Dealing with Down Time

In the wedding world, there are distinct times during the year, where your business comes to a crawl. Many of you out there are very good at keeping busy and welcome the restful periods. Some also keep busy with different types of business (Christmas parties and summer picnics come to mind). For those of you who are slowing down and have some extra time on your hands, here are some items you may want to look at on your check list to help you to tie up loose ends or prepare for a great year next year.
1. Have you written your goals for next year? I will actually be giving a free Goal setting webinar next Tuesday (information below). Let me challenge you to write your goals before then and then attend the webinar to give you some ideas to adjust your approach. It is CRUCIAL that you write your goals. A goal not written is merely an idea. We all have ideas every day. When you write your goal, it makes it much more concrete.
2. Analyze your systems. Do you have a written marketing strategy and a written sales approach. Do you measure most things that you do? If your strategy and approach are not written, write them out. If you do not have standards and measurements other than “your best guess” you need to look at this. One of the biggest items I look at when I work with a business is to see if they’re systems are a servant or a master. A big indicator of a failure in business is typically a failure in their systems. By having structured approaches to how you deal with your day to day operations of your business, you can adjust and improve upon those approaches. Further, you are better geared for change. Change is inevitable in any given business and failure to change will leave you behind the times and losing business.
3. Measure your year end results. By now most of you should be able to put an accurate measurement on your year end results meaning Profits and Losses. You should be able to look at a comparable year to year view and measure are you up, are you down, are you better or are you worse than the past. Many times you will be able to look at what happened and again adjust for the coming year. I looked at one year where I went for 2 solid months (in fairness, I was busy ) of not sending out a weekly email. I determined to change that for the following year and saw an approximate 35% increase to my bottom line from this singular action. I have found it is the fundamental actions, the basics, the blocking and tackling that really makes a difference in your business and by figuring out what these fundamental money making areas are and measure them.
4. Take time to tie up loose ends. File all the stuff on your desk, get your marketing tuned up for next year, get ready for Bridal show season, re-vamp your website or social media approach. You know what the loose ends that you have in your life. Find 5-6 of them and get them done while you have some ability to accomplish it.
5. Give yourself a pat on the back. You have finished the year (hopefully strong) and are set for another year in business. It is hard being a small business owner, and I am sure you know the mortality rate of small businesses. You have made it through another year and by all indications, next year is going to be great. Allow yourself to have some mis steps , to have made some mistakes and to have had learning experiences. These all are building blocks for your business and necessary in many cases to grow to the next level.
Down time can feel like a curse when we want/need to make money, but recognize the benefits and take full advantage of them.

Until Next Week, Here’s to your Success!


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