One Year Down, Now Onto Two!
On January 9, 2019, I received my Articles of Organization from the North Carolina Secretary of State. Sounds fancy, right? Well, it is kind of a big deal. In short, it meant my dream of owning my own event planning business came to fruition. On Valentine’s Day 2019, I launched my website and social media. All I could think about leading up to the launch, what if I fail miserably at this?! I’ve invested thousands of dollars and more importantly, time.
There were parts of starting a business, I thought it would be easy-breezy that hit like a category 5 hurricane. On the flip side, there were things that I was worked up over, for nothing. It’s funny how it all works out. The journey isn’t always easy, but it’s worth the ride.
Do I have to be social?
I knew social media would be one part of my business that I’d kill it on! Negative ghost rider. Do you know what the analytics entail? Is tonight the best time to post or tomorrow morning?! I must have pretty pictures, make sure my Instagram feed looks cohesive, come up with captivating captions and SO MUCH MORE!
Blogging. That’s laughable. I’ve been writing this blog for 3 hours (honestly, maybe even 4 hours). The last time I shared a blog on Facebook, I noted my goal was to publish two blogs post a month. EPIC FAIL! This is my fourth blog post since I launched. See, it’s not easy being a wordsmith on top of doing what the “real” part of my business is – coordination and planning! Keeping up with “all the things” social media and blogging have NOT been easy, but it is mission-critical for any small business.
I’m Not Everyone's Cup of Tea
It’s tough to turn away business solely because of pricing – especially in year one. In the first few months of my business, I considered discounting to get more bookings. That thought quickly changed.
Am I running a legal business? Yes!
Do I have business expenses other planners don't have? I do.
Is my pricing higher than others in my local market? To be profitable, it has to be!
I received a promising lead through my website. A few days later, she was looking for recommendations for a wedding planner in a Facebook group. One person posted she was offering a special for $150 and another that said to message her because she was building her portfolio so she was “cheaper than everyone else.” A few days after that post, I received an email requesting to meet. I booked that client even though my fee was almost 10 times higher what someone else offered.
I had to learn, that my business will inevitably fail if I am “cheaper than everyone else.” I don’t want to be the cheapest. I want to be the most valuable. Being “cheaper” isn’t sustainable for the long-term goals I have for my business. Do you want to know why? Working a wedding for $500 will get me a ton of booking but it will also lead to burnout. I’m not everyone’s cup of tea, but the funny thing is, I don’t even drink tea.
Highlights from 2019
I received my Articles of Organization from the Secretary of State.
I worked with Savvvy Designs on my logo!
My first client through Four 26 Events, LLC hired me to assist with planning a wedding – in two months. Everything turned out beautifully.
I hired the most amazing business consultant, Megan Gillikin. She's the bomb.com!
I created a local networking group, Central Carolina Wedding Vendor Meetup.
I landed my first corporate client – that hired me for 3 events!
I worked with over 85 different vendors on events.
I implemented a new client portal that allows me to provide better service to my clients!
I made it through my first year in business!!
Lean on me
This is where I get mushy – saving the best for last. There is no doubt that without these two people, I couldn’t have made it through my first year of business. They have both shared in my successes, called me out, wiped my tears, have supported me unconditionally and let me lean on them whenever needed!
My husband, Kenneth - There has been a ton of sacrifice over the last year. I still have a demanding full-time job while trying to grow OUR business. This business bleeds into most of my "personal" time, which means Kenneth waits on me. He is the reason why I learned I’m not everyone’s cup of tea. We don’t work for minimum wage in the Hair household - you either pay us what we're worth, or we're not working for you. On a long evening of working on my business, he checks in, “are you almost finished?” To which I reply that I’ll only be 15 more minutes. He knows that’s more like 2 hours. This business plays a much bigger part of our future.
I love you, Kenneth. Thanks for being my “bess fren,” loving me and supporting my dream.
April – Not only do we work full-time together, but she’s also what I like to call my "Board of Director." She will be the first job offer Kenneth and I make once we grow. Many of our lunch dates are brainstorming and business planning. Thanks for not only being my work BFF but also a dear friend. Eventually, you’ll get a check, but for now, it’s sporadic lunches and inappropriate memes.
My first year in business was a success. That was longer than I expected, so that's all folks!
Cheers to year two!
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