The typical booking time for a wedding or the time that a Bride will book the service or buy the products for her wedding is on average 6 months out. Some are less, some are more, but the average time across all categories is about 6 months. With three of the slower wedding months ahead of us, you should have a good idea give or take a wedding, where you will end up with your wedding business for 2014. I want you to take a look at three measurements of the past year’s business
First- Business year to year (the obvious one)
In measuring your business year to year, I want you to look at bottom line to bottom line (2013 to 2014), number of clients/weddings/products year to year (I would want to know if you did half the number of weddings, but still maintained the same bottom line due to raising your prices- that would be good information) and a vague measurement- How hard did you work to get to that bottom line year to year. If you sense you are working harder to make less, you obviously need to change that. I simply want you to be aware of your efforts, as they are hard to measure. Sometimes we feel like we’ve worked harder, but it is simply the effects of us becoming burned out or old age setting in.
Second – Changes that you made- did they have any effect
If you have different results, then the next question is did you do something different that produced those results. I have a saying that you should not measure your days, but measure your months when it comes to your marketing. When you look at results, sometimes you simply won’t see any immediate results from a marketing piece or medium that you have chosen or eliminated. If for example every year you have done one set of numbers , but you sense that one form of marketing is not bringing the results that you are hoping for, so you drop that marketing piece, the results will probably not be evident right away.
Further, if you change multiple things throughout the year (I have seen some businesses which were scrambling financially and simply were anxious, so they were changing their minds on a weekly basis) it will be very hard to nail down what is working and what is not working for you. It behooves you to track meticulously any forms of advertising that you are utilizing. I have a report- email me for it and I will send it right off about how to track your advertising which may give you some direction.
Third- What will you be adjusting for next year
If you’ve already made plans for the next year, then perhaps you put them on hold until you figure out the first two of this three part equation. Making changes just to make changes is not a good method of running any business. Perhaps you were persuaded that these changes were necessary by a colleague or other person trying to get you to participate in something they are doing. You first need to find out what’s broke if anything. My rule is If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Find out first is the thing you are changing broken and of need of being fixed.
While these three items probably sound fundamental (and by the way, I do not agree with measuring just once a year, let alone only measuring these three items, but for this arguments sake we’ll go with it). By taking this quick inventory, you will have a good feeling or a needed adjustment. You will not know until you take these measurements first.