Adapting in the time of COVID-19

Thumbtack Employee
Thumbtack Employee
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Who better to talk about running a business than the business owners themselves? We asked four female business owners how they’ve successfully adapted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s what they had to say.

 

What challenges did your business face with COVID-19 and how did you adapt? 

“With being a business owner and photographer whose primary income is based upon weddings and events. Covid pretty much came in and wiped my calendar from a full schedule of 30 upcoming bookings, down to zero, in as quick as 10-15 days. I knew that for the upcoming months of the unknown I would have to kick-start a new way of communicating with my clients and help us navigate through a very scary time. Instead of having clients cancel out right. We spoke about rescheduling. After all, they still want to get married. They still want to host events, bat/bar mitzvah’s etc. We would just need to wait this out until the states re-opened. I created "addendum's" that basically replaced the contracted date with a new date. Everything remained the same in the contract except the new agreed upon date. And as far as my engagement, portrait and graduation sessions went. Those just got pushed back a few months as well, and are already on the books and in the works.”

- Danielle Penn, Danielle Penne Photography

“During COVID-19 we faced the ultimate challenges at Curly Bartender. Since we are a mobile bartending company and the whole basis of our job is to host social events and parties we had to completely shut down. We couldn’t take any new events and the worst part was having to cancel the events that we had previously booked. It’s really hard telling a bride and groom that we no longer can bartend the most important day of their lives, but these tough conversations had to happen. We adapted by changing our policies that were in the contract. In our contract it states the deposit used to book our services can not be refunded for any reason and it can not be transferred to any other date or location. Of course, during these unprecedented times we changed that completely. We worked with our clients to find new dates for them in the future and added some complimentary items to ease the burden as much as we can. Since we had to stop our business 100%, we had to come up with a creative solution to still bring income in despite the situation. This is when Boozy Brunch Baskets were created. They are ready-to-drink cocktails customized to any theme or event (Tiki themed, birthday, graduation, new home, etc) based on your preferences delivered right to your door or to your friend’s and family’s doors with a no-contact delivery service to celebrate and drink together but separate.“

- Tannaz Kalhor, Curly Bartender 

 

What skills or talents help you navigate these times as a business owner?

“Growing up in Florida, and being around tropical storms and hurricanes, has taught me to always prepare for the worst and hope for the best through any challenge. Yes, COVID-19 was not something we can predict, or prepare for, like a hurricane. However, with the knowledge of unprecedented times, much like a storm coming in and wiping a city out, COVID-19 pretty much came in and swept us all off of our feet within days. I knew though, like a hurricane, you have to bear a storm, before you can see the rainbow. And if you do it right, maybe, just maybe there will be a pot of gold waiting for you at the end. We will all grow from this. COVID-19 has changed us all. I hope we will now prosper even more and turn our sights to challenging ourselves and everyone around us to become better and stronger business owners and influencers.” 

- Danielle Penn, Danielle Penne Photography

“Being creative, tough, adaptable and driven are essential during these times. Just because you need to change your business a little, or in our case completely, doesn’t mean you need to give up. Everything happens for a reason and some things are not in our control at all. So being creative in coming up with a solution is crucial. You need to be tough and not take things personally and understand this is happening to everyone and you will come back stronger than ever. This is when being adaptable comes into play. The saying, when life gives you lemons make lemonade — or in our case spiked lemonade 😉 — was critical. Lastly, being driven is a must. Having the motivation to continue going is essential. Mine happens to be my family. They are my biggest reminder of why I am doing everything.”

- Tannaz Kalhor, Curly Bartender 

 

How have you helped your customers feel safe hiring you, and what precautions are you taking on the job?

“Last week, we provided service for our first birthday party since March 8th. It felt amazing. We wore masks and gloves as well as provided hand sanitizer for ourselves and guests as they approached the bar. We also have encouraged people to purchase our Glamorous Drinks “Ready-Made” Cocktails as they have their own respective gatherings. This is a safer way to have delicious cocktails without needing a bartender and still have all the fun!”

- Janae Thomas, Glamorous Drinks

 

What advice would you give to other pros?

“I highly advise all entrepreneurs during this time to brush up on your skills. Learn a new technique that improves your craft. Market yourself. Use social media to your advantage. Better your website, or for that matter, create one that shines with all that you are, do, and want to push out into the world. Be the best that you can be. You are your own success story! “

- Danielle Penn, Danielle Penne Photography

“Definitely have a plan B! There are so many online opportunities! Find one and start developing and expanding your brand!”

- Ralphann Forrest, Beyond Beauty Bridal Hair and Makeup

“Use this time to explore you and what you are deeply passionate about and if you can figure out a way for that to translate monetarily, amazing. However, even if it doesn’t, just relax and be free to create, and try to prepare yourself as much as possible for what’s next. There’s no rules or pressure.”

- Janae Thomas, Glamorous Drinks

 

Social distancing? You can still connect online with other pros in the Community. Share your own advice for adapting to COVID-19 with other pros in the comments.