People keep asking me "does the economy seem to be affecting your business?". Well, it's hard to say for sure since we are a very seasonal business and we book our weddings 12-18 months in advance. However, we are taking steps to prepare for hard times. One of the things we are doing this winter is closing our studio on Fridays. Since Fridays are our slowest day of the week, we are hoping to cut down on our expenses a bit by shortening our work week during the slow season.
Another thing we are doing is holding a monthly Open House at our studio so our clients can stop by and enjoy a glass of wine and refreshments while they check out our new products, our studio and meet our staff. Our first Open House is this Monday, Nov. 17 from 5:00pm - 7:00pm. (Servello's Art Gallery next door to us is also having an Open House during the same time.) The big advantage to our clients during these events is that they can purchase our gift certificates at HALF PRICE! These gift certificates can be used anytime throughout 2009. Hopefully this will help our clients when money is tight as well as boost our sales during our slower season.
Other wedding vendors I have talked to seem to agree that the weddings for 2009 are coming in a bit slower, but people may be waiting to book closer to their date. This year we photographed just under 50 weddings and our bookings for next year are not far behind where they should be at this point. I'm not sure photography would be the first place a bride would look to save money on her wedding. When the most special day of her life is over, she still wants those memories captured in beautiful images she can keep and pass down to her children.
Some brides and grooms I have met with lately have decided to make payments throughout the year towards their wedding package so they don't have to come up with a large amount at once. Those who are good at budgeting are finding ways to get the things that are important to them.
I think if we plan ahead and be thoughtful about our spending, we can help ourselves in this tough economic time.