Arkansas Professional Photographers Association

Slow Season

January 28, 2016 12:23 PM | Rebecca Hardgrave (Administrator)

So we made it over the holiday rush, rested up a little – now what? Typically January and the first part of February is a slow time as far as actual portrait sessions. But it does not have to be a slow time.  I think the hardest thing is getting motivated to use this time wisely. Here are some suggestions on making January and February just as “busy” so when your portrait sessions pick up, you are ready to go.

  1. Make a hand written to do list EVERY day. Something about having to rewrite my list with unfinished business bugs me, more than copy and pasting. I even put simple things on the list so I can mark them off with a sense of accomplishment. It may sound silly, but it really does help me.

  2. Start on your taxes. Get those mileage logs behind you. Log in all your credit card statements that you have put off. Get those bank statements logged in. Find your property tax receipts. I was soooo bad in 2014, I kept putting all this off, and had to file for an extension. I had plenty of time in January 2015, but I just hate doing it. This year is easier because I switched to Quickbooks online, and most of what I need is already there without having to manually enter it.

  3. Start on your marketing plan for at least the first 6 months of the year. You can design your ads for specials in all the ways you advertise – Facebook cover images, Google + cover images. Write several blog posts and schedule them, or at least have them ready to go when you don't have time to write.

  4. If you use Facebook, you can schedule up to 6 months worth of posts on your business FB page. So no more excuses for no posts going up for months on end. I went through some old files and pulled enough for a year's worth of “Throw Back Thursday” from 5-10 years ago. Every Thursday for the next 6 months, I do not have to worry about making a post or remember to post a TBT image, it is scheduled. The specials I have coming up have ads already scheduled. (Hint about this – I only use kids, babies, or seniors, unless I KNOW a couple is still together for family photos).

  5. I use Send Out Cards for Baby Plan reminders and birthday cards for my former baby clients. I schedule a year's worth of birthday cards. I can always go in and change the address if needed before they go out. You could do the same with handwritten cards kept in a monthly file to go out at the first of each month.

  6. Create or update your “Serial Numbers” file in a spreadsheet. All camera gear can be logged with serial numbers and model numbers, along with computers, hard drives, appliances, etc. Save this file on the cloud somewhere so in case of fire or theft, you can retrieve it.

  7. Go through those boxes of cords!! You know the one, tangled, all black cords. I ended up counting 20 sync cords – of which I have not used in over 10 years! I had a big box of cords and chargers of which I had no idea of what they went to, so I looked them up on the internet, bagged them separately in sandwich bags with a slip of paper of what they were. For my hoarder husband's sake, I saved them all in one big box and put them in storage, even the ones we don't have the gadget for anymore....

  8. Go though those other boxes that get filled with junk...umm other items you were not sure what to do with. Do you really need a bag of pens that are dried up? Are those loose batteries good or not? Are you really going to use this gadget that seemed so cool 10 years ago and has been in that box for 9.5 years?

  9. Deep clean! How does so much dust get under my desk?? I swear the dust bunnies are breeding. My dog comes to work with me everyday, so I clean a lot to keep the hair controlled. It is the human hair that I find dust bunnies adore. My window seals that are hidden behind curtains are out of sight out of mind most of the time.

So as much as you would like to kick back, watch funny cat videos, stay home in your jammies, and look for more props and equipment – you have things to do!!

--Becky Hardgrave CPP

Arkansas Professional Photographers Association

P.O. Box 1134, Beebe, AR  72012;

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