The Benefit of Sailing in Rough Seas

The Benefit of Sailing in Rough Seas

I recently shared a post on my blog based on an old African proverb: “Smooth seas don’t make skilled sailors.” When business is good, we rarely react to the need to examine workflow, pricing, customer response time, etc. We assume all is well and never look at how we’re running our business.

But when business is bad, for whatever reason, we suddenly look at everything and realize there were problems we had all along. Like the three little pigs, we discover we never used a brick to build our house! This past year a lot of you faced challenges you could never anticipate – none of us could.

Well, now’s the time to build that house of brick! We’re just starting to come out of the pandemic, and all of us have been a long way from “smooth seas” over the last fourteen months.

Think about it. The pandemic brought virtually every business to a standstill, especially in photography. But you’ve had a year to fine-tune your skills, expand your reach in social media, and hopefully diversify a little from your original specialty.

What’s exciting right now is the new energy focused on marketing, relationship building, and leadership for those of you no longer willing to sit still! There’s a stronger sense of family these days and combined with the overwhelming need to help clients capture new memories, business is about to start growing again.

Plus, technology has made us stronger as an industry. Think about how we share photographs today – Zoom, Facebook, Facetime, Skype, Google, YouTube, etc.  As the economy continues to improve, business will come back, starting with this year’s graduations.

Scuba diving is a major passion of mine, and I remember a dive when I first started. We had 6-8 foot swells, and we were in a small boat – I was diving with my buddy, Bob Nunn. The captain looked at us and said, “If you guys can dive in this, you can dive in anything!” I came off the boat green, and Bob left breakfast a half-mile off the Florida coast, but it did make us better divers. It also gave us something to laugh about.

Well, none of us will ever be laughing about the last year but as an industry, we’ve survived the most brutal of times. Now, Spring seasonality is right around the corner.

What are you doing to let your target audience know you’re back?  Use your blog, email, the phone, and direct mail to get back in touch with your audience. Own your zip code and start knocking on the doors of local businesses to introduce yourself. Look for partners (other companies with the same target audience) and get out to lunch with other artists.

The point is, we’ve all learned to sail in rough water, and now we’re better sailors!

It’s time for you to thrive, not just survive!

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This article was written by
Skip Cohen

Skip Cohen is an industry executive recognized for his diversity. He has served as past president of Hasselblad USA, Rangefinder/WPPI and in 2009 founded his own educational consulting company. In 2013 he launched Skip Cohen University dedicated to helping artists build a stronger business. He's a regular speaker at a variety of conventions and writes for several different magazines, as well as having two business classes at Lynda.com. Click above to visit the SCU blog.

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