7 Ways to Safeguard Your Wedding Business from Coronavirus
With the recent outbreak and wildfire spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), it’s no wonder people are going into panic mode. However, it’s not just basic personal hygiene, self-isolation and frenzied stockpiling of sanitary goods we must worry about. Professionals in the wedding industry are now seeing a lull in business, couples are panicking, considering cancelling their weddings and we are all being advised not to attend events with large groups of people. So, what can you do to try and stay in the game as a wedding business owner? Here are a few tips and recommendations that might help you to safeguard your wedding business from Coronavirus.
Get the Facts
We are all gluttons for punishment when it comes to the media and social media. Some of us listen obsessively to every news update, where others take what is posted by Joe Bloggs and share it thinking it is gospel. Unfortunately, doing things like this can cause panic and there is a lot of fake and potentially harmful news and advice out there. It is best to stay in the know and get your information from reputable sources, only repeating and sharing what is necessary.
Be Savvy with Your Marketing
There is absolutely no hiding from Coronavirus online and in the media, it’s literally everywhere. Saying that, it should not be the only thing you talk about in your current wedding business marketing. Stick to your original marketing and social media content but do acknowledge the situation. Do not scaremonger under any circumstance but do give updates to your couples and potential clients on how your business is dealing with it all. Be honest and trustworthy. Think Splendid recommends ‘showing what you and your team are doing to help “flatten the curve” and growth rate of infection, whether that’s sharing photos of your team members working from their respective homes instead of your studio, or discussing mock-ups and design samples via Zoom with the wedding pros you’re collaborating with, or Face-timing with your clients instead of meeting in person, etc’.
Look at your Wedding Business Contracts/Terms and Conditions
It is more than likely that your wedding business will be covered by some clause or other, especially if you have had your legal documents professionally drawn up. However, if you are in doubt, do have them looked over by a professional. Remember, you will be unable to make amendments to any legal documents already signed by your couples, as explained here.
Risks to your Wedding Business
There are so many risks to consider in this situation, to include them all would involve an entire article. Important things to consider as risks to your wedding business are the following.
What happens if you contract Coronavirus? Do you have a back up plan? Can you call in someone to replace you? Are you covered in your contract for that?
What if you have cancellations and have to refund? What if you just don’t receive bookings? Do you have an alternate source of income? Do you have savings you can fall back on?
For other risks, a good resource can be found here.
Keep Communication with Industry Colleagues
You know the score. We are all in this together. Talk to each other, find out the latest protocols. Keep each other positive and boost morale. Are you part of any online wedding business communities or social media groups in the industry? Communicate and help each other out, especially if support is needed.
Stay Away from People
No, I’m not kidding. This is a serious virus and it is spread human to human. People are being encouraged to work at home as much as possible to try and eliminate infection. Of course, this affects small businesses like us, but needs must. In terms of communications with your couples, thankfully we are in the 21st century and there are more non face to face ways to communicate than you can shake a stick at. Keep it to email, phone calls, text messages, and for meetings where there needs to be collaboration, try an online platform such as Zoom or Skype.
It’s a scary time and you will get scared phone calls from couples, asking 101 questions about what to do, whether to cancel and so on. Your job now, more than ever is to empathise and try and calm the situation. Obviously, the last thing you want is a cancellation but, in this scenario, there is lots to consider.
- Firstly, is the virus the actual root of the panic? Yes, this sounds unlikely, but it could be a case of last-minute jitters. Have the couple had a row? Are they getting cold feet? Try and talk them through exactly what it is that is worrying them first and foremost.
- Remember a few points up about being properly informed? Now is the time to gently relay that information to the couple and ensure they have all the correct facts. This may calm them down somewhat as they may have read something that isn’t necessarily factual or helpful.
- Make yourself available if a couple just needs reassuring. Patience and empathy do go a long way in the wedding industry, and this is a classic example. Listen to their concerns, be gentle and understanding and again, explain the facts. You may just save the couple’s wedding and your booking!
- Encourage your current couples to review their wedding insurance policies if they have them. They also need to be in the know about how they are covered, what they are covered for and so on. According to Guides for Brides, it is unlikely that new couples will be able to get wedding insurance because of the current circumstances, however, it does no harm to try.
- Encourage postponements, not cancellations. A knee jerk reaction will often be to cancel in such situations, however, if you can get your wedding couples to consider postponing for a later date rather than cancelling, you should. This will not only protect you in terms of finances already paid, but it will give the couple a bit of faith that you are confident in planning ahead for this to be over.
- In the event that cancellation is the only option, so be it. Try, however, to be as accommodating as possible to your couple. Even though your contract may protect you from having to refund, you need to think of the couple, and of your reputation. If you can afford to, offer a gesture of goodwill or partial refund. Again, be willing to move dates if this will help.
I hope you have found these tips useful, and it has hopefully put you a little more at ease. It is a tough time for everyone at the moment and things are going to be difficult. If we remember that we are all in it together though and support each other as much as possible, we should all hopefully come through it ok. Be mindful and be safe.
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