Updated: May 16
Today, Sunday 10th May 2020 at 7pm, Boris Johnson made a speech addressing the British Public on the latest changes to the Lockdown in the UK due to COVID-19.
A lot of my photography work is for large aviation and railway companies, so me and my photography business have taken a big hit by the coronavirus lockdown measures.
Below, I've listed the new changes to the COVID-19 lockdown in the UK (mostly applicable to England) and what this means for photographer's and other small and sole trader businesses.
Changes to the Lockdown Measures:
These are the changes to the lockdown measures here in the UK.
It's still quite confusing, however Boris Johnson will be answering questions this week.
Anyone who can not work from home, should now go to work, but avoid public transport. Go by car, bicycle, or walk.
Employers are also given guidance on making workplaces COVID safe.
Example of people who can go back to work: those in construction or manufacturing, electricians etc.
It's not entirely clear at the moment!
Social (or physical) distancing is still in place throughout the UK. This means we all need to keep 2 metres or 6 feet away from each other. - This helps to reduce the spread through the air. - This still impacts businesses like hairdressers etc that need close contact to be able to do their jobs.
Washing Hands Regularly:
This measure was in from the start. After going out we need to wash out hands thoroughly, which means for at least 20 seconds with hot water and soap.
Use of Face Masks:
Face coverings are advised to be worn in some public enclosed areas where social distancing is not always possible. - Examples: on public transport, and in some shops.
From Wednesday 13th May 2020, you can have unlimited amount of exercise. Go to parks, Play sports. But only with members of your household.
Meeting Other People:
People are now allowed to meet one person from another household outside, keeping to social distancing.
Public Businesses now open:
No Change for now.
Timeline of lockdown changes in the future:
June: Possibly phasing of opening of some shops and some primary schools (Reception, year 1 and year 6), hoping that students can have some time with their teachers before the end of term.
July: Possibly opening some hospitality businesses, restaurants, and public places.
Quarantine of people traveling to the UK by air, possibly for 14 days.
What this means for photography businesses and other small businesses?
If you can't work from home, you can now go back to work, but only if you can keep to the social (or physical) distancing rules.
A lot of my photography work can now start up again in theory, however, whether it will or not is another matter!
Most of my commercial photography, property, or even portrait work can be done easily with social or physical distancing.
I'm sure that my photography business will continue to struggle during this time as I suspect a lot of other small businesses and sole traders will do too!
Hairdressers still are not open as we still have to maintain the social distancing rules.
My thoughts from the start were this would continue until at least September time, which might be accurate, but let's see.
As a photography business, I am looking at ways to pivot into more online services, product photography, mentoring and online courses.
I am also looking to promote more of my property photography where the properties are empty, and where I can do headshot, portraits, commercial, and advertising photography while still maintaining strict physical distancing measures.
Us as small businesses need to stick together now and help each other.
I've started talking with a few building companies, electricians, and other small businesses to see how we can help each other during this time and to help raise each others profile locally.
I for one am going to be marketing myself more than ever!
You might be quiet in terms of actual physical work, but now is the best time to get your marketing strategy up to scratch and get people's attention!
I have a numbers of strategies I'm using which I might reveal in a later blog, but obviously don't want to give too much away in a public setting.
3 Things you can be doing now to take advantage of this time:
1. Improve your product or service. - Look to how you can create an even better customer experience during this time, so that when we are back to normal you'll have a much better business, and a better product or service to offer to your clients and customers.
2. Get your website sorted. - Update old photos and images, write new content, do some research on what your competitors are doing on their website and do it better on yours.
3. Invest time into your long term marketing channels. - Things like your blog (see what I'm doing here!!), your SEO (search engine optimisation), your social media channels, and keep writing new and fresh content to boost you up on search engines like Google.
I've started an exclusive facebook group where I'll be creating and giving away free photographs for people to use in their blogs and websites during this pandemic.
That will be where I'll be sharing my marketing advice to photographers and other small businesses too!
The link to my private Facebook group is here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/StuBaileyPhoto/
My Safety Measures to Coronavirus (COVID-19):
To see the measures I am taking in my commercial, advertising, and lifestyle photography business, then see this blog post which I keep updating regularly: https://www.stuartbaileyphoto.com/post/coronavirus-disease-covid-19-outbreak
Not a lot has changed.
The message still remains as "Stay at Home" for the majority of people.
If you can't work from home, then you can go back to work now, but only if you can maintain social distancing measures.
Avoid public transport as much as possible. Use car, bike, or walk.
Stay alert, stay cautious, stay safe, protect the NHS, and save lives.
Note: I'll be updating this blog as things continue to loosen or tighten during this coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Phone: (+44) 07762 900 132