The wedding Industry is a thriving one, through which over $72 billion dollars passed through last year. Entrepreneurs, are forging amazing and creative new paths in this industry, marketing new items and services to both wedding couples and fellow industry businesses alike. While there are a lot of innovations, and revenue to be made, some business owners still find themselves either struggling, or not being as successful as they'd like. Here are some common blunders that might be sabotaging your progress:
1-NOT INVESTING IN YOUR BUSINESS
It’s more than a cliché that sometimes it takes money to make money. If you aren’t investing in your continuing business education, improving or acquiring new skills, or investing in systems that improve your marketing, process and craft A-you won’t stay competitive with businesses that are making those investments, B-you might not project the right image to landing ever more & ever better clients, or C- you wont get better at what you do.
2-NOT SETTING PRICES THAT MAKE YOU PROFITABLE
If you run your business full-time and are in your 2nd year or more but not pricing so as to make a living wage, then your business becomes an expensive hobby. Even if you run your business as a side-hustle, the business itself should bring in more income than you pay out in expenses, so that you end up in the black for all your hard work and sacrifice.
3-NOT TRACKING YOUR EXPENSES
You can’t possibly know if you’re truly profitable if you don’t properly track your expenses. All the products and services you use and pay for in furtherance of your business are business expenses that you should be tracking, no matter how big or small. Using a service like Wave, Quick Books, or Neat, will all help you to keep and organize expense receipts with a simple screenshot on your phone and a quick category designation. Only after tallying up all your fixed and variable expenses can you truly calculate how profitable your business is, and whether you’re achieving your income goals. PLUS, you'll be grateful when tax time comes, that you have everything ready to go!
4-NOT HAVING CLEAR GOALS
If you don’t know where you’re going, you wont know how to get there. You need to have a clear idea of the income you need or want to be generating. Are you trying to match your salary of a previous career? Are you trying to upgrade your income level? Are you clear on what you need for raising a family in the future, saving for retirement, or possibly expanding your business in the future? You need to objectively list out your overall goals so you can distill to your business goals, and make a plan for reaching them. And goals aren’t solely financial—you may also have quality of life goals about how many hours you want to work per week, what kind of client relationships you want to have, and more.
5-FOCUSING ON THE TREES INSTEAD OF THE FOREST—NOT KNOWING YOUR BIG PICTURE
While you need monthly and yearly financial goals or benchmarks, don’t lose sight of your overall big picture goals and plans. Sometimes we make self-defeating decisions because of a single bad client experience, or skip that great course or workshop because we think about the current expenditure, rather than the future dividends, or we take a less than ideal client thinking of the immediate pay-off, but forgetting our overall goal of upgrading or expanding our brand. Some decisions are better made thinking of where we want to be in a year or 2, rather than what we’re worried about for the next week or two.
6-THINKING TOO SMALL
If you never dream big, your accomplishments may not ever get big (or any bigger). It’s ok if plans fall short of your expectations, but it’s only by striving beyond what we already do quite comfortably, that we’ll break new barriers in our businesses and innovate in our craft.
You can’t only dream it, you have to actually believe it’s possible--believe you're capable. You don’t require permission to be successful and if you timidly creep through life waiting to receive it, you may never get very far. You really do need to be your own best cheerleader, coach, team player and constructive critic. Entrepreneurship can be an isolating journey, and you’ll need to be able to look inward for the motivation to go on sometimes. Moreover, if you don’t believe in your abilities and ideas, why should your clients pour their time & money into them?
8-RECOGNIZING YOUR LIMITS AND SEEKING OUT EXPERTS OR ASSISTANCE
No woman or man is an island—it often takes a whole team of people, their energy, ideas and knowledge to help a business advance. Self-awareness will go a long way to helping you recognize when you need additional help or knowledge. As entrepreneurs we’re often driven and multi-talented enough to take on multiple roles in our business but know when it’s time to bring in a professional, or to consult with one--things like high-level marketing, contracts (or anything legal), etc, are too important to just wing it. Also, at some point, your time & skills become so valuable (in other words, income generating), that you need to do the necessary cost-benefit analysis to see if the cost of hiring someone, makes more sense to free you up for tasks that can't be farmed out.
9-NOT KEEPING UP WITH THE TIMES
Whether it’s your product, your own personal skills, your business niche or the systems you rely on to keep your business going, keep up with the changes, new trends and latest technology. Is your website up-to-date? Are your systems robust and providing you the necessary support? Do your programs, products and offerings seem current to your potential clients? Do you read articles and blogs to help keep up on latest practices in your field, or the fields of marketing and client experience? Do you regularly attend industry workshops, classes and conferences to keep your skills fresh? Remember, progress and stagnation are incompatible.
10-COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS
Comparison truly is the thief of joy and creativity. Using a successful competitor as a motivator to do better, can be energizing but daily comparisons to someone else whose story, struggles and advantages you really don't know, will just rob you of your confidence, enthusiasm, and creativity. Why do this to yourself? Surround yourself with positive, like-minded business owners and focus more on forging relationships, than constantly comparing yourself to enviable plans & results that make your feel demoralized or dejected, and which may not even be the full picture, or might not even jibe with your overall big picture goals. Keep your eye on the prize--your own prize.