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Business evaluation and personal recOmmendations

Mia Farah Beautique

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 and your work is beautiful!

I feel like you know who you are and what you represent now it's time to take it to the next level!

I am a little confused as to why you have two websites that are pretty much the same information?

In looking at both sites, there are elements from each that I like better than the other and I would love to see you streamline and consolidate the two together for a beautiful, cohesive experience!

When you do streamline both sites, it is really easy to have one URL forwarded to the other so you don't have to worry about losing any brides who may have gone to one site or the other.

BTW...I strongly suggest if/when you do consolidate sites, you use Wix! I have used just about every website platform available and Wix is THE absolute best in my opinion!

Recommendations

Again, you know who you are and what you represent, now it's time to find ways that you can effectively communicate this to your ideal client.

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!

Multicultural
Timeless
Natural Glam
Informed
Empowered
Pampered
Classy
Cheerful
Inclusive

These are all words you used to describe your brand and your client. I LOVE all of these and I can see these represented in your brand but much like your website, it is time to consolidate and streamline your brand and marketing.

Decide which 3-4 words you want to "hang your hat on" and start to focus all of your branding and marketing on these things.

Some of the terms are more "general" so I would focus on those things that make you truly unique!

My suggestion would be: Timeless, Multicultural, Natural Glam and maybe Pampered which would indicate maybe more of a "luxury" client.

First of all...think about what exactly these things mean to you? What kind of bride is multicultural, natural glam and timeless who wants to be pampered?

What are her very specific wants, needs and problems that you can fulfill or solve better than anyone else?

Use these terms as your guide when it comes to your website, marketing, social media and correspondence. When you are creating content, adding images, crafting messages...ask yourself, "Do these things resonate with a multicultural, natural glam, timeless bride who wants to be pampered?"

Your Policies & Procedures

Evaluation

Based on your answers, it looks like your policies and procedures could use some attention.

Recommendations

Go through every area of business and look over what is and isn't currently working when it comes to your policies and procedures.

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.

Having clear cut policies and procedures that are clearly articulated is going to save you SO much time and eliminate the need to constantly answer the same questions over and over again.

Your Systems

Evaluation

I cannot stress how important having rock solid systems is to running and growing a successful business.

Systems (or the lack thereof) can literally make or break the success of a business.

Systems are not only of paramount importance when it comes to running a business but also to growing a business!

Systems and automating are also going to be the biggest tool in allowing you to spend less time on the day-to-day tasks of the business and spend more time on growing your business!

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

Wix is the number one platform I have found for creating systems and automation...way above Honeybook and Dubsado in my opinion! There is nothing I have found when it comes to running and systematizing your business that can't be done in Wix!

BTW...I am in the process of creating an entire video series showing you how to create systems and automate using Wix, it should be out within the next few weeks!

I noticed on both of your sites right now, you use an outside scheduling system and again, the look and functionality of Wix bookings is much better AND will create a more streamlined and cohesive experience for your clients!

Your Marketing

Evaluation

You said that you only get 5-10 unique visitors a month but I think that maybe you misunderstood this question?

The unique visitors are the total number of visitors, not just those who inquired for information.

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.

Your booking percentage is really good, I would just like to see you get more clients who request information!

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 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.

I think there are some other marketing strategies and tactics that you can explore but, before you do that, I would really like to see you get everything else in place such as your website and systems.

So many business owners think that if they could just get there numbers up, they will be successful but, it is such a waste of time and money to actively market your business when you don't have rock solid systems for getting interested clients to become booked clients!

Your Stylists & Staff

Evaluation

Building a team and managing stylists can be one of the most challenging aspects of running a business.

Giving up "control" over something that you have put your heart and soul into and worked so hard to build is very scary!

I can absolutely see you expanding on your team but it is SO important that you get your business running like a well oiled machine before you do!

Recommendations

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.

Your Online Presence

Evaluation

Your online presence could use some work. You are buried in Google search results but you did come up on page two of Google My Business which isn't too bad.

SEO is something that you can set as a goal in the future but because it is very difficult to climb from page 4 or beyond to page 1 is difficult, I would rather see you focus your attention on other areas of marketing.

I know that you said you get a lot of brides from Wedding Wire but I could not find your listing in Philadelphia beauty? I did find you on The Knot on page two which isn't too bad.

I am not sure if you have tried any premium advertising with these platforms?

Honestly...I have talked to hundreds of stylists and it is hit or miss with The Wedding Wire and The Knot. Some have fabulous results and some have terrible results and there doesn't seem to be too much of a rhyme or reason to it so the best thing to do is to try it out and see how it works for you.

Recommendations

I wouldn't worry too much about your SEO right now, I feel like there are much more important things to spend your time on.

That being said, I would suggest that you go through the Wix search engine optimization tool since it can be done very quickly and it will at the very least, set up the foundation for you working on your SEO in the future.

I would also consider trying out a premium listing on The Knot and Wedding Wire. If you do, however, I would suggest seeing if you could try out a 3-6 month membership to see how it goes before you commit to anything longer than that.

You also want to make sure that you have a system for getting reviews from brides after the wedding day.

Your Dreams & Goals

Evaluation

I love love love all of your ideas and I think they are absolutely doable IF you can get your systems and automations streamlined!

Recommendations

Not to sound like a broken record but you need to get your systems and automations in place if you want to be able to have the time to fulfill your dreams and goals in the next year and beyond!

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!

Your Frustrations

Evaluation

I am not surprised that you are feeling burnt out, anxious and withdrawn...you have a LOT on your plate!

It is 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 anxiety and burn out!

You also 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

CONSOLIDATE & STREAMLINE WEBSITES
I was debating whether I should make this or systems your first goal but I think that streamlining your websites is going to be an important first goal in creating your systems.

I like the look of the miafarahbeautique.com website better but there are some elements of the bookwithmia.com website I like better and of course, the bookwithmia.com website is Wix which I LOVE and highly recommend! Have I told you that already? LOL

Go through each site and determine what elements you want to incorporate into your "new" consolidated site.

I would also highly recommend that you switch from Beauty Inspiration Call booking to Wix booking to create a more cohesive experience for your brides!

Goal Number Two

BUSINESS SYSTEMS
It is time to make the commitment to take your business to the next level and that is 100% going to depend on your systems.

Refer to my steps in the "Systems" section and start making a list of every area of your business and everything that needs to be done in each. This is going to be the basis for all of your systems!

From there you can start breaking down each one to determine how you will systematize and automate. I would start by looking into the Wix workflows.

By the time you are done with consolidating your website, I will have my videos done for creating systems in Wix which I think will be a great resource for you!

Goal Number Three

I am not going to give you a 3rd goal at this time because I think it is important to not get too overwhelmed and I really want you to focus on your first two goals!

PERSONAL RECOMMENDATIONS

I think that you are absolutely fantastic! I LOVE your work and your brand and what it stands for and I see you having everything it takes to be a huge success!

What I don't want to have happen is for you to continue to spin your wheels and not see the success that you want and deserve! You are TOO good not to see your dreams come to fruition!

If you would like for me to elaborate on my recommendations as well as answer any questions you may have, I would love to talk to you! I offer a free 30 minute business strategy session that you can book online here: https://www.haircomesthebridepro.com/free-bridal-beauty-business-strategy-session.

Take a deep breath and remember that you do have everything it takes, it now just comes down to focus and prioritizing...you got this!

Thanks so much Mia!

xoxo
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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