The Small Business Owner “Slow Season” To Do List

In the wedding industry, winter is often referred to as “slow season” but if you’re a wedding professional, you know it’s anything but slow. Winter is our opportunity to take care of all of the administrative tasks that we don’t have time to do during busy wedding season. January is an especially busy time because it’s when we refresh our businesses and update everything for the new year.


Calling it “admin season” is way more accurate than “slow season”, ​am I right??

Here’s a checklist of just some of the tasks I do in the winter for a fresh start in the new year:


The Small Business Owner “Slow Season” To Do List:

☐  Reflect upon last year’s goals & set new goals for 2024.

☐  Box up/scan any 2023 receipts + create a new box/system for 2024 receipts. Consider shredding any documents older than 3-7 years.

☐  Finish up/proofread/reconcile 2023 bookkeeping records – make sure categories are accurate and no expenses have been missed. Send to your accountant, if you have one.

☐  Record your Jan 1st odometer reading. Subtract your 1/1/23 reading to get your 2023 total miles driven). Finish up mileage records for 2023. Start a new log for 2024.

☐  Request reviews from clients you worked with throughout the year. Add new ones to website.

☐  Use this time to network and actually go on those coffee dates with industry peers that you didn’t have time for during “busy season”. (If you’re local to Hudson Valley, you’re welcome to join our Rising Tide Society group!)

☐  Take new headshots & stock photos, if needed.

☐  Update packages – consider raising your prices, adjust your package structure to accommodate any common requests/trends you’ve been seeing. Create new packages for any new offerings + archive any old offerings.

☐  Update contracts – add/modify any clauses that need changing, make sure all contact information is up to date. Create new contracts for any new offerings + archive any contracts for services you no longer offer.

☐  Update your Standard Operating Procedures, workflows, email templates, etc if needed.

☐  Run a Time Machine backup of your computer, back up all of your website/blog files, and backup any important text/information/copy from “rented” sites (sites you don’t control or have autonomy over such as: Instagram captions; Facebook posts; reviews on The Knot, WeddingWire, Google, etc.) or any other valuable content you could lose.

☐  Update to the most current version of your computer & phone’s operating system, make sure all software is updated to the most current version, update any apps that need updating, etc.

☐  Delete unused/temporary files from your computer (ex: CleanMyMac X – system junk, log files, caches, temporary files, mail attachments, etc).

☐  Go through email inbox/deleted emails and unsubscribe from any email lists you don’t want to be on.

☐  Backup & delete all unused files from your phone. Uninstall any apps you infrequently use.

☐  Update/change passwords, especially for high-risk sites.

☐  Restock office supplies, replace printer ink, etc. Print up new shipping labels, order more shipping materials, etc.

☐  File/pay any annual reporting paperwork or filing fees (such as the New York IT-204-LL).

☐  Look up your jurisdiction’s sales tax rate for the current year. Update the percentage on invoices, brochures, contracts, etc. if needed.

☐  Send out 1099-NEC forms to any contractor who earned $600+ from you in 2023 [due around January 31st].

☐  Pay 2023 Q4 Estimated Taxes [due around Jan 15th].

☐  Remit 2023 Q4 Sales Taxes for your state, if necessary.

☐  File & pay taxes [around April 15th].


And some extra tasks for photographers & videographers:

☐  Clean and organize all equipment. Clean all camera sensors. Send any equipment to get serviced or repaired, if needed.

☐  Make sure all equipment is labeled (with your name/contact information), especially any new equipment.

☐  Take inventory of your “arsenal.” Upgrade any equipment that needs it. Purchase any new equipment you’ve been needing. Sell or give away any obsolete or unused equipment.

☐  Take a look at your upcoming 2024 jobs. Make sure all tasks & workflows for each client are scheduled and on track. Send out any welcome gifts. Hire second shooters/assistants for any upcoming books, if needed.

☐  Update your list of favorite/reliable go-to second shooters/assistants, plus their contact information. Delete any you no longer would like to work with.

☐  Update website – change any copy that needs updating, change pricing/upload new package PDFs, curate your portfolio (add new “best of 2023” photos, remove any “less favorite” photos). Upload new headshots, behind-the-scenes photos, trailer, etc.

☐  Update photos on online storefronts such as The Knot, WeddingWire, Zola, Google Maps, LoveStoriesTV, PartySlate, etc.

☐  Send images to your favorite venues & vendors you worked with throughout the past year so they can cross-promote you during their booking season.

☐  Submit your favorite work to blogs/publications.

My “Keeping Busy Outside of Busy Season” To Do List:


Did I forget anything? Are there any tasks you like to do during slow season? Reach out and let me know! Wishing you a happy, healthy, successful, and fulfilling 2024.


small business owner wedding photographer slow season to do list


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January 16, 2024

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