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Business evaluation and personal recOmmendations
First Blush Beauty
Thank you so much for participating in our free business evaluation. Below is my evaluation as well as recommendations for each area of the business. I have also included an action plan of what goals and tasks you should be prioritizing based on your answers. ;)
Love your work!
Love your brand!
I am SO impressed with your brand and only have a few recommendations.
Your website is so beautiful and consistent and I think it does a fabulous job appealing to your ideal client. Now...you just need to get really clear on who she is!
This is SO important because you want to be able to speak directly to her!
All of your work is very consistent so what are the qualities that are present in all of it? I would say timeless and natural with a touch of glam!
Who is your bride as a person? Your website mentions "luxe" and you mentioned that you want to attract a bride who doesn't haggle which indicates you are looking to appeal to a more "luxury" bride.
Again...what does this mean?
And most importantly what are a timeless, natural glam, luxury bride's specific needs and wants AND how can you fulfill those better than anyone else?
What are her very specific concerns and/or problems AND how can you solve those better than anyone else?
Once you can clearly and concisely answer these questions, this can be your guide for all of your marketing including your website, social media, correspondence and marketing materials.
Make sure that all of your verbiage is focused on your ideal bride and what you can do for them.
A good example of this is on your weddings page: "We understand you and your needs, which comes from our extensive experience in the bridal industry."
How can you make this not just more specific but more specific for your very specific ideal bride?
Don't be afraid to list those needs specifically (once you figure this out). For instance: "We understand that you want to look natural but with a touch of glam." OR "A First Blush Bride is timeless and natural with a touch of glam." OR "Our techniques and products are specifically designed to create a natural, timeless look with just a touch of glam." You get the idea! ;)
Your goal is to have your ideal customer express an enthusiastic “YES…they get me!” The more you can determine AND address your ideal customers' specific needs, wants and concerns, the more likely they are to book you!
BTW...I created a video about building a luxury brand that might be of interest to you: https://www.haircomesthebridepro.com/free-business-videos/creating-a-bridal-beauty-luxury-brand
My final recommendation is with your social media. While the recent work you are posting is beautiful, because the photos aren't professional, I feel like it does not represent a "luxury" bride which is who you are wanting to appeal to.
Think quality over quantity! I know that everyone always feels as though they have to post all the time to social media, it can actually be detrimental if the content is not consistent as it can confuse your interested brides. You are only as good as your "worst" image.
I know that getting content can be a pain in the ass so make sure that you have a really great system for connecting with photographers so that you can get photos after the wedding. ;)
Your Policies & Procedures
You are well on your way to having clear policies and procedures which is great! This is going to prevent any miscommunications which could result in unhappy clients.
You did, however, say that are having to answer the same questions from clients and/or staff which leads me to believe that your policies and procedures may not be as clearly articulated as they could be.
The next step is to start to document all of your policies and procedures in a “company manual”. This doesn’t have to be anything fancy, a simple Google Doc is perfect.
I suggest that you create a Google or Word document and create a section for each area of your business; interest clients, booked clients, trial, wedding day, follow up, marketing, social media, etc. Start to document all of your policies and procedures. This is also where you will put all of your systems as you create them.
Having a company manual is going to allow you to not have to “reinvent the wheel” as your business grows. This will be the document that you use when you hire new stylists and staff. You can also use this document as your “go-to” for anything and everything that pertains to your business.
Go through your website as well as the initial emails that you send to both interested and booked brides to make sure that all of the most frequently asked questions are addressed and answered. If you haven’t already done so, create email templates that you can cut and paste that also address these questions for those brides who don’t take the time to read all of your policies and procedures.
You answered high as to having your business fully systematized and automated but you also rated high that you are having to spend a lot of time on the mundane day-to-day tasks of the business which leads me to believe that your systems and automations could use a review.
The systems you are using may have worked in the past but as your business grows it is possible that they need to be updated.
Start by taking a look at all areas of your business.
What are the areas that are taking up the most of your time?
Following up with interested brides?
Communicating with clients?
Communicating with stylists?
Whatever those areas are, start thinking of new and/or better ways to streamline those processes.
While there are no "right" or "wrong" ways to create systems and automations...there are ways that are better than others to facilitate business growth.
You may currently schedule weddings and trials manually using Google Calendar and this may be manageable now but a good rule of thumb is to ask yourself..."would this system work if my business were to double tomorrow?" If no, it may be time to at least start thinking of an updated system.
Wix actually has SO many tools for systematizing and automating...better than Honeybook in my opinion.
It does sound like you are pretty systematized so it may be a time-consuming process to switch over to using Wix but it may be something that is worth it in the long run.
BTW...because I LOVE Wix so much, I am currently in the process of creating a video series for automating and systematizing your business using Wix. It should be out in a few weeks AND it will be free with your "Partner" membership. ;)
If after carefully evaluating all of your systems and automations, you determine that there is no improvements that can be made...I think it is time to consider hiring someone to help you with the day-to-day of the business BUT...I really do suspect that your systems and automations could be improved.
Sometimes it's just a matter of you don't know what you don't know and it's time to try different tactics. ;)
You are getting a good number of visitors to your website, which is great. Getting clients who are interested in you is the hardest part so you want to make sure that you are capturing their attention once they are interested so you don’t lose them.
I do think that the number of interested brides who inquire for information is low compared to your unique visitors...especially since your work and brand is SO amazing!
Booking half of your interested brides is pretty good but again, because your work is so impressive...I really think this number could be higher.
I think that you need some sort of "call to action" on your website. I know you have a "book consultation" button but it just goes to a contact form?
Instead, you may want to consider offering a free style consultation and have a link where a bride could book a time to talk to you.
Also, maybe add a page that very clearly and concisely lays out the process for booking and working with you.
You also might want to consider taking the pricing off your website. I know that most stylists do this because they don't want to have to deal with getting brides who can't afford you but if you have a solid "interested bride" system or "sales funnel" then this won't be a problem and it could give you the opportunity to impress more brides with your professionalism and attention to detail which could inspire them to want to pay a little more. Just something to think about.
Because I would like to see more of your INTERESTED brides become BOOKED brides, I would also like for you to take a look at your "Interested Bride System" aka your "Sales Funnel".
How soon are you getting back to brides after they contact you? How do you contact them...email, text, phone call, etc. What do you say? What do you send them? Do you have a solid system and automations for following up with them after their initial contact? How many times and when?
These are all things to look at. It is also a good idea to try out different strategies and see what works best.
I know you didn't mention any marketing strategies or tactics that you are using so I would be curious to learn more about that.
I also noticed that you don't spend any time each week actively marketing your business. I suspect this is because you are way to busy working IN your business to have any time to work ON your business.
Once you carefully reevaluate your systems and automations, I would really like to see you look at ways to start marketing your business so that you can grow your business!
Finally, I noticed that you aren't using hashtags in your IG posts. Adding area specific hashtags can help you to find new interested brides and it only takes a few seconds to do.
I have created a video if you want to learn more: https://www.haircomesthebridepro.com/free-business-videos/create-a-hashtag-list-that-sells
Your Stylists & Staff
You already have stylists working for you but there have been some issues so it's time to take a careful look at what is and what isn't working.
First, determine exactly what it is you need and are looking for in a stylist and write these things down. This includes not only their skills and level of expertise and availability but also the character traits that you are looking for to ensure that potential stylists fit into your company culture.
Before you think about expanding your team anymore, it is time to take a close, honest look at what is AND isn't working with your current team. Are there any changes that need to be made? Are there any new policies, procedures and/or systems that need to be instituted?
Get things in order within your business AND with your current team and when you are ready to expand, here are the first steps:
Create a solid hiring, training and managing system for your stylists. Start by having a page on your website that clearly articulates your requirements for working for your company. Once a stylists knows what is expected and involved in working with you, create an online application for them to fill out. Doing this is going to eliminate a lot of time and weed out any stylists who AREN'T able and/or willing to work within the parameters you set out, including their availability and pay.
Once you have determined exactly what it is that you are looking for and you have either a website or an email template to send to interested stylists, it is time to cast a wide net! Create a page on your website, post on social media, post on job boards, craigslist and Model Mayhem. ANYWHERE you can think that you may find a potential stylist. Makeup counters and beauty schools can also be a good source for potential stylists, especially if you have a good hiring and training system.
My final piece of advice when it comes to finding and hiring stylists is to remember that this is YOUR business and you are not going to be able to please everyone. That’s ok…if you are persistent and patient AND you have all of your policies, procedures and systems in place, you will eventually find stylists who are exactly what you are looking for!
Create your policies, procedure and systems in regards to your stylists and adopt the attitude of "This Is How We Do It Here." If a stylist isn't willing to work within your parameters then they are not the right stylist for you. Just make sure that these parameters are clearly articulated so that you can be sure that any potential stylists are on board BEFORE you hire them.
You specifically mentioned punctuality and sanitation. These types of things should be non-negotiables and should be clearly articulated in your stylist training system and there should be consequences for not complying!
Again, it is important to adopt a "This is How We Do It Here" attitude.
My attitude in managing my stylists was always, "This is how we do it here and if that doesn't work for you, I completely understand. Thank you for your service, I have really enjoyed working for you and I wish you nothing but the best."
It may sound a little harsh and we always want everyone to be happy and to like us but if you want to successfully grow your business, you have to put the business above being liked. I guarantee you that as soon as you start setting strong boundaries, you are going to attract those stylists who are not only willing to comply but who will also appreciate and respect you and the way you run your business!
Your Online Presence
You are on the first page of Google for organic search and Google My Business which is awesome and is no doubt a factor in your high number of unique visitors.
No recommendations, your SEO is great!
Your Dreams & Goals
You absolutely have everything it takes to grow your business and dominate your area!
Your biggest obstacle in fulfilling your dreams and goals is not having enough time!
I don't know exactly how many weddings you are doing a year but I can guess based on the number of bookings you stated you get each month. This leads me to believe, again that your systems and automations need to be reviewed and updated.
When we were still doing hair and makeup at Hair Comes the Bride, we did over 500 weddings a year and I could literally leave the business for a month and have everything running smoothly without me.
I obviously had help with all of the day-to-day of the business but the only way that I was able to grow the business so big AND have it practically run itself was because I was a total freak about systematizing and automating.
You CAN do it, you just have to make the conscious decision to switch from "working for yourself" to being a true "Entrepreneur" which means your focus should be working ON the business more than you work IN the business and this is done through systems!
You don't have any frustrations regarding your business which is awesome...and rare!
Many frustrations or negative feelings in business come from "growing pains" so let's make sure this doesn't happen by taking the time now before your business grows to big to set a rock solid foundation for success AND growth!
A successful business contains a lot of moving parts and each part plays a role in the success of the other. In order to create a thriving business, it is important that you take a "holistic" approach meaning that you understand how all of these parts work together and you recognize that the business is ONLY as strong as the weakest part of the business.
Because there are so many moving parts, it often becomes confusing and overwhelming to know "where to start" or which area to focus on first. Below are our recommendations as to what areas or goals you should be focused on first, second and third.
Goal Number One
This is my first goal for you because I really want to see more of your website visitors contact you for information! Your work is SO good and your brand is so impressive that this number should be higher.
Look at my recommendations under "Marketing" and start trying different tactics to capture a bride's attention and information.
Besides the suggestions I gave you above, you may also want to consider creating a "content marketing" campaign.
Goal Number Two
REVIEW & UPDATE BUSINESS SYSTEMS
Again, I know you rated a 9 on systems but because of some of your other answers, I feel very strongly that your systems can be improved.
Refer to my recommendations under the "Systems" section.
Goal Number Three
Because you are having a few issues with your current stylists and because I know you want to grow your team, it's time to create a rock solid stylist hiring, training and management system.
As a "Partner Member" you have access to all of our videos and I have quite a few on hiring, training and managing stylists:
SO impressed with you and your brand!
Now...I just want to see you take your business to the next level.
You have everything it takes!
I know that you are a "Partner" member and I have just upgraded that membership to include two Business Strategy Sessions. These sessions renew with your membership so you get two each year.
I know that your membership renews in March but if you would like to use one (or both) of those sessions before that time, I would love to elaborate on my recommendations and answer any questions you may have!
You can schedule online here: https://www.haircomesthebridepro.com/bookings-checkout/partner-60-minute-consulting-session/book.
You are awesome and I can't wait to see where you take your business in the next year and beyond!
If you need more help or guidance, click on a link below for more resources:
If you would like more personalized guidance, you can book a FREE 30 minute business strategy session to discuss your business goals in more detail!
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