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Business evaluation and personal recOmmendations
Make-up N More
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. ;)
I know that we have talked about your brand and working to make sure that everything is in line with what your brand stands for and you are doing a great job!
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 and customer service aren’t enough to really connect you to your ideal customers.
I know this is something we talked about and I would like to see you take it even further and think about ways that you can define more clearly who you are and exactly what you can offer.
Your website, social media and/or marketing could use a little work on being consistent with your brand and your ideal customer. Make sure that all (or at least the vast majority) of your images are in line with your brand and represent who you are.
Don’t be afraid to speak directly to your “ideal” customer. Use the adjectives that you used to describe your brand in your marketing, social media and on your website.
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! Your bride is laid back, natural and easy going so what does that mean to you? And what specific wants needs and concerns does this particular bride have?
Consider creating a "tagline" or "motto" that clearly states this. It could be as simple as "Bridal Beauty For the Easy-Going, Natural Bride"
Your website, social media and marketing (including online advertising) should send a very clear message as to who your ideal customer is. Quality always wins over quantity when it comes to the images that represent your brand. Keep this in mind moving forward and every time you are getting ready to post a photo to your social media or website, ask yourself "Does this photo represent a natural, easy-going bride?"
It is better to have a handful of beautiful, professional images that represent and resonate with your ideal customers than to have hundreds of photos that send a conflicting message about exactly who you are and what your brand represents.
Your Policies & Procedures
You have clear policies and procedures that your customers are well aware of which is great! This is going to prevent any miscommunications which could result in unhappy clients. 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.
Because you mentioned that you are having to answer the same questions over and over, I suggest that you 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.
Also, if you haven’t already done so, create email templates that you can copy and paste that also address these questions for those brides who don’t take the time to read all of your policies and procedures, this is going to save you a lot of time.
I know that you can create templates in both WIX and Gmail so you don't even need to copy and paste, you can simply add the template from each platform with one click.
The lack of systems in your business is causing you to spend a lot of time on the day-to-day tasks of the business and is most likely also causing you a lot of frustration. Systems are the absolute foundation of a successful business and are essential for growth. You will be amazed once you take the time to create systems, how much more time you will have to devote to growing your business.
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
Wedding Day System
Follow Up System
Social Media System
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:
Google Calendar Reminders
I know that you use WIX which has a lot of tools for helping you to systematize and automate. As a matter of fact, WIX is the absolute best system I have found for systematizing and automating.
I know it is time consuming and the "learning curve" can be frustrating but I strongly suggest that you make it a priority to learn the tools available on WIX to start to help you systematize and automate.
I think I mentioned to you when we spoke that I am an expert at systematizing on WIX and I am, of course, available to help you if you need it. ;)
I also know that there a ton of videos on YouTube that can help.
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.
The three stages of client acquisition are Know-Like-Trust. You are already getting clients to know about you and visit your website, which again…is one of the hardest parts. Once you have their attention, it’s time to get them to like and trust you.
Getting someone to like you is all about connecting with them. This goes back to your brand and making sure that everything you say and do is in line with your ideal client.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Once you get a client to know, like and trust you…it is a good idea to have a clear call to action on your website. Offering something that is unique and of value can help. This can take many different forms, for example…a free consultation, a quiz, a free report, a free checklist, a free gift. Anything that will inspire a potential client who visits your website to take some form of action.
It sounds like The Knot and Wedding Wire is working for you which is great and not always the case with other stylists. Since this is a consistent stream of potential clients for you, make sure that you are keeping those listings up to date with fresh images and content.
While these platforms are working for you, it is always a good idea to have several streams of potential clients coming in from different places. There are an unlimited number of ways to market and advertise a business and I think the key is trial and error to see what works best for you.
I know that I have some videos on marketing so it may help to start there and see what ideas resonate with you.
Your Stylists & Staff
I know that you do not currently have any stylists who work for you but this is the next logical step in growing your business so it is something that you should start to plan for now.
There are several steps you should think about when planning on building a team.
Make sure that all of your policies and procedures are solidified and documented and to make sure that you have systems in place. Nothing is going to bring you more stress and anxiety than if you start to grow your business and build a team without every area of your business running smoothly and efficiently.
Create hiring, training and managing systems for stylists. What are the exact steps that you need to take in order to find, hire, train and manage stylists? Write these out including each task involved within each step.
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.
Once you have determined exactly what it is that you are looking for, 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 and who will be willing to work for what you are willing to pay them.
I have several videos online that can help you to create hiring, training and managing systems for stylists.
Your Online Presence
Your online presence as far as Google Search results could definitely use some work. Your business does show up on Google My Business which is great! Continue to add photos and collect reviews to maintain this listing. You can also add content to this platform which could help to boost your visibility.
Make sure that your website is optimized for search results focused on the specific keyword(s) that your potential clients are searching for.
Many website platforms have tools built in to help you with this. I also have a video that can give you some pointers: https://www.haircomesthebridepro.com/free-business-videos/get-to-the-top-of-google
I think while this is something you could work on, it's not a top priority and I think focusing on other avenues of marketing to send visitors to your website should be a higher priority.
Your Dreams & Goals
Your goal is to have a team working for you. While I think this is a great and the next logical step for your business, I think it is very important that you get every area of your business running smoothly first.
Ultimately, your goal is to ease your load and I'm afraid that hiring stylists before your ready will do just the opposite and could potentially cause more work and problems in your business.
If you can take the time to create systems before you begin to hire stylists, you will find that the process can be a smooth and easy one.
Get all of your systems in place including creating those stylist hiring, training and managing systems.
I feel your frustration and with frustration comes the feeling of inadequacy, that is only natural. You may feel like you are spinning your wheels without really getting anywhere and this can greatly affect your confidence.
You absolutely are adequate and have everything it takes to succeed, it's just time to get organized.
When you create 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 those feelings of inadequacy!
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
I am sure this comes as no surprise that the first goal you should work on is your business systems. This can feel like an overwhelming process but the good news is that, for the most part, this is a one and done project.
There may be a little trial and error at first and you may need to make tweaks along the way, but once you take the time to create the systems, the majority of the work will be done.
I promise that doing this is going to have a dramatic affect on your business and free up a lot of your time.
Goal Number Two
I know that you are anxious to build a team but before you do that, I think that it would help for you to take another look at your website, social media and marketing materials to make sure that they are sending a clear message to your potential brides articulating who you are, what you have to offer and what specific needs you can meet and what problems you can solve that are very specific to your ideal client.
Goal Number Three
Once you have your business systems in place and you have made sure that you have created a clear and cohesive brand that resonates with your ideal client, now it's time to start thinking about building your team.
Think about exactly what you need and want in a stylist and then begin to create your stylist hiring, training and managing systems.
Since you are already a "Partner" member, you have access to our entire library of education.
I would suggest that you start with the following videos:
I am not sure if I mentioned to you when we talked that I am also creating a training to create a complete business system using Wix?
It is taking me a little longer than expected but it should be done soon. If this is something you are interested in, you may want to wait until I have it completed to fully implement your systems.
If you are interested, in the meantime, you could start to write out every area of your business as well as each step and task involved with each.
I am, of course, here to help in any way I can and if you feel as though you could use some one-on-one guidance, I do have a package of 6 consulting sessions for $450. I am confident that within that 6 hours, we could completely systematize and automate your business!
Let me know if you have any questions or I can be of any assistance!
You are doing a great job and I can't wait to watch how your business is going to grow 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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