BLOVED Biz: 8 Wedding Business Startup Mistakes to Avoid
You’ve got the gorgeous letterpress business cards, your shiny new website has gone live and are posting daily on Instagram. You might have built a moderately successful wedding business in the beginning, when friends and friends-of-friends became brides-to-be and you could step in offering a hefty discount just for the ‘experience’.
Now you’re barely getting any enquiries, and those that do come through can’t afford your services. The bills are rolling in and your partner’s having to cover the mortgage payments again this month. You’re continually dropping your prices and cutting every possible business cost just to survive. Sound familiar?
We all make the same mistakes, and after creating three of my own business launches I’ve realised there are a few simple tricks for avoiding the most common wedding business startup mistakes;
YOU’RE NOT TARGETING THE RIGHT CLIENTS
If your getting enquiries from clients whose style, location or budget doesn’t align with your business, then you’re making one of the most common business mistakes of all! Getting clear on WHO your dream client is and WHAT their pain points is key. By really understanding everything about them you can begin to make your message so much clearer. Everyone is not your customer. Start talking to just one person, make them feel worthy of your attention and they’ll feel connected to what you’re saying.
YOU’VE RUN OUT OF MONEY
What’s the point in having the most luxurious letterpress business cards if there’s no clients to hand them out to? Think strategically about what to spend your money on and what will give you the best return on investment – like training, legal and professional services. Yes, you need a pretty website, but in the beginning it just needs to be functional, keep it simple and save your cash to invest in an awesome copywriter who will help get your message spot on.
YOU KEEP CHANGING YOUR MIND
Starting a business is exciting! There are so many ideas in your head and you want to do all the things, right now! This lack of focus isn’t just making you exhausted, it’s confusing your customers. Figure out what skills you have, how you can use them to satisfy your clients needs and stick to one or two clear services or products that benefit your target audience. You can always come back to those ideas later when it’s time to diversify!
YOU’RE NOT CHARGING ENOUGH
New business mistake number one! A lack of confidence, uncertainty in your market and often financial support from elsewhere means you’re underestimating your value. If you’re not earning enough you’ve got a hobby, not a business. Start working out what you need to earn and break it down by the number of clients you can realistically work with in a year to find out what you’re really worth!
EVERYTHING HAS TO BE PERFECT
Stop wasting time checking every word in every blog post with a thesaurus, tweaking the Pantone reference of your logo and fretting over whether your launch date is symmetrical. Reality check. Done is better than perfect.
NOT TAKING ADVICE
When you launch a business every man and his dog has an opinion on how you should do it, and it’s very easy to quickly discount their advice. When I launched my first business I ignored everyone and went merrily along my own path, until I realised that was never going to make any money. You could get a business coach, or if make use of the contacts you already have. I made industry friends and started listening to my Dad, with his decades of boring corporate advice. They became my mentors, proxy business partners and reality checkers helping me to stay focused and keep my business goals in check.
EXPECTING IT ALL TO HAPPEN AT ONCE
When you hit ‘publish’ on your new website, don’t expect the enquiries to come rushing in. Building a business is a slow process; it takes time to make your brand visible and raise awareness with brides, it takes time to build an industry network who can recommend and promote you, and it takes time for advertising and marketing messages to sink in. The wedding industry especially is a seasonal one, with most enquiries falling in the first few months of the year. Be patient. Get clear on your goals. They will come.
DOING IT ALONE
Being a solopreneur is hugely rewarding! But it can also be incredibly lonely, isolating and frustrating. You don’t have to do it alone! Get expert help where you need it, and find a support network for everything else. You’ll be grateful of their support!
Are you launching a new business, or have you hit a plateau and realised it’s time to go back to the beginning with your business strategy? My 12-week Group Coaching Program, Thrive, over at the B.LOVED Hive was designed just for you! Together we’ll rediscover your business vision, learn how to target your dream client as we build your successful business strategy. Registration closes on Friday 30th June 2017. Ready to Thrive? Sign up here.