5 Tips for Surviving an Economic Slump

We’ve all lived through at least one significant economic downturn, the most recent lasting from the end of 2007 to the summer of 2009. It’s not easy keeping our spirits up when we’re in the midst of it, but remembering that recovery inevitably comes along can soften the psychic blow. If your business is in a slump, don’t despair. There are ways to make the most of downtime.

1. Improve your skills: If there is a skill you’ve wanted to perfect, now’s the time to practice. Maybe it’s macro photography, marketing strategy, or capturing video. Share your efforts on social to keep customers engaged and to get encouragement from peers. PPA members can find tons of online courses at ppa.com/edu.

2. Network: Reach out to peers and stay in touch with the photography community. Offer support and inspiration where you can. Share ideas to help colleagues stay in the game. Keep a positive attitude, and communicate in a way that’s compassionate, confident, and competent.

3. Deep clean and refresh: This is a time to step back and take an unbiased look at the spaces you share with clients: dressing room, camera room, and sales and presentation areas. Be sure all aspects of your space support your brand and professional image. Clean everything to maintain an inviting space for clients.

4. Keep your name out there: It can be hard to do, but don’t scale back advertising or marketing. Historically, businesses that maintain or increase advertising during a recession experience sales growth during and after the downturn. Get creative. Sometimes you just have to grit your teeth and keep on going.

5. Contribute: Think of ways your photography and additional skills can benefit others. Are there community projects or local philanthropic organizations you admire than could use a hand? It’ll not only make you feel better to pitch in, but people remember those who helped out when they needed it.