A Very Special Ocassion (AVSO) header

Author Archives: avso

Savvy event planner possessing unique ability to understand and convert a client’s vision into elegant special events that delight and inspire: weddings and corporate. This certified wedding planner delivers on her client’s needs and gives back by passing along her knowledge and wisdom when she teaches would be wedding planners at the college level.

Are You The Obstacle To the Success Of Your Business? I know I Was!

I have always been an independent thinker, one who didn’t follow the crowd; someone who could always see the other side of the coin and understand what the customer wanted.

For many years, I held managerial positions in the hospitality industry; an industry that is very consumer and service oriented.

Being in these positions taught me the day-to-day business operations: inventory, quality control, purchasing, human resources, menu planning, marketing, etc. I could even forecast a budget and understand a P& L statement.

Pretty good, huh?

I became adept at catering and planning events at several of the facilities that I operated. In fact, it is how I learned the event planning and catering segment of the hospitality industry.

When I left the industry and started my own wedding planning and event business, I thought I knew what it took to have a successful catering, wedding and event planning business.

I had on going clients and my business grew rapidly by word of mouth. Because I was growing so fast, I didn’t think about the business process and the essential tools that I needed to have in place. All I knew was that I had a talent, I was passionate about my work, and I wanted to meet my client’s needs. And not to forget, I loved being a business owner.

Sound familiar? I think many of us have been there, yes?

You start to realize something is amiss when you are growing too fast, and you don’t have the infrastructure in place to support your growth. What do you do? And what happens when your business slows or stops, and you don’t have the foggiest idea how to get it back on track?

I realized that if I wanted to continue in business and provide my clients with great services, I needed to have a strong business structure in place.  This meant that I had to have business and marketing plans, legal contracts, and I needed to surround myself with a team of individuals – an Attorney, Bookkeeper, CPA, and a Business Mentor, who had the knowledge and business skills that would be instrumental to the growth and success of my wedding and event planning business.

So was it a stretch from walking on shifting sand to standing on solid ground? Yes, it has been. But now that I’ve taken the time to build a foundation that not only sustains my business, I am able to focus and become creative in the areas of my business that need to grow. And it has allowed me to be a more confident and savvy wedding and event planner – a planner whose purpose is creating quality events that support the needs and visions of my clients.

How Are You Treating Your Business?

  1. Are you the obstacle to your success by not putting in place the business essentials that will give you a good foundation and help you succeed?
  2.  Are you working in your business instead of working on your business?

Setting Your Self Up And Your Business For Success!

Identifying the obstacles that are impeding your business growth is critical. Although I thought I knew what was limiting my success, by enlisting the advise of a small business mentor, like Lynn Hawkins of Sky Hawk Enterprises and using S.M.A.R.T (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time based tool), we were able to take a deeper look at my business and get it back on track.

You Can’t Do It Alone – It Takes A Team

The Nigerian Proverb – It Takes A Village To Raise A Child says it all.

Although many us think we can do it alone, it really takes a team to help us along our business journey. And by team, I mean, enlisting the following business experts to support you and your business.

  • A Well Rounded Business Mentor
  • A mentor in the wedding and event industry
  • An attorney that specializes and understands the special needs of a small business owner
  • Bookkeeper and CPA – You Need both of them
  • Bank Professional – Building a relationship with your bank is critical
  • Marketing Specialist and Social Media Expert

What Are Your Obstacles – Lack Of Information?

If it is a lack of knowledge or information, there are many resources available such as SCORE- a non-profit organization dedicated to helping small business owners start or grow their business with their free mentoring or workshop events. The SBA – Small Business Administration also provides a wealth of information that can assist you with the foundational information that will set the stage for your business growth.

Want to Learn and Get More Insight About Growing Your Wedding & Event Planning  Business?

Join us on October  13, 2012 for  “Wedding & Event Biz 101: 8 Essentials To Take Your Business To The Top”  at the Los Altos Hills Golf & Country Club, where you will have the opportunity to network and learn from dedicated industry & business professionals who will inspire and guide you to your business success.

Here’s To Your Success!

Wedding and Event Biz: 10 Business Essentials That Will Take Your Business To The Top.

As a certified wedding planner, certified wedding instructor and business owner, I know the importance of building a strong business foundation. Whether you are just starting your new wedding and event business or you need to add a little spice to an all ready existing venture, it is critical to build and incorporate these 10 business essentials that will get you started on the right track.

So What Are These 10 Business Essentials?

1. Assessing your business and creating a “niche identity”
2. Developing Your Business Plan-the key to your business foundation
3. Determining your business entity- whether you will operate as a sole proprietor, partnership, LLC or Corporation.
4. Using your personal name or creating a DBA-Doing Business As identity
5. Learning and using contracts to protect your clients and your business
6. Enlisting the services of a bookkeeper and CPA
7. Creating an Effective Marketing Plan
8. Implementing an Effective Social Media Campaign
9. Becoming a Expert
10.Networking and joining industry organizations such as: ISES and  Nace,

Wedding Day Emergencies Happen – Be Prepared…

It’s your wedding day and yes, you are excited and ready! Everything has been planned, in order and ready to go. However, have you given consideration to wedding mishaps?

Although we don’t want an emergency – they occur sometimes – when you least expect them: at your wedding. From our experience, we have found that it’s best to be prepared for those little annoyances that may pop up!

Whether you put together your own emergency wedding survival kit or you purchase  it, make sure it is easily accessible, and  someone  knows where it’s located.  We suggest these  “Must Haves” in your emergency kit.

[table id=1 /]

Why Hire A Wedding Planner?: 10 Reasons Why You Should Hire A Professional Planner

In the past, many have thought that hiring a wedding or event planner was an extravagance only meant for the elite. After all, why spend money for something you could “do yourself”? Today, however, times have changed. With the busy and chaotic lifestyles of many working couples, along with the complexity of planning any event, let alone weddings, many are seeking the assistance of an event planner.

What is your time worth to you? Do you have XX amount of hours per week to devote to planning your event? Think of it in dollars. How much do you earn hourly at work? Now, multiply that with the two hundred hours or more you’ll need to spend researching, planning, and working to make your event happen. It adds up, and it will likely be a high enough figure to enlist a wedding or event professional to plan your wedding or event, so you can spend those hours enjoying your time with family and friends.

Professional event planners have planned weddings and events over and over. It’s their profession, and it’s what they do best. They know the best vendors in the area that will meet your vision and your budget. Therefore, it will take them far less time to research and gather information, plan and create an event that will match your vision.

Emotional stress is impossible to escape when you’re planning an important occasion all on your own. You have to juggle a lot of balls, all at once, while managing everything else in your life. However, when you hire an event planner – they take all those balls from you, so you can focus on your job, your family, or whatever else you may have going on in your life. This allows you to be calmer, happier, focused, and able to really enjoy your wedding or event when it finally arrives.

10 Reasons Why Hiring A Wedding Or An Event Planner Can Add To The Success Of Your Event

1. Save Time
2. Save Money
3. Reduce Stress
4. Saves Emotional and Physical Energy
5. Assist with Wedding or Event Designs
6. Gain Access to Vendors Who Normally Would Not Be Available to You
7. Negotiate with Vendors on Your Behalf
8. Explore Options That You May Have Not Considered-thus saving you money
9. Help Navigate and Diffuse Family Issues
10.Guide You Through the Art and Etiquette of Planning Your Wedding or Special Event

With All That It Takes To Plan Your Wedding Or Event, Would Hiring A Wedding Or Event Planner Prove Beneficial To You?

The Event Rental Company: Tips for A Great Experience

Oh,there comes a time when almost everyone has a special event. Whether it’s a wedding, engagement, baby shower, 50th birthday celebration, product launch or workshop. Unless you have a garage filled with props and rentals, which most us of don’t have, you will have to enlist the services of a professional event or party rental company.

One of the most important things with working with an event and party rental company is to have a clear vision of your event. This means the look and feel that you want to acquire. Provide a photo of the look that you envision is very helpful to the rental company.

We all have great ideas and visions about our event, however one thing that will drive getting the look and feel of your event is your budget. You need to set a realistic budget for rentals. If you don’t know the costs, give your rental company a call to get to get an idea about costs. This way you can plan your budget,and you’re not surprised when you receive your invoice.

In talking with Steve from A Party Place, he shared some additional tips that will not only you help get the look and feel that you envision for your event, but will also the rental company provide you with a great customer experience.

They are:

  • Create a budget for each category for your event
  • Provide venue location and time.
  • Provide a floor plan.
  • Make the rental company aware if there are stairs.
  • Name and telephone number of contact person on site.
  • Provide delivery and pick up time.There maybe an additional charge for same day or next day pick-up, especially on holidays and weekends.
  • Provide guest count.
  • Provide information for special equipment needs.
  • Have someone on site to check in rentals when delivered and picked up.
  • Always allot for damages in your budget-it will occur.

And above all send “A Thank You” note to your rental company. This is so appropriate, especially if you have received exceptional service.