Owning a Business - Not For the Faint of Heart
Owning a business is just as awesome as you would expect it to be. You are your own boss, you create your own hours, you make all of the decisions, you do what you want and you know that every good thing that happens in your business is the result of your own hard work. With that though comes all of the responsibility of owning your own business. Paying the bills, making all of the decisions, handling all of the contracts and invoices, dealing with customer relations, scheduling, maintaining a positive relationship with in the community, researching and implementing changes.
Owning L Christine Photography has been a life-changing experience for me and also an eye-opening experience. Customer service is always number one. I am always looking to put a smile on peoples faces. I am always trying to make the experience pleasant even for those who don't want to be there. I am always trying to make the experience better. I do whatever I can to make the clients happy. When a client needs to reschedule because someone is sick, I'm happy to do so because things like that are out of our control. What I've come to realize as a business owner is that the courtesy is not extended the other way to the business owner. When I get sick I'm still expected to be there to provide a service and perform at my peak. (Holding a nearly 10lb camera and getting clear pictures on a good day is hard enough. Add a fever to the mix and you think you might die.) It's upsetting to not receive the same courtesy in return, to know I'm not valued as much as I value my clients.
So let's talk about the weather. I have no control over it. Whatever happens, we just have to roll with it and all I can do is try to accommodate and do what I can. This season in particular has been pretty brutal with the weather. I have 23 shoots this weekend and it looks like it's going to rain all weekend. The holidays are here, everyone wants their pictures for Christmas cards, and we really we can't put this off. Many of these people are already rescheduled from a previous weekend. I TOTALLY get it.
I'm feeling guilty about something I can't even control. I'm trying to figure out how to get these pictures done even with all of the rain. So what did I do? I contacted a local studio and I rented it out for the entire day on Sunday.
When I scheduled all of these sessions, they were priced the way they are because they are outdoors and very quick. Today out of my personal bank account I secured a studio for Sunday for a few hundred dollars. I have since received some not-so-nice emails from people telling me they wanted a refund because they wanted outdoor photos. I get it. I understand it's disappointing that the weather is being a pain, but you also signed a contract that stated the fee is non-refundable because I am setting aside time just for you and turning others away. I am always happy to reschedule and figure things out. Treat me the way you would want to be treated. I'm doing what I can to make sure you have a good experience. Like, hey, how cool that she came up with an awesome backup plan for us!? I'm using my own personal funds to cover the cost because customer service is HUGE for me. To not get any respect in return and to have people get upset with me over the weather, which I cannot control, it really stinks.
I pour all of myself into this business. I'm only human and I can only do so much. I do what I can all of the time and I'm ALWAYS willing to accommodate. My goal is always to provide you with great service, provide you with memories, and capture you as a family.
When you work with me, you are family. Family is everything.
Stay warm and dry.