Are You Ready For The Seasonal Business Slump?—Part 2
Last week, Heather Vickery of Greatest Expectations shared tips for staying productive during the seasonal slump. Today, she shares some more expert advice on how you can use your downtime to boost your business and stay inspired.
Freshen Up Your Website
When was the last time your website got a makeover? If it has been more than two years, you need to freshen up your website. Go through and remove anything that does not best represent who you are as a company. Make sure your photo galleries are up-to-date and showing your best work. Collect notes of thanks from past clients and vendors and showcase them. How about your branding? Is it on point? Is it attracting the clients you want to be servicing? Perhaps a little brand refresh is in order as well. Now is the time!
Streamline Your Systems
Speaking of systems, it is time to reevaluate what is working and what isn’t. Consider updating your systems. Are you as organized as you can possibly be? Is your desk a hot mess? How do you manage your time? Does your INBOX overwhelm you? This is where systems, strategies and boundaries really come into play. Do some research on the areas you feel are lacking and put some new things in place to try in the coming year. Remember, the vision never changes but the path changes all the time. Make sure you are as efficient as possible in all areas. Be bold and brave enough to try something new, even if it makes you uncomfortable. This is where you will really see yourself grow and show people what you are made of. Don’t settle for ok—reach for exceptional.
A little less exciting, but extremely important is accounting. Have you kept completely on top of it throughout the busy season? Is your accounting software up to par? Be sure spend some quality time updating any delayed accounting and getting a system in place for making it easier in the coming year. There is always a way to streamline this process—it just might take a little extra effort on the front end.
Look for Opportunities to Learn
I firmly believe we must always be learning. If you are not learning you are not growing. Write out a list of books you want to tackle. Research conferences for the upcoming year. What do you want to learn? Who do you want to learn from? Who do you want to network with? There are so many fantastic industry conferences out there and they each serve a different group of professionals. Be sure you take an opportunity to learn about these events and get them on the books so you don’t face any excuses when it comes to attending them. This is also a great time to look into continuing education. How about an e-course on selling your wedding services or getting certified in a specialty like same-sex weddings? What about better ways to communicate or re-work your business plan? There are many options to continue learning and growing. Don’t miss out on them.
Showing gratitude is something many people forget to put a lot of effort into. I am not just talking about saying thank you (although that is, clearly, important). I am not even talking about a thank you note sent directly post an event (which you must always be doing). This is an excellent time to pen a note (and yes, I mean handwriting, not emailing) of gratitude to anyone that has helped you throughout the year. Taking the time to tell people how grateful you are for them serves everyone. Being grateful reminds us that we are not in this alone. Without our talented team of vendors, friends and clients—- we would not have a business. And receiving gratitude reminds us that our work matters. It inspires and encourages those who give it and those who receive it.
Last but not least, find ways to give back. I have always enjoyed the times when my local wedding industry comes together for the greater good. Whether it is a food drive at the holidays or attending a gala to raise funds for Wish Upon a Wedding. We are a strong community and when we band together we can make an enormous impact on the world around us. So gather your local industry professionals and find a way to give back to the community you work and live in. Be the change you wish to see in the world.