Newcastle Photographer and Content Creator, Mandy Charlton, Always on a quest for adventure, often seen on buses, trains and planes. On a quest to be happier and healthier. Lives in Newcastle with her 3 cats, Iris, Maggie and Arthur. Loves good vibes, musicals and cakes. Full time professional wedding photographer in the north east of england alongside content creator on Tiktok, Instagram and Facebook

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Small Business Owner? You're Not Dead Yet!

It's been a rough couple of weeks in the small business and entrepreneurial communities and it's only been a couple of weeks, it feels like years and a lot of us are questioning "what the eff just happened?"

Mandy Charlton, Photographer, Writer, Blogger, Small Business owner, you're not dead yet

Many businesses stopped trading almost overnight including my own and the stress was unbearable, it wasn't until I spoke to a mental health worker that I was reassured to know that it's not a me problem, it's a world problem, almost from that point I found my inner resilience and I've had actual times this week with zero anxiety, so much so, that for the first time in a long time, when anxiety does flare up I notice the massive differences.  I'd existed at top state anxiety for so long, I had forgotten what it was like to not feel anxious.

It's weird to be so relaxed given the current business conditions, the chancellors care package won't kick in until June and will amount to a little but not a lot for I've always run businesses for love and not money.

Take heart though, I have earned money this week and as a small business owner you can still do that too, you are not dead, you are merely sleeping.  Here are some ideas for things you can do right now -
  1. Most small businesses sell gift certificates and if you don't, now is your chance to get some E-vouchers designed, you can bring in some valuable funds and your clients who still have jobs and incomes are just waiting to support you.
  2. Set yourself up a Kofi account, mine is and it's a great way to buy a business owner or content creator like me a cup of virtual coffee for just £3, I managed to pay my rent this week from virtual cups of coffee and given that I currently still have to pay full rent it's something I'm massively thankful for.
  3. If you are a blogger or content creator there are still campaigns available, I wrote a sponsored post this week and though I had to negotiate a slightly lower fee due to the world financial crisis it's meant I will have some valuable money coming in, even if I have to wait 30 days.
  4. Almost certainly whilst we are in this weird lockdown period you might be wondering just how you're going to get your products for the new season on, maybe you previously paid a product photographer and now you can't access them or you just can't afford it, well fear not, I've just created a video for that purpose which will help you create everyday lifestyle product photography with just your smartphone so that you can still do business longterm
  5. If you are a photographer and have a Shutterstock account or any other stock photography account, it's a great time to go through your archive and tag and add all of your latest photos, I love and loathe Shutterstock simply because of the time it takes to upload and do all of the descriptions and tagging but right now, time isn't an object.
  6. It's also a great time to start an online business, I had a business idea this week that I'm now starting to action, something I've wanted to do but had no time and something with virtually no setup costs.  At this point I get to grow it slowly instead of doing a mad launch and, well I can't give too much away but watch this space.
Entrepreneurs and small business owners tend to be some of the most adaptable resilient people in our communities and I think we're all getting to that point where we accept what's happened, we find our inner resilience and then we start taking positive action for the future and really, what you do now will define how you fair when we do get back to business.

Just remember, you may be sleeping but you are far from dead, you started with nothing the first time, this time, you're going back into it armed with followings and knowledge and you can still be wonderful and have future success, I really believe that for all of us.

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