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5 Things You Need to Know Before Launching a New Business

Are you ready to start a new wedding, catering, or events business? If you have an innovative idea for a new venture, there are a few essential tips to consider before opening day.

Did you know that 40% of small business owners said they don’t take vacations and have a lot of their money tied up in their company doesn’t need to be that way?   Remember, you are starting a company to provide financial support for you and your family.  It shouldn’t feel like a money pit.

Before you plunge into the entrepreneurial deep end, you need to consider a few fundamental points.

Money Matters

Get in the mindset that you will work toward having a minimum of 6 months of cash on hand for operating the business and unexpected lulls.  That amount of money may seem like a lot, but you can build up to it as you grow.

Although it is tempting to cultivate that nest egg by minimizing expenses, penny-pinching is not the best way to reach your financial goals. Even though it is essential to start small, underspending isn’t ideal because it will affect your reputation. You don’t want your first review to complain about low-quality, inefficient processes or underwhelming customer service.

Before starting production or offering services, set a target profit margin that makes sense for your specific industry category.  For example, caterers should have a target profit margin of 7-8%, while wedding planners might expect as much as 40%.

Remember to balance financial attainment with your passion and love of your craft.  If you are only starting a company for money reasons, your prospective clients may notice that your intentions are not genuine. After a while, you will feel bored, stuck, and unhappy with all the work related to developing your business.  We are in the events industry, which is supposed to be fun.

Network Like Your Business Depends on It (Because It Does)

Find a successful mentor in the industry for guidance, tips, and insight into their struggles, challenges, and achievements.  It’s better than doing it alone. Without support from other significant experts in event and wedding planning companies, you will make avoidable mistakes.

Network with wedding and event planning professionals to get feedback on any up-to-date news, innovations, and critical industry shifts.  Other industry peers are also  your best referral sources when you are just starting.  Surround yourself with those who believe in lifting as they climb.

Another way to broaden your reach is to consider finding a sponsor that supports your purpose, mission statement, or your potential clients’ ideals. Are there churches or other organizations that your ICA’s use regularly? Finding partners, investors, or sponsors and building those relationships will increase your business budget. It will also develop long-term, professional and personal connections that will last for the lifetime of your company as long as you continue to nurture them.

Create a Business Plan

A business plan is the first step to identifying issues that may arise before investing money or building a website. Detail the strengths of your services and potential problems before they appear. Summarizing your thoughts on paper and following steps to make a professional plan will help you secure funding to alleviate burdensome start-up costs.

While making this plan, you will need to research and develop your ideal customer avatar. Ensure that you understand your prospective buyers’ problems and let them know you can provide a better solution than competitors. Then, analyze the market and confirm that there is a demand for your company.  You will not be able to make money doing what you love if no one is interested in your offerings.

Set up Spectacular Services to Retain Loyal Customers

There is a myth in the wedding and events industry that it is challenging to create repeat bookings.  New business will flock to you if you treat your clients well.  A great  customer experience develops clients for life.  It also supplements your marketing efforts by encouraging stronger word-of-mouth.  Your previous clients will feel good about referring you if they felt like they were in good hands.  It is easy to spread the word about a catering and events company with glowing reviews.

While at times all it takes is a polite request for a testimonial, you can also offer incentives for clients to post and promote through social media.  Encourage clients to post reviews on their experience with you and always respond to positive or negative feedback in a compassionate manner.  Show that your company focuses on customer care and is willing to adapt to maintain satisfaction.

Forge Your Path to Success

What are you going to do differently from the competition? Will you set your company apart with affordable prices, higher quality, uniqueness, or convenience? Determine how you can improve each customer’s experience, offer additional services, donate to nonprofits that your ICA’s are passionate about, and accept constructive criticism by finding a mentor to help guide you along the way.

Launching a new business can always bring up fears, but with these five tips to help guide you, you will be on your way to success!

Click here to take the quiz to determine which area you need to concentrate on in your wedding, catering, or events business.

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Aleya Harris

Through her company, Flourish Marketing, Aleya offers marketing education, strategy, and tools that help wedding, catering, and events business owners stop staring at a blank calendar and start getting and keeping a consistent stream of clients. Aleya is a Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef who also happens to be an award-winning, marketing strategist, brand manager, content developer, and storyteller. She has a background as a marketing executive on the leadership teams of large foodservice organizations and has also been a private chef and catering company owner. Aleya speaks your language and understands your challenges. She knows how important it is to work in your passion. That's why for the past 12 years, she has been focused on helping over 1,000 accounts, brands, and business owners to be successful.

One Reply to “5 Things You Need to Know Before Launching a New Business”

  1. Lisa Headley says:

    Great advice, Aleya! For every business, one needs to consider these important points. I think another thing that should be kept in mind is to be realistic. The goals you set should be achievable and the corresponding plan should have a clear strategy.

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