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Business evaluation and personal recOmmendations

139 Hair by Heidi

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. ;)

Your Brand

Evaluation

Your brand looks great! I think all of your photos clearly represent a consistent style which is very important!

I love the video on the front page, it really adds a personal touch and connects you with your client.

I would, however, like for you to get a little more clear on exactly what makes you unique and who your ideal bride is.

Because the marketplace is so oversaturated, it is SO important that you are clear on what makes you unique and why a bride would choose you over anyone else. Things like quality, experience and customer service aren’t enough to really connect you to your ideal customers.

Recommendations

Don’t be afraid to speak directly to your “ideal” customer. Your goal is to have your ideal customer express an enthusiastic “YES…they get me!” The more you can determine AND address your ideal customer’s specific needs, wants and concerns, the more likely they are to book you!

I noticed that all of your adjectives describe more about you than your client. Your brand and marketing should always be client focused so I would like for you to think about what adjectives would describe your brand that are more about the customer?

That being said, I think you do a fabulous job of speaking directly to your customer with the verbiage and the video on your site.

One small recommendation with the video, I did notice that when it is done playing, it shows related videos. This is really easy to take these videos off so it gives a cleaner, more polished experience for your clients. Here is a video I found to show you how: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJdoVaBgcuU

I noticed you have each stylist as well as their work featured on your website. While there is nothing wrong with this, it can sometimes confuse brides and make it harder for them to decide which stylist they want. It can also become a problem when a bride gets it in her head that she wants a specific stylist and then that stylist is not available.

If this is an issue or becomes an issue in the future, you may want to consider taking the control over which stylist you book for a bride rather than allowing her the option to choose herself.

The key to this is going to be how you present and articulate this to a bride.

You mentioned that you may want to redesign your website and while I think your website looks great, I do agree that it could use a refresh just so that it is more in line with the gorgeous quality of your work.

I strongly suggest that when you do re-design or re-brand you continue to use Wix. I have used just about every website platform available and Wix is far and above all of them in my opinion!

Your Policies & Procedures

Evaluation

It looks like you have all of your policies and procedures in place and documented which is great!

Recommendations

Just make sure as you institute or change policies and procedures, you are always documenting them in a "company manual".

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.

Your Systems

Evaluation

It looks like you are on your way to creating the systems in your business but I would like to see you really get ALL areas of your business fully systematized and automated where possible.

Having solid systems for every area of your business is going to give you the solid foundation you need for quick and easy growth!

Recommendations

I know that creating systems can seem overwhelming and time consuming but it should be at the very highest priority.

You should have systems for every area of your business in which you do the same things over and over. These should include things like:
Interested Bride System (aka Sales Funnel)
Booked Bride System
Trial System
Wedding Day System
Follow Up System
Marketing System
Social Media System
Hiring System
Training System
Etc

To create systems, start by making a list of each of these areas. Once you have these areas written down, start to break down each task that is required to complete each process. For each of these tasks, ask yourself how you can best systematize it AND automate it where possible.

There is not necessarily a “right” or “wrong” way to create systems, it is whatever works best for you and may vary depending on which stage of business you are in. Some of the tools in which you can create systems include:
Checklists
Email Automations
Task Reminders
Google Calendar Reminders
Workflows
Templates

I know that you use Wix which is THE best platform for creating systems! I have not found one area of business that you cannot create a system and/or automate using Wix. It is actually better than Honeybook in my opinion!

FYI...I love Wix so much that I am in the process of creating a video series showing exactly how to create systems and automations using Wix. I will let you know when I am finished with this...probably some time in the next few weeks. ;)

Your Marketing

Evaluation

It looks like what you have been doing is working for you as far as marketing but now it's time to really start to take a closer look at your numbers.

It is SO important to know how many unique visitors you get a month, how many of those visitors contact you for info and how many of those interested brides actually end up booking you.

Knowing this information is going to show you exactly where you need to be spending your time marketing your business.

Recommendations

The stages of marketing are Know-Like-Trust.

You obviously first need to get interested clients to know about you. This is indicated by your number of unique visitors to your website. If this number is low then you know that you need to focus more on getting more people to know about you. BTW...this is really easy to find out in your Wix analytics. Wix analytics can also show you exactly where people came to your site from which is also very valuable information.

The next step is to get clients to like you. This is done by connecting with them. The video does a great job of doing this as does your consistent brand.

The final step and the one that gets interested clients to become booked clients is trust.

When a client is deciding whether they can trust you or not, they are really asking themselves…who do I trust ABOVE everyone else? This can be based on several factors and it is typically a combination of factors that your potential clients may not even be aware of but are subconsciously adding up to determine who they trust the most.

While there are different factors, the following are the most significant ways in which you can help to instill trust in your clients:

Personal Recommendation
When a potential client gets a personal recommendation from someone that they already know and trust, it automatically instills at least some trust in you. Your goal is to create a group of “cheerleaders” for your business. This is your unpaid sales force and can include past clients as well as other industry professionals. To create this unpaid sales force of cheerleaders, you should always be striving to go above and beyond. It is often the little things that people remember the most.

Reviews
People will first ask their friends and family for recommendations but when none are available, they will look to strangers by way of reviews and testimonials. Make sure that you have a strong system for acquiring reviews and testimonials from all of your clients and make sure to display those testimonials clearly on your website as well as throughout your marketing and social media.

USP
Your USP is your Unique Selling Position. What do you specifically do that is exactly what your ideal client is looking for? What specific problems do you solve that are exactly the problems that your ideal client has? Any time you can address and answer these problems in a clear and concise way to your ideal customers, the more trust you will instill in them.

Consistency
There is a saying in business “If you confuse them, you lose them.” In order to instill trust in your clients, you have to create and portray a consistent and cohesive brand.

Professionalism
How quickly do you get back to brides? Is your website and social media up to date? How easy and enjoyable is your customer’s experience? Are you punctual? Do you keep the focus on your client being careful not to move into the “friend zone” with them? All of these things can send a strong message as to whether a potential client can trust you to fulfill their needs and make their experience a good (or great) one.

Social Proof
This includes things like your social media presence, styled shoots, education, awards, accolades, media mentions and industry affiliations. All of these things show your position in the industry and help to instill trust.

You have done a great job so far but you may want to review these things and think about where else you could show these things on your website, social media, marketing and emails.

Finally, knowing your client acquisition rate is crucial. This is how many of your "interested" brides become "booked" brides. If this number is not as high as you like then this is an indication that you need to review and possibly update your interested bride system or "sales funnel".

Again, Wix is great for automating a sales funnel!

Your Stylists & Staff

Evaluation

You have a large group of stylists which is great!

You just want to make sure with that many stylists and with wanting to grow your business, you make sure you have a rock solid stylist system which includes hiring, training and managing.

Recommendations

Here are a few suggestions for your stylists systems:

1) 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.

2) 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.

3) 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.

As far as finding stylists who are available, this can be difficult because you are working with 1099 contractors so you can't tell them that they can't work for themselves or someone else. What you can do, however, is require that anyone that wants to join your team must be available specific times and for a specific number of days each month.

This is going to be more difficult if you don't have a lot of work to offer them. The busier you are and the more weddings you can have available for them to work, the more you can require from them.

Until you get to the point of having enough weddings to require a commitment like this from your stylists, you may want to consider looking for as many stylists as you can to be "on call" stylists.

When we were still doing hair and makeup services, we had a crew of about 40 stylists who were our "team" stylists and who we were able to give consistent work to but we also had a list of about 50 other stylists who wanted to primarily do their own thing but who were available on occasion when we needed stylists to fill in the gaps.

You also mentioned that you have a hard time keeping calendars up to date. Again...Wix is a great platform for scheduling all of your stylists for both weddings and trials.

You can even set up individual booking pages for each of your stylists to book trials and have the stylists update their own availability. This will allow you to simply email the link to each bride and let them schedule the trial when it is convenient for them.

You can have the bookings be automatically synced with each stylist as well as within your own "business" Google calendar which you can even embed on a hidden page on your site where it is available for you and your stylists.

Your Online Presence

Evaluation

You are on the 2nd page of Google and Google My Business which is pretty good.

Because you are on the first page of Wedding Wire and The Knot and these sites are always at the top of Google searches for bridal hair and makeup, I wouldn't worry too much about focusing on your SEO.

I am NOT surprised you are getting a lot of interested brides through The Knot and Wedding Wire, your listings look great!

Recommendations

While it's not a priority, you may want to take a few minutes (if you haven't already) and go through the Wix Search Engine Optimization steps.

This only takes a few minutes and it could help to get your site to page one.

Your Dreams & Goals

Evaluation

The absolute key to fulfilling your goals in the next year is going to be getting your systems and automations on point!

This is going to allow you to spend more time on all of the fabulous ideas you have for your business as well as to more quickly and easily grow your team so that you can do less weddings yourself.

Recommendations

Not to sound like a broken record but...systems! lol

Your Frustrations

Evaluation

It is understandable that you are exhausted and burnt out, especially with all of the additional work and stress brought on by Covid!

It is also very evident that you are an "idea" person! You are wanting so badly to implement all of the creative ideas you have for your business but there just never seems to be time and that is incredibly frustrating!

Recommendations

When you create and/or update and streamline your systems and you start to see how smoothly and efficiently your business can run, you will begin to feel like you are in control of your business instead of the other way around and this will boost your confidence substantially and lessen or even eliminate your exhaustion and burn out!

Firstly, you need a way to organize your ideas and get them out of your head so that they aren't taking up room in your mind that you need to dedicate to getting things done and prioritizing.

The best tool I have found for this is to create a document that is your "Master To Do List". I think it is best if you can create it on a platform that you have access to on both your computer and phone, like Google Docs.

Create a section for each area of your business: stylists, marketing, social media, services, etc. and write out every single idea that you have for each. You can also use this document anytime you find something inspirational or educational that you want to be able to refer back to such as a video on marketing or a certain company website where they do something that you would like to implement.

This is going to allow you to get all of these ideas out of your head and put them in a place that you can have quick and easy access to.

Finally, remember that how you eat an elephant is one bite at a time. Determine what your priorities and top goals are and commit to those things until completion and THEN move on to the next goal.

A good way to determine what to make a priority is to ask yourself,...what is the ONE thing that if I could change or implement would have the greatest impact on my business and bring me closer to achieving my ideal business vision?

ACTION PLAN

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

BUSINESS SYSTEMS
I am sure this comes as no surprise that the first goal is to review your current systems to see what is working and start looking at ways to improve and/or implement new systems and automation.

I know this can be a frustrating and time-consuming project but it will be well worth it!!!

I really think that you could benefit greatly from my new video series on Wix systems! I am going to make it available very inexpensively and will be out very soon! ;)

Goal Number Two

SCHEDULING SYSTEM
I suspect that the scheduling of weddings and trials is taking up a lot of your time and can be frustrating at times.

I am not sure what platform you are using to schedule all of your weddings and trials right now but start looking into the Wix scheduling system. I think this could be a really great option for you.

BTW...you can also use Wix and the scheduling system to streamline and automate your education as well!

Goal Number Three

STYLIST SYSTEM
Because your goal is to stop doing as many weddings yourself and grow your team, it is time to take a really hard and honest look at what is AND isn't working currently with hiring, training and managing stylists.

Refer to my stylist recommendations and start to write out a plan for creating a rock solid stylist hiring, training and management system.

PERSONAL RECOMMENDATIONS

I think you are doing a fabulous job and your work is amazing!

It is now time to start fully embracing your role as an "Entrepreneur"!

This starts by making the conscious decision to start focusing more on working "ON" your business than "IN" your business.

As hard as it may be, make it a goal to set aside a specific amount of time each week to work on your systems and on marketing.

If you would like for me to elaborate on any of my suggestions or if you have any questions, I would love to set up a free 30 minute business strategy session with you!

If you are interested, you can book a time online here: https://www.haircomesthebridepro.com/free-bridal-beauty-business-strategy-session

Thanks Heidi...keep up the great work and I can't wait to see where you take your business in the next year and beyond!

xo
Gina

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

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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