Stick to your ‘rules’
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5 easy ways to recession-proof your wedding business
Think about this...when couples are tightening their belts, if you keep doing what you’ve always been doing, you’ll achieve what you’ve always achieved. In a sea of wedding vendors are you doing your best with your business development or are you becoming too complacent? Here are some tips for your wedding business during this time:
Saying “no”—it may seem odd to say “no” to customers during a time of economic downturn but let me explain, say you have Bride A and Bride B...Bride A seems delighted with your “sales pitch” or with your merchandise, she returns to you more than once, bringing her friend/relative with her. She is a medium-to-high-budget spender and after the wedding, calls you up to say how very pleased she was with your service.
Then you have Bride B, another medium-to-high-budget spender just like Bride A, however, she seems to be picking your quotation apart, deleting this and not wanting that. She doesn’t seem too satisfied either during the sales process or afterwards. She acts as though she’s “settling” for your service. In fact, what you probably found yourself doing was constantly spending time reworking quotations, meeting with her and taking her calls. Bride B is costing you more of your time (and time is money!) in the long-term.
Depending on your type of business, perhaps it’s better to encourage more of the Bride A-types than the Bride B-types. In the long-term, those like Bride A may bring more referral business to you and will require a lot less time and effort! Now, doesn’t that sound good?
Opt for faster volume—remember that cash flow is the lifeblood of your business. Without it, you won’t be able to pay your overheads or promote your business. Put more emphasis on products which are fast sellers, even though they may be slightly lower in profit margins, you will still be able to keep enough cash coming in. Once you have customers for those faster moving products or services, then you can try selling them your other offerings as a package price or as a special offer.
Don’t let your marketing get mousey—If you aren’t being seen or heard, you are slowly fading away on the customers’ radar. Customers will not remember to get in touch with you if they are not being occasionally reminded about you through advertising. Word of mouth works too but it’s not very systematic, so it would be safe to say that you shouldn’t rely on it 100 per cent. Customers also won’t remember you if you’re not seen where they are, be it on a website like www.trinidadweddings.com, in a magazine or at a reputable event.
Maintain your focus—what makes your business tick? What makes you different from other wedding vendors? Is it your top quality or unique merchandise, your super customer service? Your fast delivery? Can you make any of these better?
Whatever your top three drivers are should be what you should focus on during tough times. After all, you don’t want customers who have a certain expectation of you to feel disappointed from ho-hum service or poor products.
Double up—Let’s face it, all marketing and promotion involve a cost. Nothing good really comes for free. This is why when you’re doing any sort of marketing or promotional activity, it’s smart to get the most bang for your buck. Feel free to ask for volume discounts or specials or bundle advertising offers, you may be surprised at what you will find!
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