FLASHBACK ARTICLE FROM AUGUST 2010
The Top three Reasons why a wedding business will not be around in 4 years:
The wedding business is a peculiar industry. It is the easiest business to start financially and regulation wise. Where else can you go to Costco and spend $2000, and suddenly you can “claim” to be a “Wedding Photographer”?
One industry that costs less to get into and is slightly easier is Multi Level Marketing. When a wedding business can get more brides to go through their processes and end up on their customer list, the business succeeds as originally thought of when they first planned to start a business.
Why is it than that most wedding businesses go out of business after 2 years? There is a long list of reasons, but let me concentrate on a few first.
1. The business owner thinks they are a true entrepreneur, but most times they are merely a trained skill set. Before this upsets you, let me explain the difference. The entrepreneur knows how to take the vision and planning to proper execution and fulfillment. They do not worry about the fulfillment step near as much as they do the process. Michael Gerber best illustrates this in his description of the “technician.” This “technician” mind set prevails in the wedding industry where the most important actions which make a business money are the least worked areas of the business. Marketing and sales make you money. Everything else is simply an expense. If the action does not bring in paying customers, you should not pay attention. At least not near as much as most wedding businesses do pay attention to their “stuff” (and for the rest of this program, I will say “stuff” in place of DJ, cake maker, florist, Limo Driver, Photographer, etc…) than they do getting more business in the door.
There is a reason why this occurs- most businesses do not know how to sell or market their business. The typical wedding business owner got into what they do for a reason. That reason is usually because they love what they do whether it be taking pictures, spinning tunes or putting together fantastic looking flowers. It is very easy to focus on the “fun” part of their jobs rather than the business part. Selling and marketing is not sexy. It is not something that someone wakes up in the morning and says “boy I hope I get to go cold calling” or “ what’s that? design another ad campaign? -sign me up!” This focus on the fun stuff and lack of focus on the business stuff leaves the typical Wedding business owner with an ironic situation-they don’t have a reason to do the “fun” stuff any more because they have no customers.
2. The Wedding Business owner has spent hundreds of dollars on expensive training/advertising only to get zero return. It is hard to spend good money with the hope of getting a fantastic return and not get anything. That makes it hard to trust the people who come further down the line to sell training/advertising. I mention advertising and training, but make no mistake, the two are distinctly separate.
3. The Business owner runs their business the way they want to run it, not the way the customers want it run. It is ego centric and appealing to the business owner first and the customer a distant second. I once sold food for a living. In that position, I sold to restaurant owners. Interesting fact that back then the number 1 soup was Chicken noodle soup. The number 2 soup was New England clam chowder. I actually had many restaurant owners say, “I'm not interested in clam chowder- I don’t like it.” Now, if you are having a dinner party, you can choose like this, but if you are running a business, you need to appeal to your customers senses, tastes and likes, and put your’s on the back burner. You may have seen in the past where a restaurant goes out of business and another comes in and starts in it’s place. This happens again and then again. The business owner's ego is that they have the power to make things happen that others cannot or did not, and it is this same ego that rules the decision making process on how to market, how to sell and how to fulfill your product or service to brides.
Staying out in front of the brides and using the best business practices to A) bring in prospects B) change them to customers is the best way to stay in business and avoid burnout for a long time to come.
FLASHBACK ARTICLE FROM AUGUST 2010