COVID-19 Will Change The Tattoo Industry Forever
While the economy continues to feel the ripple effects of COVID-19, the tattoo industry is bracing for the worst.
COVID-19, which was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization, is likely to change the the tattoo industry forever. It has gravely impacted lives and businesses across the globe. In the United Kingdom, there were 283,757 cases of the virus as of July 3, along with over 43,995 deaths. Some of the highest in Europe. According to the Centers For Disease Control, the novel coronavirus is spread through the transmission of respiratory droplets from an infected individual, which makes things like tattooing especially risky.
Because of the closeness of tattooing, tattoo artists wonder when they can safely get back to work — and if it will be within the timeframe to save their shops and careers.
How COVID-19 Is Impacting Tattoo Artists
The popularity of tattoos has never been greater. Today, research shows that Birmingham is the most tattooed English city. It leads the way with 48 per cent of “brummies” having an average of six tattoos. Norwich and Glasgow are not far behind.. Overall, the tattoo industry has grown by 6.1% since 2014, and it’s now estimated to be a $2 billion dollar per year industry. Still, it wasn’t ready for a global pandemic.
“It all happened so fast ~ Terry Downs
“It was business as usual, and then we started to learn more about the virus and dangers in the news. All of a sudden, everything was done.”
“In the past, we’ve come together to rebuild, but the coronavirus is scary because it’s something we don’t even understand ~ MICHELLE MYLES – DAREDEVIL TATTOO
Looking To The Future
Most artists would appear to be taking it day by day, but many still worry about what business will look like after the pandemic. Luckily, independent contractors, including many tattoo artists, may now qualify for assistance, like unemployment benefits, but it doesn’t quell the fear of what’s to come. “If [people are] struggling to pay bills, they probably won’t be racing out to get a tattoo,” Sicklinger says. “They have to rebuild their lives and, even if shops open, there’s no guarantee that we’ll see the same volume of people who will be financially able to invest in work.” As a shop owner, Myles shares similar sentiments. “Our business is in a tourist-heavy area of the city,” she says about her Division Street shop. “Imagine if this thing wipes out tourism.”
Leaning on art doesn’t take away from the unpredictability of COVID-19, but it does lend perspective. “I’ve been thinking about what I want my life to look like after this,” says Sicklinger. “There’s tattooing, then there’s my natural progression as a human.” Time alone has given her an open mind about pursuing other passions, like therapy or counselling, which she’s developed an interest in through tattooing.
“I want to be able to have multiple income streams from creative outlets to protect myself better if something like this happens again,” she says. “Until then, it’s a matter of channeling that energy and focus into supporting each other. This is bigger than tattooing; it’s about humanity.”
Hang on though! Could it be a good thing?
How Your Business Can Survive The COVID-19 Crisis (And Then Thrive After It)
Getting a grip on your business first is the top priority. If you don’t have cash, how can you get to a place of stability first? If you already have stability, then this is an amazing opportunity to transform what you do, and thrive for what is certainly going to be a changed world after this crisis.
There’s a popular meme circulating these days that asks: “Who is responsible for your company’s digital transformation?
As this joke shows, most entrepreneurs and businesses are struggling in the current environment, but every crisis offers opportunities, and this one is no different. But you MUST keep your team focused and engaged and ready to perform when they are needed
Here are four tips to help keep your team committed:
- Communication is key
- Ask for suggestions
- Focus on your company culture
- Celebrate success
No money? No hope? Don’t give up! Your business can survive!
Even if you have totally run out of money and are completely without hope, your business can almost certainly survive the COVID-19 crisis. Furthermore, you can emerge with a business that is stronger than the business you had before the crisis.
Listen. This COVID-19 crisis really is different than any other. Everyone on the entire planet knows about it! And everyone is being impacted by it!
And that’s a huge benefit to you! Usually, your business problem is YOUR business problem. But this business problem is the WORLD’S business problem.