Happy New Year – yes it’s socially acceptable to say that for most of January! In today’s episode I am helping you look back over 2022 and look forward to 2023 in your wedding business.
This isn’t about setting impossible New Years resolutions, but instead I’m helping you think strategically ahead and put in goals for this year! It’s time for you and your wedding business to shine.
Becca: In today’s episode, I wanna welcome in 2023. If you’re listening to this in real time, it’s now the 12th of January, which means statistically any New Year’s resolutions you made have already gone out the window. Whatever you think about New Year’s, it is a great opportunity to take a moment to pause and reflect.
So let’s stop putting pressure on ourselves to become brand new people because you know what? You’re great as you are, but instead, let’s spend some time reflecting today. Let’s plan and dream together.
I’m Becca Pountney, wedding business marketing expert, speaker and blogger, and you are listening to The Wedding Pros who are Ready to Grow podcast. I’m here to share with you actionable tips, strategies, and real life examples to help you take your wedding business to the next level. If you are an ambitious wedding business owner that wants to take your passion and use it to build a profitable, sustainable business doing what you love, then you’re in the right place.
Let’s get going with today’s episode. Today’s episode is gonna be a chance for you to plan and reflect. So before I get started, why not go grab a pen and paper, settle down somewhere comfortable cuz you are gonna be doing some of the hard work today. You know, one of the great ways that we can learn is by looking back.
So I wanna start with today’s episode. By helping you to look back over 2022 as a whole to see what you learned, what you achieved, what you struggled with, and how we can use that information to bring you into a better place for 2023. So first up, I want you to write down on your paper your biggest achievements in 2022.
All of us have achieved something last year, and sometimes we just don’t take the time to look back. Perhaps it was the year you started your business. Maybe it was the year you stepped out of employment and went out on your own. Perhaps it was your busiest every year, your best financial year, or perhaps you were part of a styled shoot that got featured.
There’s so many ways we can have good achievements in our businesses. So write down at least two, if not three or four on your piece of paper now, and just spend a second realizing how great 22 was for you and what great things you. Once you’ve got those achievements written down on your piece of paper, I wanna start thinking about the struggles.
Looking back on 2022, where did your struggles lie? What did you find difficult? Maybe the business didn’t take off as quickly as you wanted it to. It could have been that you had some really difficult customers or you struggled to get into the groove of marketing. Was your work-life balance was all over the place?
Write down just a couple of things that you struggled with. Although we don’t wanna dwell on this for too long. It’s really important to look at what we struggled with so we can look at how we can make it different. As we go into 2023, we can learn so much from the things that we struggle with. One of the things I struggled with, especially at the beginning of 2022, was letting some of the things that were going on in my life, Overcrowd my mind and therefore take away my focus on my business.
And that’s one of my big regrets because actually those things, yes, they were important, but they took up far too much of my brain space. And I realize now that it was taking away from some of the good things I could do in my business. So as I go into 2023, I’m learning from that. I’m worrying less about what people think and worrying more about my goals and what I want to achieve.
So what were your struggles for 2022? Get them down on. Okay. The next thing I want you to reflect on is when you look back over your inquiries and bookings from last year, where did most of your bookings come from? I hope by now that you are asking people when they come to you, where they found you, whether they found you at a wedding fair online or instagram, and take a look at where those inquiries are coming from. Are people inquiring through your website?
Are they contacting you via Instagram or Facebook Messenger? Keep a note of where people are coming from. Now, people don’t always remember where they found you, or they might have found you in a few places, but it’s important to ask this question or to add this question on your inquiry form because often all of our marketing efforts, we can do loads and loads of marketing, but one thing can often be a lot.
Than the others. So we can, instead of doing more, just double down on the thing that’s working for us. So for example, if you know wedding fairs are really successful for you, then look at doing more wedding fairs in 2023. If you know Instagram is really successful for you, we’ll then double down and do more Instagram posts and reels this year.
Have a look. At what worked for you last year, so you know where to focus this year. Take a look over those inquiries. The ones that were good quality, the ones that were easy, ones that came in and work out. Okay. How did they find me? Where did they find me? Perhaps a lot of your work came from word of mouth.
Well, that’s great. Double down on your networking and your connections this year. There’s so much to be learned about where people came. Now I want you to look at who those people were. What percentage of those people were ideal clients? Are they people that were paying the rates that you deserve or were they still people that were looking for a bargain and you just booked out of desperation?
How many of the weddings were at venues that you loved working at, and how many were maybe not quite your ideal client, and then put that against the information about where they came from. It may be that you find people coming from a certain part of your marketing are not as ideal as the other people who are coming from somewhere else.
Again, writing this stuff on paper and just taking a few minutes to reflect can really help you in your business as you start to look forward to 2023 and work out where to spend your time and effort. Okay. The final thing I want you to think about for 2022 is that age old thing, the work life balance.
Now, I don’t believe there is anything such as a perfect work life balance, but have a look back at last year, how do you feel about how you balanced your work and your life? Do you feel like you worked way too much? Do you feel like maybe you took off too much time and you didn’t actually focus on your work nearly enough and you could have done more if you did?
It doesn’t matter what the. Is, but again, you need to learn from it. If you did too many weddings last year and you just didn’t have time to think, well, you need to have a look at what you’re planning for this year. Could you do less weddings? Could you put your prices up so you bring in the same revenue, but for less weekends work?
Did you do too many weddings back to back and you felt burnt out? You need to put in different boundaries as we go into 2023. It’s really important to consider all of these things. Nobody wants to start a business and then just become totally stressed out, exhausted, tired, angry, and never having any freedom.
Most of us start a business because we want the time and freedom to spend with our families and to work more flexibly and to do the thing that we love. So we need to take back control of that. So have a look and honestly ask yourself, how did you do in 2022 when it came to your work life balance? Okay, we’ve looked back.
Now we’re gonna start looking forward. We’re gonna take what we wrote down from last year and start learning from it as we plan into this year. Now, I want us to start by dreaming big for 2023. I’m a big believer in dreaming big, and I’m a big believer that if you make plans and write them on paper, you can then start taking small steps towards making them happen.
So we are gonna make the 3, 2, 1 dreams. So write the numbers three, two, and one on your piece of. Let’s start with number three. I want you to write down three venues that you want to work with or be booked at over 2023. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean the wedding’s gonna happen in 2023, but you’re gonna take a booking for that venue, or you’re gonna get on their recommended supply list, you’re gonna exhibit with them, something like that.
I want you to dream big. Think about your ideal customer. Think. Ideal venue. Nothing is out of reach. So please, at this point, don’t not write something down cuz you think it’s an impossible dream. We are dreaming big and if you get something on paper, you can start working out how it’s possible. So write down the name of three venues that you would absolutely love to work at or be booked at over 2023.
Get them written down on paper and then after this call, start doing some research. Can you find out who the venue coordinator is or the venue manager there? Can you look at what they’ve got coming? This year, can you have a look at who else is recommended by them? And if there’s anyone, you know, once you’ve got these venues written down, you can start making action and working out how you can get a relationship with them.
Okay. Now for the number two. Next to the number two, I want you to write down two wedding businesses that you want to have worked with in 2023. Again, dream big. Is there a massive wedding planner that you just wish you could work with? Perhaps there’s an incredible photographer that you would love to work on a wedding with?
A florist who is incredible at their skill, and you would love to do a wedding alongside them. I don’t know who it is for you, but I would love you to write down the names of two suppliers you would love to work with over 2023 and into 2024. Again, once you’ve got these names written on paper, then you can start thinking about how you can build a relationship with them.
How can you move in those circles? Where could you get to know them? Is there anything you could do to collaborate with them on a style shoot or to see if there’s ways you could work together once you’ve got those names on paper, then you can start making it happen. But when you just leave them in your head and you don’t really think it’s possible, you’re never gonna move towards that dream.
Okay, and now for the number one on your piece of paper, I want you to write down one big dream. This is the thing that if you told me this time next year it happened, you would not believe it. You would be over the moon. You would be so excited and so happy. This isn’t just one normal thing that happens day to day in your business.
I want you to dream big. do you wanna double your income for this year. Launch your own wedding podcast, book your first destination wedding or attend a wedding and work at a wedding abroad. Perhaps you’ve always dreamed of writing a book or a guide. Perhaps you wanna speak on an international or national stage about what you do.
There are so many things you can dream about. Perhaps you’ve got a dream of a holiday you wanna take your children on at Christmas time. It could be that there’s a certain publication you would love to see your work featured in, or an award you would like to win. Go on Dream Big, dare to Dream Big, and write that big dream down, because once again, once it’s on paper, you can start working towards it.
You can work out the pieces of the puzzle little by little that can get you towards that big dream. As I said, I honestly believe anything’s possible if you put the work in and do the action. So hopefully you’ve got your 3, 2, 1 written down on your paper. So just a. Three venues you would love to work with or be booked at by the end of 2023.
Two suppliers you want to have built relationships with and worked with by the end of the year and that one big dream that you would love to see happen. So you can tell me this time next year, Becca. I wrote it down and now I’ve done it. Okay, we’ve got our 3, 2, 1. Now let’s talk about money. Yes, I know you don’t like talking about money, but at the end of the day, we are running a business and business comes down to money.
Otherwise, it’s just a hobby. So I want you to write down your money goal for 2023. How much money do you want to bring into your business over the next year? Now, I’m not talking about profit, I’m talking about revenue. So how much money is gonna come into your business overall? What is your money goal?
Now, you don’t wanna just pluck a number out of the air. There might be some work that you wanna do around this, and most importantly, you need to work out, okay, if I break that number down, how do I get there? So for example, if you say to me, I wanna bring in 50,000 pounds over 2023, then I’m gonna say, great.
How many weddings do you need to book? At what price in order to bring that money in? What other things you need to sell, what you need to upsell, what packages do you need to create in order to bring that money in? Perhaps you need to add in some additional income streams, some workshops, or some Mother’s Day boxes, or whatever it is that you do to get to that money goal.
There’s no point saying to me, I wanna bring in this much money without knowing how to do that in your business. So write down that money goal. Think. Be brave, but then break it down, work out what that actually means and what you need to do to achieve that Even better, write it somewhere, pin it up so you can see that goal on the desk in front of you, up on the wall by you or in your phone.
So you look at it every time you log onto your phone. Know exactly what you’re planning for this year. and Break it down. Once you start breaking it down, it will seem a lot more manageable and a lot less like pie in the sky. Okay, so you’ve got your money goals and you know where that money is coming from.
Now you can start looking at your marketing focus for this year. Now you’re gonna take the information we’ve just put together so you know how much money you need to get, you know how you need to get it, you know what your ideal clients are, and you know what worked for you really well last year. So now can we double down the efforts in that area?
Where are you gonna be spending your time, your energy, and your money marketing your business for this year? Maybe there’s a couple of different places. Maybe you’re gonna do an Instagram. Every single day for the next six months to see if that helps increase your revenue. Could it be that you’re gonna book into more wedding fairs.
Are you gonna double down on networking and coffees and meetings with venues. Perhaps you’re gonna do more style shoots so that you can get more imagery for your business that suits your ideal client. I don’t know what your marketing focus. Is is gonna be different for each and every one of you, but I want you to write it down and I want you to make it manageable and actionable.
You can’t market everywhere really well, and your ideal clients aren’t looking everywhere. So learn from what’s worked in the past. Double down and do more of it. Write it down. Okay, that’s our marketing focus. Let’s think about our personal development focus. What areas of your business do you feel like you are weakest in?
Perhaps it’s sales. Perhaps you just don’t feel confident to make the sale. Maybe you don’t know how to end a sales call, or you just don’t really know how to sell yourself better. Or if that’s you, then maybe your personal development focus this year needs to be on sales, read books, listen to podcasts, go to trainings, all about how to sell better and be more confident
perhaps you know that Instagram works for you, but you’re not very good at it, and you’re not confident. Well, if that’s you, then maybe prioritize some training on how to do Instagram reels or how to make more money from your Instagram. How to make your Instagram bio stand out. Focus on that. Perhaps it’s a confidence thing for you.
Perhaps you just need more confidence around money mindset and your own confidence and imposter syndrome. Getting in the. If that’s you, then your personal development focus needs to be on that. Again, listen to podcasts, read books, go to training sessions on that area. We can’t learn everything all of the time, so it’s much better to be focused on one area and learn to do it really well, implement it, and then look at a different personal development focus.
Perhaps for you it’s. SEO you really wanna understand search engine optimization and how you can improve that in your business. well again, read books, go to training sessions. If you’re in the member’s lounge with me, request training sessions on that area and we can all improve together. Okay. I know you’ve done a lot of work.
I did warn you there was gonna be a lot of work in today’s episode. If you normally listen to this while you’re out on a run or just in the background, I understand it’s a little bit harder, but I really wanna focus in on making sure you get results in 2023. So the final couple of things we’re gonna look at.
First of all, I wanna talk about habits. Now, habits can be a really good thing because they can make sure that something happens in your business regularly, but they can also be a negative thing. So I want you to think about habits to break and habits to start. So first up, habits to break. What things are happening in your business and in your life that you need to break?
Perhaps you can see that you are always getting distracted and scrolling, Facebook and wasting time. How can you break that habit? Can you move your phone to a different room? Can you put it on airplane mode? Could you block certain apps for certain times of day? For some of you, the habit you need to break is that comparisonitis.
You know that you keep looking at what other people are doing and comparing yourself to them, and that can do you damage both mentally and in your drive to do better. Cuz you feel like giving up. You feel like everyone’s always better than you, and it leads to frustration if you turn those channels off, block people hide.
People stop yourself from being able to see their staff. Then it can be so freeing for you and your business. Looking at other people’s stuff can just hold you back because you worry about copying their ideas even though you didn’t mean to do it intentionally. Perhaps you’re just looking at them or feeling down all of the time, and instead you could be channeling that energy into making your business.
Better. So if you are suffering from comparisonitis, that is a habit that needs to break. Perhaps a habit that needs to break is that you’re working too much. You never move from your desk, you don’t eat properly. Perhaps you’re just working all the hours and not getting enough done. Then you need to start taking a break.
So I want you to write down at least one, if not more, habits that you need to break as we go into 2020. And then I want you to think about habits you need to start. Are there things you could be doing in your business that are gonna be really, really positive, good habits, perhaps every day when you get back from the school run?
If you’re taking kids to school, you’re gonna post on Facebook or you’re gonna make a new Instagram reel. That’s a habit. I was starting towards the end of last year that I would get in from the school run, and the first thing I would do would be make sure I looked presentable and to make a quick reel on Instagram.
This meant it was done before I even started work for the day. I could just post it, leave it, not worry about it, and get on with my work, knowing that I’d done some visibility work for that day ahead. It’s a great habit to get into. Perhaps you need to get into the habit of walking at lunchtime. Doing more steps, getting away from your desk.
Perhaps you need to make a habit of meeting up with people for coffee every single month so you know you’re making new connections each and every month. Again, write down on your piece of paper, one or two habits you want to start doing in 2023. Feel free to share any of these with me. Drop into my dms on Instagram.
Post in my free Facebook Community Wedding Pros who are ready to grow, and let me know what habits you wanna break and what habits you want to start telling someone else can make you so much more accountable for getting it. That now brings me onto the final thing I wanted to share in today’s episode.
As we think about 2023, I want you to start mapping out your time off and your boundaries. If we don’t do this at the start of the year, often time can creep up on us and we realize we haven’t actually booked much time off now already. It’s only the 12th of January, but I’ve gone to my diary and I’ve highlighted in my diary all of the school holidays so that I know that I’m gonna get time off with my children.
I make sure that. Book appointments or calls in those weeks so that I can have some free time and I know I’m guaranteed some time off. Otherwise, meetings start creeping in, appointments start coming in, and then I never get the time off. So have a look at your own calendar. Look at the year as a whole and work out when are you gonna go on holiday?
When are you gonna take time off away from your business? When are you gonna block out so you don’t take additional bookings or calls or events? Get that in the diary. Now, if you’re in a proper job and you didn’t ever have holiday, your boss would be asking you why, and if they didn’t give you holiday, you would be kicking up a fuss.
So why don’t we take holiday from our own businesses? The other thing I want you to think about as we go into this year is, Boundaries. Are you gonna set an out of office so that there’s certain times you won’t be replying to emails? Make sure you don’t take weddings back to back? Are you gonna have a cut off of how many weddings you are willing to do in 2023?
And once you hit that number, you’re gonna stop and move on to 2024. Are you gonna stop having long conversations with clients late at night that they’re not actually paying you for? What boundaries do you need to put in place to free up your time and to make you a better. Person, there is no point running yourself into the ground working all the time and being miserable.
That is not what owning your wedding business is all about. So the final exercise for today is to map out that time off and those boundaries, write them down again. Put them somewhere visible if it’s helpful, and make sure you stick to them. You don’t need to be there for. All of the time, make sure your information is accessible on your website.
Make sure you’ve got as much set up so they can do their research themselves without your involvement. And make sure if you’re not gonna be replying to emails overnight, that you put on some kind of out of office onto your email system so that people know your boundaries. I hope today’s episode has been helpful as you reflect back on 2022 and look forward to 2023.
The main thing is you don’t need to put pressure on yourself. Ultimately, new year is just changing of days from one day to the next. It’s not. Particularly special, but it does present us with a good opportunity to think about these things. What we don’t need to do is put loads of pressure on ourselves thinking that this has to be our best year ever, and that we have to be a perfect version of ourselves because we don’t know what this year is going to hold, but what we can do is give ourselves the best chance to get focus, look ahead, and plan our.
It’s been a pleasure working with you on this today. I would love to know how you got on. Feel free to drop me a message on Instagram or leave me a review here on the podcast. And if you’ve got a wedding pro friend who might find this information helpful, why not share this episode with them or share it on your Instagram stories.
We’re here to help. I’ll be back next week. I’ll see you then.