one size fits all perspective on how we do this. But do it, I think, we must!
I’ve been considering how I can adapt my commercial photography service during Coronavirus. I began to think that my options for helping other local businesses were a bit limited. Photography needs to be done in company with others a lot of the time, especially for businesses, and it may well not be top of everyone’s list anyway for what they think they need right now or when we get back to normal. But the joy of thinking things through over a period of time is that you do arrive at answers and ideas as to what you can do, and I’ve come up with a plan (over a glass of wine or two – at home, of course)!
My plan recognises the two key points I mentioned above. Businesses will need to make money as quickly as possible but their client businesses may not actually have money to spend. the plan is simple and it involves… ta-dah… not charging! Well, not really, because I have to make money too but it does involve two offerings which I hope will help local businesses as they go through and come out of this time:
I’m passionate about helping local businesses succeed, and I firmly believe that excellent imagery can make a critical difference to just how successful those businesses can be. If you believe that too but don’t think you can afford a professional photographer to help you, then please think again.
I am able, willing and ready to – most of all – listen to you, and then work with you, during and after this time. I want to help, and I believe I can, so please do get in touch.