It’s often difficult to apply that third-eye view into your wedding business. We are intimately connected to our creative businesses in a way not commonly found in the corporate market. Most wedding businesses are small, single owner, and self-operated. Our businesses are our bread and butter and we hustle for every success we gain.
Creative entrepreneurs are known for their ideas. Taking a creative concept and bringing it to life is our strength. But sometimes this creative relationship with our business blinds us from seeing and diagnosing the real problems our businesses are having. We often boil it down to the most noticeable problem like, “I’m not booking brides.” But many times there are more pressing issues behind the scenes that are leading to the decline in bookings.
Identifying these weak links in your business is the key to continued growth. But how do you figure out what they are? Especially when nothing seems like it’s working. Here’s a few things to ask yourself.
Have you noticed a decline in budgets? Do you see more millennial couples shifting their values? Have you lost a staff member or taken one on? Have you made a bad hire? Is there a bad review? The true definition of insanity is continuing to do something over and over and getting the same results. When the environment around you shifts so must your approach to business. Identifying what has changed in your business, the economy, and in your market will help you to diagnose the root cause of the issue.
WHAT IS YOUR ROI?
You keep throwing marketing dollars at all sorts of “exposure” efforts but are still seeing little to no results. You’ve tried so many things now that it’s hard to identify what exactly is going wrong. By measuring your ROI on events, promotions, social media efforts, or bridal shows you’ll be able to more easily identify what DID work. You’ll learn how your customer responds to different efforts. You’ll learn what language worked. You’ll also get a bird’s eye view into what they didn’t respond to as well. By tracking your marketing ROI it will be very clear to you where there is room for change and improvement.
WHAT ARE YOUR STRENGTHS?
As business owners we often spend so much time improving our weaknesses that we don’t allow ourselves to concentrate and use our strengths. We find ourselves confident in one area and so we delegate or spend less time in our areas of strength. But spending time identifying your strengths as the business owner and cultivating a business centered around your strengths this will help you to quickly recognize the time and energy you’ve been wasting on building areas of weakness. If your business requires actions that fall into your weaknesses this is a great place to outsource or attain employees whose strengths accommodate your weaknesses.
WHAT ARE YOU DOING NEXT?
If you don’t have an immediate answer to this, then you likely don’t have a mission or vision for your wedding business. Everyone wants to make more money, book more weddings, and rack up positive reviews. Those are results not a mission. Being clear about your mission and vision as a business gives you a temperature or goal by which you’ll make all of your day to day decisions. All wedding business owners have grown to regret a decision they made that was in opposition to what they really knew was right. But with a solid mission and vision statement in place, every decision can be run through that filter. Does this decision represent my mission or fulfill my vision for this business? Making the sometimes difficult NO, much easier. Not having a mission or vision statement may be the very reason your business is experiencing the weak link effect.
WHAT ARE YOU LEARNING?
Continued education is literally a vital role in the wellness of your business. If you aren’t investing in learning new technologies, client mindsets, and systems – then you’re likely falling behind your competitors. By not staying educated, you may find that your sales language is lacking, your tech tools are antiquated, and your clients are feeling like you’re just “out of touch”. Aside from that, if you’re not consistently educating yourself then it will be much more unlikely that you’ll be able to spot the weaknesses in your business.
By examining each of these areas, you’ll be able to get a fairly accurate pinpoint of the ways in which you can strengthen that weak link. Weak links are not failure. Weak links are only opportunities to improve. Once the weak link is identified take action to correct and restore it. Then you’ll begin to see major growth and change for your wedding businesses.
Kellie Daab is the owner of iDo Collective and a wedding business architect. With over 12 years in the wedding industry, having owned her own boutique wedding planning and consulting company, managing in high end hospitality and producing events for a multi-million dollar catering company, Kellie speaks brides and knows what it takes to run a successful wedding business. She is the creator of the Wedding Business Blueprint, Author, Speaker, and host of the group Wedding Industry Opportunities and Collaborations. Paper products make her giddy and coffee is her spirit animal.
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