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Business evaluation and personal recOmmendations
Pure Elegance Artistry
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 is on point and I think you do a wonderful job of appealing to your ideal bride visually through your website, social media and images. My only suggestion is to possibly take things a little further to create verbiage on your website that would resonate with your ideal bride.
Take a little time to really think about the very specific needs, wants and problems that your ideal bride has. How can you meet those needs and wants and solve those problems better than anyone else?
Your brand is elegant, genuine and heartfelt. What exactly does that mean to you?
You may even want to consider adding a "Are you a Pure Elegance Bride?" or something along those lines on your website that addresses your ideal clients needs and wants and shows them how you can solve their specific problems.
Other than that, you are killing it as far as your brand! Kudos!
Your Policies & Procedures
Just like with your brand, your policies and procedures are on point.
Having clear policies and procedures and clearly articulating those policies and procedures to your clients and staff is preventing you from having to constantly answer the same questions over and over.
I can't tell you how many stylists I work with for whom this is a major problem and takes up so much of their time so again...Kudos!
My only recommendation is to possibly create a FAQs page on your website. ;)
It seems as though you have systems in place but I am surprised that you don't use some sort of platform to help you automate and systematize. I am not sure how many weddings you are doing a year but this is something you may want to look into as you continue to grow.
What you are doing now as far as systems may not work in the future. A good thing to ask yourself when creating and/or reevaluating systems is, "Will this system work if I were to double or triple my business?"
I know that Wix has several tools for helping to automate and systematize your business. In my opinion, Wix is actually the best system to use above Honeybook or Dubsado.
If you are not already using the tools available through WIX, this is something you may want to look into.
I LOVE Wix and I am actually creating an entire automated business system training right now. I will make sure and let you know when that is finished. It may be something you would be interested in. ;)
Your booking percentage is great! I would just like to see you getting more visitors each month.
Your percentage of unique visitors vs your interested brides is also very good but I think that it could be even higher.
The three stages of client acquisition are Know-Like-Trust.
You are doing a great job on the like and trust part since your client acquisition is good. I think your marketing should now be focused on the "know" part.
It's time to work on finding more potential clients to know about you.
There are so many different ways that you can market and advertise your business and I am surprised to see that you don't spend any money on marketing?
While there is nothing wrong with this, it seems as though you are at the point in your business with such a solid brand, policies and systems that you should really be focused on marketing.
There are obviously so many different ways that you can market your business, it really is a matter of trial and error and figuring out what works best for you.
My final suggestion as far as marketing would be to think about possibly creating some type of call to action on your website so that you can capture more brides as they get to know you.
The best way to do this is to create some sort of free content, it could be anything: a free gift, a free beauty consultation, a report, a checklist. Something of value that you could offer to a bride in exchange for her information so that you can follow up and potentially turn more interested brides into booked brides.
Your Stylists & Staff
It is very evident that the next logical step in your business is to build your team.
This is often the hardest and most frustrating part of building a business because it means giving up "control" and counting on others to uphold the quality and consistency of the brand that you have worked so hard to create!
There are several steps you should think about when planning on building or growing a team.
1) The first step is to make sure that all of your policies, procedures and systems are in place, which you have done a great job doing!
2) The next step is to make sure that you have a solid stylist system that emcompasses all aspects of your team including; hiring, training and managing.
3) Next, 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.
4) 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!
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 stylists working for other companies, this is something that you can't "technically" tell your stylists they can't do if they are 1099 contractors. 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.
Your Online Presence
Your online presence looks great! You came up high in rankings both organically and through Google business which is awesome!
Whether you have done so purposefully or it happened by chance, your SEO seems to be great.
My only recommendation is that if you have not already gone through the Wix website optimization steps, that is something that can be done very quickly and easily and could help your rankings even more!
Your Dreams & Goals
I think that you are right on track for the next step in your business and that is building your team!
I think that you are really close and now it's just a matter of really solidifying "How We Do It Here."
You want to start focusing on being a "system dependent" not a "people dependent" business. What this means is that YOU decide exactly how everything is done...not only with the logistics of the business such as booking and scheduling but also how your stylists interact with clients and perform services.
As I mentioned in the "Stylist" section, the more weddings you can offer your stylists, the more likely you will be to be able to find and retain stylists who are willing to commit to working for just you OR at least primarily for you.
Frustration and burnout are very common for most business owners. You are experiencing "growing pains" and may be feeling like you HAVE to do everything yourself.
I know you stated that your business is almost fully systematized and automated but I do question whether this could be improved?
I do also think that having a team and not having to do all of the weddings yourself would help but you do want to be really careful that you have a really solid stylist hiring, training and managing system in place first.
If you don't, you may be setting yourself up for more work and frustration dealing with issues and/or problems created by your team.
I also get the feeling that some of your frustrations come from not having the time to implement the ideas that you have for your business.
You can see where you want to go but you are having a hard time getting there as quickly and easily as you would like.
Take a careful and honest look at every aspect of your business to see where there may be any roadblocks or things that are taking up a lot of your time.
If there are areas that seem to be "roadblocks" start thinking about how you could better systematize and/or automate.
You are clearly an "idea" person but 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 onto 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?
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
CREATE STYLIST SYSTEMS
Since your goal in the next year is to build a team, the first thing you need to do is create a really solid system for hiring, training and managing stylists.
Goal Number Two
AUTOMATE YOUR HIRING PROCESS
Because hiring new stylists can be a very time consuming process, you want to try and automate this as much as possible.
Add a page on your website for "job opportunities".
You can also create a "hidden" page on your website using Wix where you can have potential stylists FIRST review exactly what you are looking for and require in a stylist so that they can decide if this works for them or not. This is going to eliminate having to spend a lot of time interviewing stylists only to determine they aren't willing to work within your required parameters.
Make sure on this page, you also have the benefits of working for you and clearly articulate what your brand stands for. We used this system and even included testimonials from our current stylists as to why they liked working for us.
Once they have determined that a potential stylist is interested, you can direct them to a page where they can fill out an application online. Make sure that your application includes not only questions about their experience, knowledge and ability but also their values and character.
If you can create this system to screen all of those stylists who do not meet your requirements, it will allow you to cast a wide net so that you can quickly and easily find qualified stylists without it taking up a lot of your time.
Goal Number Three
You have obviously put a lot of work into your business and your brand and it is very impressive so now it is time to find more potential clients.
I am not sure what marketing strategies and tactics besides Instagram stories you are using now but take some time to think about what other avenues you can explore as far as marketing your business.
Because your brand and business is so solid AND because your main source of potential clients is word of mouth, I think a good avenue for you to explore might be creating a system to connect with and nurture relationships with other industry professionals who are excited to refer you and can become your unpaid sales team.
I am very impressed by your business and I think you have absolutely everything it takes to succeed and create the business of your dreams!
I do think that an objective outside opinion would be helpful and I would love to set up a free "Business Strategy Session" to find out a little bit more about what you are doing that is working and what could possibly use a little tweaking in order to help you achieve your goals as quickly and easily as possible. BTW...this session is 100% about you and your business, it is not a "sales" call.
If you are interested in setting up a time to chat, you can click the link at the bottom of this page.
We also have several videos available that can help you in all areas of your business but specifically:
These videos are available with our "Owner" and "Partner" programs.
I believe that you are right on the verge of incredible growth and expansion and I can't wait to see where you take your business in the next year and beyond!
Please let me know if you have any questions and/or I can be of any assistance!
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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