In the Wedding world, many begin their business with a passion for what they do. They not only enjoy what they do, but they LOVE it and look forward to doing in more often. After a little while in business, they begin to see the need for more business. Where many start their business as maybe a hobby, they soon start to see the financial benefit to what they are doing, and even more so, they see competitors who are seemingly raking in money hand over fist.
In the business of weddings, in order to be successful, the business needs to master 4 different components. Mastering 3 is a case for failure. Those components are Marketing, Sales, Fulfillment and Administration/logistics. Let me explain why you need to master each one of these 4 areas.
1) Marketing. Your business is dead in the water if people don’t know about you. With marketing you can plan on the demise of your business. Even with marketing, before you can get clients, your marketing needs to be effective. By effective, I mean that your marketing needs to reach out to prospects who will take the next step (usually meaning they will call you, log onto your website, or something along those lines. Taking the next step usually does not mean buying your stuff)
2) Sales. Once you have a prospect who has raised their hand and said they may be interested in your product/service, you need to the ability to close the deal. If your phone is ringing and you cannot convert those prospects to the next step (usually meeting with you) then again, you are dead in the water. Many people get shy here as they feel that being a salesman is being pushy, obnoxious and rude. While many salespeople may resemble this, the best never do. Nothing happens until something is sold- keep that in mind.
3) Fulfillment. This is where you give the customer the stuff they bought. By being very good at what you do, over delivering on how you do it and keeping touch with the satisfied customer after you done it, your business will soar. I will share this; in the Wedding world, being mediocre at fulfillment but excellent in marketing and sales will still bring you a healthy bottom line. I am not suggesting that you slack on the fulfillment part- to the contrary. I am saying do not solely focus on fulfillment (you see this when people show up to the conventions and want to look at all the new toys and techniques), get customers in first and then you will naturally improve at what you do and how you do it.
4) Administration/Logistics. Your business will not fly for long without the requisite book keeping, ordering of supplies, hiring/firing and training of employees and more. This administration portion can seem like it swallows us up. The reason why we get swallowed up is because there is the most variance in this area for unplanned activities. Orders sometimes do not come in, employees are sick or quit, and bills get overlooked. Plan a certain amount of time to work on the administration/logistics every day and you will mostly be able to stay on top of this.
As Mentioned, people tend to work on the fulfillment side of their businesss and the administration steals their focus. This leaves the only two things which will make you money (Marketing and Sales) left by the wayside. If you ignore your Marketing and sales, your business will die. You need customers who pay you money to stay alive.
Getting good at the Marketing and Sales will insure the other stuff happens. You can hire someone fairly cheap (even very part time) to help with the administration/logistics and the fulfillment will happen one way or another- that always happens and you always seem to get better at it as well.
Until next week, Here’s to your success