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Business evaluation and personal recOmmendations

Soft Glamour Beauty LLC

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

LOVE your brand and I think you have done a fabulous job connecting to your ideal bride!

Even your name clearly represents who you cater to...love it!

I am not surprised that you booked 63 weddings in your first year, which is a GREAT accomplishment and I absolutely see you being able to surpass 100 weddings this year!

Recommendations

Honestly, this is rare for me to say but I think you have nailed your brand and I don't really have any recommendations in this area...kudos!

Your Policies & Procedures

Evaluation

Now that you have nailed your brand and your business is clearly ready to take off, it is more important than ever to get your policies and procedures clearly nailed down AND clearly articulated to your clients and staff.

The biggest problem that I help business owners with is "growing pains". When you grow too fast without having the right foundation set for the business, you can really start to run into problems!

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

The lack of systems in your business is causing you to spend more time on the day-to-day tasks of the business than you need to and is most likely also causing you a lot of frustration. Getting more solid systems in place is going to free up time to start instituting some of the ideas you have for your business.

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.

Just like with your policies and procedures, if your business starts to grow too quickly without having solid systems in place, you can really start to run into some major problems.

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

Dubsado is a great platform for creating systems and automations and I know that there are a lot of YouTube videos that can help you to utilize all of the capabilities it has to offer.

Again, I know that this is a time consuming process but it WILL be well worth it in the end!

Your Marketing

Evaluation

Based on your rapid growth in such a short time in business, 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 typically something that is built into your website platform. If it's not, it is really easy to connect Google analytics to your website which will show you exactly where people are coming from who visit your site.

The next step is to get clients to like you. This is done by connecting with them. You have done an excellent job with this through your branding!

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"".

I love that you are spending a good amount of time on your marketing, this is so important. Now, it's just time to take a closer look at what's working and start to refine and duplicate your efforts in those areas.

Connecting with wedding vendors is a GREAT marketing strategy. It is actually the main strategy that we used at Hair Comes the Bride when we were still doing hair and makeup services. We did over 500 weddings a year and I would say that 80% of those weddings came from referrals from venues, coordinators and photographers.

My final recommendation, because you said that social media has not really worked for you is to watch my video on creating hashtags:https://www.haircomesthebridepro.com/free-business-videos/create-a-hashtag-list-that-sells

I noticed that you don't use a lot of hashtags right now in your posts and adding the RIGHT hashtags can make the difference and help you to find brides in your area organically on social media.

Your Stylists & Staff

Evaluation

I think out of everything else, this is your real sore spot!

This is not surprising to me and is one of the main challenges that most of the stylists I work with have.

You have worked so hard, putting your heart and soul into building something that you can be proud of and finding people who are going to be as committed as you are and put in the same heart and soul is difficult but it is possible!

Recommendations

Here are a few tips for finding and retaining great stylists:

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.

The ABSOLUTE key is that you have to create a ""system dependent"" not a ""people dependent"" business which is going to mean that it is imperative that you have a rock solid stylist hiring, training and management system!

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

You are a little buried in Google search but you do come up on the second page of Google My Business which is actually more important than Google search.

Recommendations

I don't think that your SEO or online presence is something that is a priority right now for you.

My only recommendation if you haven't done so already is to try Google Advertising. It can be hit or miss...I have some stylists who have been very successful and some that have not so I would suggest that you give it a try and see how it works for you.

Your Dreams & Goals

Evaluation

With everything you have been able to accomplish so far, I ABSOLUTELY see you being able to fulfill your goal of having a bridal studio and a well run team IF you take the time now to get your policies, procedures and systems in place!

I know you mentioned that you can't Google how to run a team efficiently BUT, I do have several videos on this subject:

https://www.haircomesthebridepro.com/premium-business-videos/finding-hiring-bridal-stylists
https://www.haircomesthebridepro.com/premium-business-videos/training-and-managing-bridal-stylists
https://www.haircomesthebridepro.com/business-bootcamp/building-a-team

Recommendations

As I mentioned, it's time before you grow much bigger to get all of your policies, procedures and systems in place, especially your stylist system.

Your Frustrations

Evaluation

It is no surprise that you are feeling overwhelmed and I feel you!

I think that you are already starting to feel some "growing pains" like I mentioned earlier.

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 those feelings of overwhelm!

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!

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
Because I can see you growing very quickly, I would like for you to take a look at your current systems and try to get every area of your business systematized and automated for quick and easy growth.

See my recommendations under "Systems" evaluation and make the commitment to get this very important foundation of your business in place.

Goal Number Two

STYLIST SYSTEMS
Once your policies, procedures and business systems are solidly in place, it's time to start focusing on your stylists systems.

See "Stylists" recommendations.

Goal Number Three

I think because you are doing such a great job in the other areas of your business AND because it is going to take some time to get your business and stylist systems in place, I am not recommending a third goal at this time.

PERSONAL RECOMMENDATIONS

I am SO impressed by you and your business...I think that you are doing a fantastic job and have absolutely everything it takes to be a huge success!

As a Partner member, you have a lot of resources available on our website as well as business strategy sessions with me that are included with your membership.

You have one 60 minute session available as well as two additional sessions after February so I highly recommend that you take advantage of those so that I can elaborate on my recommendations as well as help to guide you through some of the roadblocks in your business. ;)

You can schedule those online anytime here: https://www.haircomesthebridepro.com/bookings-checkout/60-minute-consulting-session-2/book.

Again, I just want to tell you how great you are doing and you should be really proud of yourself!

I am here if you have any questions or need anything!

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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