This annoying virus has meant a lot of cancellations for all businesses.
Whilst some corporations have no financial qualms, funded by investors or being helped by the government, for small business and especially SW businesses the loss of finances due to cancellations is harder to deal with. In some situations, the handling of cancellations can be just as stressful as the lockdown or the incredible loss of earnings we are all going through right now.
Cancellation of pre-arranged meetings
With the coronavirus restrictions, it may be illegal for you to work so you must cancel your bookings or face prosecution.
If you can work and have chosen to do so, clients may be wishing to cancel or reschedule. They may not be comfortable proceeding with their bookings or have lost their jobs so simply can’t afford to go ahead with a meeting.
This may mean some clients may be requesting refunds with their cancellations 🙁
Are you unsure what to do in this situation?
How you manage the refund (or not) of your deposits is entirely up to you but remember these difficult circumstances will pass so doing the right thing is probably best.
It is very tempting to just say ‘sorry no refunds on cancellations’ but you will work again after this pandemic, and this could do your business more harm than good.
If you can’t afford to give a refund, perhaps offer a credit note
This seems to be standard practise at the moment for a lot of businesses.
Some clients will be able to say ‘don’t worry about it, keep the refund’ but not everyone can do that at this time. The entire country is struggling right now so a bit of empathy may help ease the pain some people are going through.
There are a few things to keep in mind
If you are keeping the deposit without so much as a kind word, you want to remember that these are crazy times and people do the craziest things if they feel vindicated.
If they decide to go legal, the fees are going to go into the thousands and you don’t want that.
Do you have a legal binding contract or a clear refund policy on your website?
If not, then you may want to check with your lawyer if you can, in fact, keep the deposit without legal repercussions.
Each Australian state has different laws and I am based in NSW so these apply to me so I have read them. Other states have their own laws and rules during this troublesome time.
NSW Government Advice
NSW Fair Trading has an FAQ page for details of what business must do during this pandemic
The NSW Government Covid 19 Website also lists restrictions and laws that apply to us all currently
If you don’t have a contract or a policy on your website, you can’t just introduce a new Coronavirus cancellation or refund policy and assume it will be accepted. People are under no obligation to take notice of any new policy if they have an existing arrangement with you
Have Travels Bans left you with costs you wish to recoup?
Check the Fair Trading website of your state. Also, check your travel insurance as well as contacting your transportation (airline, bus etc) and also the hotel etc to see if you can get a full refund or if you can have a future credit of some type when things are back to normal.
Need to cancel a photoshoot?
Photographers usually have a policy in place for cancellations but this pandemic is unprecedented (as they keep saying on TV).
With photographers, its a bit of a tricky cancellation situation in my opinion
If the photographer is a touring photographer, they have probably already paid out considerable expenses for a tour will have been forced to cancel due to travel restrictions. Asking for a full refund is a bit of a harsh thing to do especially when they are out of work as is most of the industry.
Getting a credit note for a future photo shoot is the nicest thing you can do in this situation unless you don’t mind the wonderful photographers who support our industry disappearing altogether.
Cancellation of your advertising
Yes, it is something that you can stop paying for until you need it again but you will be offline.
Also, directories will also have financial issues right now, they need $$’s to survive. Do we want to see our Australia owned directories disappearing?
By pivoting your advertising to lesser cost ads or free platforms, you will keep your brand online whilst also helping the directory from slipping into google oblivion during a time they don’t have the funds to pay for development, marketing or SEO.
Support Australian SW owned directories if you can!
Having worked with numerous directories over the years I can tell you that the margins and profits for most are a hell of a lot less than you think. The overheads of having a directory are huge.
Whilst the occasional escort directory succeeds and makes an absolute fortune, many others tread water for many years and sometimes struggle to cover little more than their operating costs and a small salary for their owner.
During this pandemic, it’s totally understandable to cut your advertising costs. If you aren’t earning, you don’t want to be spending, obviously.
But please Help the Aussie-owned sites stay alive!
Also by supporting local, you are helping stop foreign investment and foreign directories from overtaking the Australian owned directories.
The last thing we want is an Eros owned directory being our only option for advertising.
Australia Sites offering some relief
You all know I love Eden & Available Angels but it’s deserving, Eden is a wonderful woman with a gorgeous advertising platform like no other. Profiles are discounted at the moment: check out details here: Australian Escort Advertising
Are you Eligible for Financial Help?
The Australian Government has launched many packages for small businesses to help them stay in business and keep Australian’s in work
JobKeeper is an incentive to keep employees employed. Check it out: JobKeeper Payment
Then, of course, there is Centrelink for Unemployment Benefits which all Australians can apply for.
I hope you have found this blog helpful.
I am writing quite a bit at the moment (I am trying to keep busy) and will be posting another blog tomorrow 🙂