We all understand the idea of a couple renewing their marriage vows, usually after they’ve reached a certain milestone in their relationship, but as wedding professionals, how often have you said “I Do” (again) to your wedding business? What got you started in doing what you do in your career, and why do you go to work every day? What’s your company vision and mission? What’s the STORY of your business? Do you absolutely LOVE what you do? Well, then why not fall in love with it again (read this article by business expert Michael Gerber on this topic)?
After 15 years of publishing NJWedding.com (and having just celebrated our 16th), this milestone makes me rethink the way we do things and find new, innovative ways to spend our time building our business and serving our clients and wedding community.
To RENEW is to “commit” again to your business, your systems, your vision and mission, and your outlook on what you can achieve (and make a plan for how to get there). Other “R” words also come to mind: Refresh, Reevaluate, Restore, Reorganize, Renovate, Revitalize, Retool, Renovate, Revitalize, Revive, Reestablish, Resume, Respect, Rejeuvinate, Restart, Retool, Review, Rebirth, Reinvent (we could do this for a while, but you get the idea…).
AT NJWedding.com, the company listings for our advertisers are up for renewal each year, and usually during this time period, we’re reexamining their listing to see what changed, and in these days of new connections on social media, finding out if they’ve added accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and other marketing channels so we could connect and incorporate these new features into their advertising plan. In our company, we also analyze our “business systems” to see what’s working, what’s not, and how to fix it, and we plan out objectives we want to reach in order to grow.
As an exercise for YOUR business, let’s examine the importance of setting goals when it comes to reevaluating your plan from year to year. Often people will make “resolutions” at the start of the year, and ultimately, these resolutions last only a few months. Instead, having clearly defined, written goals is an important step in achieving continued success. Motivational speaker Zig Ziglar says that only 3% of people write down their goals, and those that do, have a constant reminder of what their objective is and realize success — would that make sense to do so for you, too?
GOALS EXERCISE (take out an index card and write down the following, and then keep it with you throughout the year, often referring to it, and even revising if necessary)
- Sales / Month = Yearly Objective (How much $ do you want to bring in to the company?)
- Number of New Clients / Month = Total Number (This adds to business growth and gives you a good foundation for referrals, too)
- Big Project: What’s one MAJOR accomplishment you want this year that can really help your business achieve more growth or success? Don’t put it off!
Understanding New Media, Wedding Business Trends – Are you up on all the latest technology and tools that your customers are also using? Have you set up accounts on all the major social media platforms, started a blog, and update your facebook page on a regular basis? It’s important to remember that you need to be everywhere you can be so that your potential client can find and reach you, so keeping your web site current, making sure it’s available on mobile devices, and also understanding the latest wedding statistics and industry trends can contribute to your business in many ways.
Marketing – Who is the market for your products and services and has that changed? Do you know the latest statistics in the marketplace and have you adapted?
Advertising/PR – Is your strategy effective and do you have a well-balanced plan to reach your future clients? How often are you telling the “story” of your business to the media and submitting articles to newspapers, magazines, blogs and other online sources? Brides are constantly looking for new info and trends and will trust an expert in the field if they see them often enough.
Professional Development – Commit to, as author and speaker Tony Robbins says, “constant and never-ending improvement” by joining associations, and actively attending industry meetings. Review and renew your vision, mission and goals at least once a year and be open to change.
Declaration of Business Vows Renewal
(please stand, raise your right hand, and repeat after me…)
I _________ will commit to renewing my wedding BUSINESS vows on a regular basis, and continue to improve my knowledge and skills. I will keep up with promoting and growing my business so I can achieve the goals that I’ve written down. I will network with other wedding professionals, and join and be active in local associations. I will keep up with technology, social media, and blogging and make sure my web site and facebook page is up to date.
-Erik Kent, Co-Publisher, NJWedding.com, (908) 874-0417