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Category Archives: Education

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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!

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.

Teaching What I know and Love to do

You never know how much you know until you teach and share your knowledge and experiences with a class of future wedding planners. This has been my fourth class experience teaching wedding planning to hopeful and talented students.  The biggest task in teaching is to calm fears about homework. Everyone who attends the first  class is shocked to learn that this is a real class with lots of homework!  it’s not all about the dress, the ring, the photographer and flowers. It’s about the nuts and bolts of building a solid wedding planning business. Don’t get me wrong, we do have fun; however we focus a lot of attention to the business side of the industry,  The intensive 8/10 week class covers research, mission statements, business plans, marketing/branding and of course fun!!  There is nothing more valuable than to have vendors share their experiences and knowledge with the class. Whether the vendors teach the class for an evening or having a class at the vendors place of business, meeting vendors allows them to gain first hand knowledge from talented  industry professionals.

This last class was my best class. They were the most gracious, sweet and talented group. I wish them lots of success!!