“Every adversity, every failure, and every heartache, carries with it the seed of an equivalent or greater benefit.”
While this is certainly unlike anything seen in our lifetimes, it is probably not the first trial or tribulation you faced. COVID-19 has presented itself as an obstacle for our current situation and as a business owner (and human being) you may feel frustrated, overwhelmed or paralyzed with fear. All of these feelings are normal however not all reactions to your feelings are helpful.
As a business owner, the first thing to do take a minute and compose yourself. It is easy to feel like you need to react, respond and figure out everything coming at you as it comes at you, but being reactive versus being proactive will only lead you down more frenetic and frustrating situations you will need to figure out later on. You also need to fill your bucket and know how you can relax and de-stress so you can establish that as part of your schedule.
First, if you don’t already, you need to establish a cancellation, refund and postponement protocol.
Hopefully you already have something in place for the contract your clients sign with regards to cancellations, delays, or other unforeseen issues outside of your or their control. If you don’t have something in place, now is the time to add it to your contract and it is also the time to make sure you know this policy inside and out.
You should always want to encourage postponing over cancelling and in the case of a new date that you cannot accommodate with the original booking, think creatively as to how you can credit or attribute options for your clients to swap services or products.
Now is also the time (if you haven’t already) to get to know other professionals you previously thought of as your competitors.
Work together as they might be able to have a date open that you don’t have and vice versa. Community over competition is a real thing and now is your opportunity to demonstrate what that looks like.
Write a letter to your clients.
After you have taken a moment to compose yourself, your statement on your policies and the current situation, and your network of other retailers and professionals, write a letter to your clients. In your letter, include empathy (We understand how frustrating and difficult this time is for you…), your action plan and policies (We will be offering credits/refunds/etc…. or As per our cancellation policy…), and also include your commitment to them (We remain committed to making your wedding day amazing whenever it is rescheduled to be…).
When you have a brick and mortar location that needs to close, be sure to include that information also (To ensure the safety of our staff and our clients, we are closed for regular appointments and are taking all sanitation precautions as recommended by the Department of Health and medical community. We will reopen when we are cleared to do so.).
If there are ways you can still service your clients (virtual appointments, sending products to try/view via snail mail, complimentary consultations over the phone or video chat), be sure to include those notes and instructions in your statement. Send online invoices if you don’t already, so they can pay online instead of in person.
For those appointments you have scheduled that will need to be cancelled or rescheduled, think outside the box. If you are a bridal retail store, perhaps you do a virtual shopping session and have a mannequin you can display the gown on. If you don’t already, create a questionnaire each client would complete in advance, including measurements (how to take them, etc.) to help steer your recommendations before they even set foot in your store. Knowing these bits of information help showcase your expertise and also help focus the time you have with them to avoid wasting time on things they won’t like.
Lastly, don’t give up on social media.
Use IGTV, Facebook Live or Instagram Live, or your Facebook or Instagram stories and posts to help communicate to your clients (include your letter as a post and story) as well as to offer advice for ways to still make their wedding day wonderful. Highlight other vendors, how others can support them, how you are supporting them. Help essential workers, babysit their children, get them groceries. Check on the elderly, have conversations with them about what is going on to make sure they have accurate information to stay healthy and safe as well as inform them of scammers who might be preying on them during this crisis.
Use social media to help spread hope and joy.
Remember why you started in the wedding industry in the first place. Remember all the love and happiness weddings produce. Focus on the beauty and good of what you do and the lives you touch. Helping your clients keep their head when they feel like the world is falling apart helps them trust you as the expert you are and provides a strong testimonial for all your future clients to have full confidence in you.
You’ve got this.
And know you are not alone. We are here to help and you can email or DM us anytime with your questions or concerns. We will also be doing Facebook Live sessions on @thebridalmasterclass Facebook page to provide additional help, answer questions and remind you that you are not alone. Check on our IG and FB accounts for the next Live session or visit and watch previous webinars to learn new business tips how to thrive and not just survive this crisis.
Stay safe and remember that this too shall pass.
We’ve also compiled a list of resources below.
You are a whole person so please remember to take care of all your needs: mental, physical, spiritual, emotional, and social.
SBA: Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Assistance
Local Banks/Credit Unions
City/County/State Public Assistance Programs are there to assist you with your basic needs if you need assistance with food, paying housing bills, or other life-essential services
*Concerned about making your rent/mortgage, utility, credit card, other bill payments on time? Check with your state government as many are freezing payments so you don’t need to worry about being evicted or having your electricity turned off plus it won’t hurt your credit score. Credit card companies are also being lenient and allowing you to miss a payment without hurting your credit score (but finance charges will still be applied). Most importantly, if you have auto-pay, you need to turn it off if you want to miss a payment.
Waiving delivery fees for more than 100,000 independent restaurants in the U.S. and Canada to support the restaurant.
DJ Mixes to Motivate, Release Stress, Dance
DJ Brian B:
IG Live @djbrianbofficial (check the schedule on IG)
DJ EF Sharp Sam Fleming:
Twitch – every Friday 8pm til Midnight EST
Social: @evolvedent @djefsharp @waxcandydisco
The DJ Firm
Class Central: free online courses from Ivy League schools
edX: online learning platform by Harvard and MIT
Coursera: online learning platform with 200+ leading universities and businesses
WIPA: open library of webinars for wedding pros
305 Fitness: cardio dance workouts
Barry’s: free 20-minute boot camp workouts on its IG
CorePower Yoga: free online classes
FitOn App: free workout classes
Nike Training Club: free workouts by pro trainers
Les Mills: 95 workout options across 8 categories (yoga, strength, cardio, barre, that are ready to play right now
Peloton: 90 days free trial for yoga, meditation, strength, cycling, running and more
24 Hour Fitness 24GO App: 1500+ workouts to choose from
Gold’s Gym: free 60 day trial for Gold’s Amp with hundreds of workouts, music and coaches using code FIT60
Planet Fitness: “Home Work-Ins” free classes streamed on their Facebook page and YouTube channel
PE with Joe: free 30-minute workouts for kids or just to get your body moving
Blogilates: body-sculpting workouts for various body parts and objectives
NYCB: free workouts with the best in ballet at NYC Ballet (no tutu required)
NYCB Ballet Breaks: free ballet workouts for your little ones led by NYCB
ClassPass: unlimited access to over 2,000 free video and audio workouts from top studios around the world
NYCB Digital Performances: two performances a week of previously recorded ballets
The Intermission Mission: very special at-home performances from members of the Broadway community on TodayTix’s social channels in support of The Actors Fund
Broadway HD: now offering a 7 day free trial
92nd Street Y: its archive of performances — from concerts to talks — free for the public right now
The Metropolitan Opera: they will stream a title from its Live in HD series each night beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET through the duration of the closure.
Calm.com: free resources page and Daily Calm Live Stream 10-min meditation on their Facebook and YouTube pages
British Museum in London, UK
Google Arts and Culture to take your pick of amazing museums like Musée d’Orsay, Paris, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea, The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and more
Zoo Atlanta (Panda Cam)
Talkspace: $100 off with code 1004U
They clean the air, boost your mood, productivity, concentration and creativity and provide something new for you to care for. Snake plants and Pothos are great for any type of light and watering schedule.
Please let us know if we can be helpful and suggest other resources or help you find answers to any other problems.
The fastest way to contact us is to DM us on Instagram.
We are in this together and we are here to help you succeed.