Going after your dream and becoming a sought-after vendor takes more than a passion for weddings and expertise in the service you provide—it takes some serious business skills. Even if you didn’t start your wedding business knowing that, it probably became clear pretty quickly that you had also just signed up for a learn-as-you-go-crash-course-MBA because, in order to keep doing what it is that brought you to the wedding industry, you have to know how to keep your business thriving. And, there is always something to learn! So today, and whether you are just starting out or a few years in, we wanted to help you both invest in your education and future by talking about the eight skills you need to have when you own a business. Read on to learn what they are and then commit to growing where you need to!
The Most Important Skills that Every Wedding Business Owner Needs
Skill #1: Have a vision and think strategically
When you own a business, you have to have more than just a passion for what you do—you have to have a vision about how you are going to channel that passion as well as a plan on what you are going to do with it over the years. Because, one of the biggest challenges every wedding pro and entrepreneur faces is continually adapting their business to a changing market and clientele while also driving their business towards their long term goals. Having a clear vision, purpose, and goals will help you keep things on track and give you what you need to think strategically about the future.
Skill #2: Know how to manage money
This skill might seem like an obvious one, but it is something a lot of business owners struggle with. Because, when it comes to managing a business’ finances, it is so much more than knowing how much is in your bank account and on your credit card. From staying on top of bookkeeping and managing cash flow to creating budgets and preparing projections, a more-than-basic understanding of accounting is one of the most essential business skills.
Pro-tip: After you sit down to review your business’ financial status, think about whether or not you need to raise your prices.
Skill #3: Marketing
The time you spend marketing your business is never time wasted since it is what you do to put potential clients in your sales funnel. But, more than having a website and being on social media, it is imperative that you dive deeper into the world of marketing than that. The first step is usually making sure you are putting your business on the channels your potential couples are on and then investing the time it takes to understand the basics of SEO, evaluate your social media marketing, and decide what advertising channels are the best fit for you.
Pro-tip: Becoming an expert in who you are marketing to is important! And, this piece will help you learn more about marketing to Millennials and Gen Z.
Skill #4: Be able to sell
When we have the opportunity to talk to pros (and it’s a lot) one of the things that often gets said is how uncomfortable they are with selling. And, we get it—talking about yourself, how good you are, and then asking for money can make you feel (well) icky. The thing is, you can’t avoid it when you own a business and need to be continually booking new clients. So, if you’re someone who loves scheduling calls with leads but then gets nervous once it’s time to talk, be sure to get our tips to help you qualify leads, have a successful sales call, and close a sale with confidence!
Skill #5: Know how to interview and hire people
You’ve likely heard that it takes a village to raise a child but it also takes a village to run a business! And, when you have a wedding business, surrounding yourself with other talented and passionate people can be a challenge if you have never hired someone before. From knowing what personalities are a fit for your company’s culture to making sure they have the skills you need (or are teachable), learning how to be your own hiring manager is important whether you are looking for an accountant or day-of assistant.
Skill #6: Strong people skills
Once you’ve found your people, it’s your job as the business owner to train them, manage them, and help them grow! And, when it comes to doing that, being a confident leader with strong communication and listening skills is a must.
Skill #7: Time and project management
Being a wedding business owner means you are the person people turn to and, when you are constantly being pulled in different directions, being able to manage your time and having strong project management skills can help you stay on track (and save your sanity). But, being good at both of those requires self-discipline and decisive decision making. So, if those are things you struggle with, do what you need to grow in that area.
Pro-tip: Curious about what is important to work on and when? Learn more about these essential business tasks and when you need to have them on your radar.
Skill #8: Be able to learn from mistakes
Last but not least (and maybe the most important business skill in this list) you need to be able to learn from your mistakes and failures. Because, while there is a ton of information out there to help you, there is not an exact playbook to building a successful business. You are likely to make mistakes, choices that take you off-track or even fail completely at something but that certainly is not a cue to stop what you are doing. If you make a commitment to looking for ways you can improve and learn from your mistakes, you are surely doing what you need to stay in business and be around for a long time.
Now that you know the business skills you need to brush up on, you might be inspired to make a few investments. If so, here are some smart business investments to consider regardless of whether you have $500 or $5,000 to spend.
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