Hello you fabulous wedding business boss! Jen Maynard here from the Boho Bride Guide.
As a Wedding Business Growth Coach, on of the first activities we complete on the Set-up To Success Accelerator, is to clarify your short, medium and long term business goals, and what business model will enable you to achieve a consistent monthly 4-figure income from your wedding business. As after all, if we don't have anything to strive for that is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound, we are much less likely to reach our business goals. So let's get specific!
And so I thought it would be of value to you for me to share how we go about this!
We are going to look at the 3 Steps you need to take to:
This will be a great activity for you to complete, as we are now coming out of lockdown, a chance to refocus on what outcomes you want to be seeing from your business, over the coming months and next year.
By committing them to paper (or Google Doc), massively helps to hold yourself accountable and doing the work to get there.
Step 1: Get clear on your profit per product
This is where you get clear on what profit you want to make from when weddings are back up and running from late June/ July 2021 - Dec 2021 Q3 + Q4 2021, or whatever time period works for you - taking into account all of our costs as a business.
List each of the products/ packages you offer. Under each fo those products/ package, make a list of the following:
- Your labour cost (or a team members labour cost) involved in creating this product/ package
- Materials/ wholesale products/ ingredients etc. needed to produce this product/ package
- Wider business costs should also be included by totaling up what you will spend in the time period on the following, and then dividing this number between each of the products you plan to sell in the specific time period. Items such as machinery costs and maintenance, business rates and rent, other business bills, subscription costs, etc.
Here is an example spreadsheet:
Step 2: Clarify what your fully booked capacity looks like.
Activity 2 :
Create a grid that lists all of your products/ packages across the top, and then each quarter (Q3 2021, Q4 2021, Q1 2022, Q2 2022 etc. Decide within each Quarter Period, what is the maximum number of each of the wedding products or packages you want to take on?
Take into consideration here the wedding seasons and typically the quieter times. However that being said, due to Covid, I think the next year or two won't follow the traditional path, so I think you will have more control over how much you want to work into the colder months of Quarter 4 2021 and into next early next year.
Is it also important here that you really consider how much you ideally want to work to achieve your true life-business balance. As working all hours under the sun, is not sustainable and your love for what you do will eventually wain. There are other ways of maximising your profit, without running yourself into the ground! This will be covered in next week's Newsletter!
I have included above an example from my wedding floristry business, Parker and Peony Flowers. This is what I project my fully booked would look like, without considering any additional ways to maximise my profit, where I am just trading my time for money as a skilled florist. We will go into more detail about how we then incorporate additional income streams into this projection next week!
Step 3: Consider how Your 'Fully Booked' Forecast can influence your business activities
Once you come to the end of this activity, you are now clear on what your current fully booked looks like and now have something to strive for.
The results from this can now help to influence things like:
So that is it for this week! I hope these activities have been useful and enabled you to refocus your thinking around how to get fully booked for whenever your timescale is!
When I work with wedding suppliers as their business coach to launch or grow their business, we always start with WHY.
Running your own small business is tough... agreed. From wearing all the hats of Marketing Manager, Head of Product Development, Event Coordinator, Finance Clark, Sales Rep, and Customer Services Lead. To managing your small business around your other commitments you have, from looking after family, supporting friends, or maybe other work commitments to juggle. Not to mention having to manage our own feelings of self-doubt, overwhelm, & going it alone. It is a tall order!
So, whether you are just starting out, or have had your biz. for years, it is imperative we are clear as wedding suppliers WHY we have chosen to create & continue to build our own wedding business. So when we struggle, and we will at times, we can quickly remind ourselves WHY we are doing this, to push ourselves forward.
I take you through the full 'What is Your Why?' Activity here:
'My Wedding Business WILL' Activity - 20mins
Physically note down in your diary a 20 min slot to complete this task over the next week (then you get the added bonus of ticking it off the list when you have achieved it!), grab a pen & paper or Google Doc and spend some quality time answering the following.
1) What 3 life experiences led you to decide you wanted to start a business in the wedding industry?
2) Bullet point below the answer to: When you first started out, what were the main life changes/ improvements you wanted to achieve by starting your own wedding business?
3) Who would these life changes impact for the better once they were achieved?
5) Write a paragraph describing what a week in your life will look like when you reach your wedding business aspirations in the given time you have set yourself.
Include details like:
- What time do you wake?
- What is the first thing you do?
- When do you start work on your business?
- Who will be working with you?
- Where will you be working?
- What do you have to look forward to?
- What will you be doing with your free time?
- How will you be feeling?
- What will you look like?
- How many clients will you be providing a service to?
- How will you be feeling about your achievements?
- What will your bank balance look like?
- What will this enable?
I hope you find this activity helpful to refocus your energy and give you the push you need to rise out of self-doubt and into your inner Empire Builder Brain where you are at your most creative and productive.
Todays blog is to highlight the importance as to why we need to surprise and delight our wedding clients to build our business reputation and dominate our wedding niche.
I will be talking about:
Gone are the days where you can provide a value for money service and have wedding clients raving about your business and lining up to share a positive review. It is an expectation in today’s market that all services provided by small businesses, are excellent and you provide what you say you will in your contract.
However, if you want to ‘stand out from the crowd’ and begin to dominate your wedding niche, you need to provide a truly exceptional wedding service that goes over and above your clients expectations. This principle remains your first priority, especially in a global pandemic, and your customers need to feel compelled to publicly say thank you to you.
HOW do you Provide an Exceptional Experience that Surprises and Delights?
Create a short online feedback survey that your customers can complete after their big day. Keep the survey, short (under 10 questions), I would suggest around half the questions to be ‘on a scale of 1-5’ option) and then the other half to be open questions to capture as much information as possible.
Or better still, if you have built up a good relationship with your clients and feel they will be honest with you, ask for 10 mins of their time and ask the questions over the phone and make notes or record. This does come with a caveat though. Be objective when receiving the results, as if you are getting all 5’s and no comments, I would suggest that the respondent isn’t being honest or spending the quality time thinking about their answers.
Then with this feedback, you can make continuous improvements and changes to your wedding business services and products to ensure you remain top of your game, by providing a delightful service that truly addresses your clients wants for their big day.
Fellow Wedding Suppliers, Supplier Directory write ups and shout outs all have a baring, but most important of all is what your previous wedding couples are saying about you via business reviews online. 76% of customers regularly use online reviews to determine which business to use and 52% of customers trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations, which it is why your online customer testimonials need to be up to date and relevant to the products and services you are providing today to win new wedding clients for the future
Research also suggests that 96% of unhappy customers wont complain to you, but will tell 9-15 friends, which can be disastrous to a small business and could create masses of subsequent work to rectify the issue and save the name of your business.
This is why clear communication channels are essential when managing your clients wishes for their big day. Another factor in this to remember is the WAY you communicate. To receive honest and open feedback from our clients, we need to constantly self check ourselves, our non verbal communication, the language we use, the actions we take, to ensure we are creating an environment where our wedding couples feel at ease to say what they are really thinking and feeling. This will then ensure we can provide a first class, delightful service for them that caters to their wedding aspirational needs and wants for their big day.
(Stats from www.reputationrefinery.com).
HOW do you Build your Wedding couple Review Portfolio?
This means that as wedding suppliers, we need to have a system in place to follow up with our previous brides and request a review from them in the places that matter. On your social media handles, on your Google Business account and on any Supplier Directory profiles you have would be some key places to ask for a review. You can then copy these reviews onto your own website too. To make it super easy for your client send them all of the links to the review pages so they can easily and quickly complete the task for you. And don’t forget to say a BIG thank you!
You could think about a ‘refer a friend’ through word of mouth, type set up where you offer previous clients some kind of benefit if they pass on your business details and get subsequent a new client from the transaction. Or an effective way of capturing customer testimonials is via video, this would look brilliant on your website as we as humans always love to see, hear and feel how people are talking about another service or product they have used.
This will have a massive positive impact on your brand influence and dominance within your wedding niche, as well as assist greatly with your online marketing strategy. Make your previous wedding clients your marketing advocates by using their testimonials about how great you are, this will pay dividends!
Love Jen x