Small Business Owners: Adapt & Survive

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Written by Guy Walsh

Hey, fellow small business owners and freelancers, did you know that some things that you perceive to be big threats to your business can be turned into your biggest strengths?

Developments in photography

As a photographer, I know that one of my biggest threats is the speed at which technology develops. This creates opportunities not only for competitors with big financial reserves to purchase and shout about the latest equipment, but as it becomes more affordable, potential customers may decide to bring some services in-house.

There is also the threat of AI. I’ve seen lots of photographers become very defensive about AI, but as with any technology, you can see it as a help or a hindrance.

My services have always been based around my desire for authenticity. AI, by design, cannot be authentic. If a person is willing to use AI to create what they see as their perfect headshot, then I can be happy in the knowledge that they were unlikely to ever become a customer.

Opportunities created

What AI can do for me, however, is complete some boring administrative tasks, and help reduce my photo editing time. Adobe Lightroom Classic has seen some huge improvements in AI functionality over the past two years, and the quality and speed of my edits has improved as a result.

I’m able to automate certain processes in my business, and it can also help me get out of a creative rut.

How you can use this knowledge

As a small business owner or freelancer, you’re probably not tied into long-term service contracts. You’re probably not limited by company-wide processes that can only be amended after a six-week service review. You probably don’t need authorisation from three levels above to install the latest AI app on your phone.

You’re able to be flexible. You can use the latest developments to your advantage. You can switch paths in two minutes rather than two years.

This is why my services are always developing, and why over the next few months you’ll see me offering wider content-creation services to small businesses.

Remember – you answer to no one. You can embrace new technologies, new laws, new trends and new attitudes and make them work for you.

My advice is to embrace play: Play with ideas, play with opportunities. Eventually you’ll work out what works for you. Adapt.

And once you’re settled into a routine?

Play again. Adapt again.

And survive.

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