Resources & Links:
Amy Porterfield podcast with Jennifer Allwood
Jennifer's Book, Fear is not the Boss of YOU
Your Guide for this episode Future Proofing Your Wedding Business
Future Proof your Wedding Business
Starting a podcast in the midst of a pandemic was not my plan, but I had a timeline and I wanted to stick to it. I'd be remiss if I didn't address the stonking great elephant that's hanging over us all today. I know that it's had an effect on many of us whether we've had symptoms ourselves or know someone who has. It is devastating the whole world, it's scary and I get it, but to paraphrase King Solomon ''this too shall pass.'' When it does I hope and pray that you and your loved ones come out of it safe and healthy.
What I want to do today is focus on what we can do now to ensure that if anything like this ever happens again, we are personally in a better financial place with our wedding business. In the hope our finances won't contribute to the uncertainty and fear of the situation we find ourselves in. It doesn't have to be a pandemic that causes us financial strife. If you're a two-income household and the other income suddenly disappears could your business support your family on its own? If it can, great you probably don't need this episode, but if it wouldn't or if you're concerned that another pandemic level experience might cause your business to come to an end, listen on.
There has been a lot of talk about pivoting but I don't think we need to pivot our businesses so much as expand them. We need to create a safety net. When somebody says pivot to me, I think about going in a different direction and heading for it. For a lot of wedding vendors, we can't take our businesses online like the fitness experts or the dancers are. We need to be face to face with our bride and grooms. We need to expand our wedding businesses and look at creating a safety net.
I listened to a podcast with the lovely Jennifer Allwood. She released her book this month called ‘Fear Is Not The Boss of You’. I got it on Audible, I highly recommend it. In the podcast, she talks about generating multiple revenue streams. I believe, as wedding vendors, that's what we need to do right now.
Expand your Offering beyond your Wedding Business
So how can we do that? What we need to do is expand our offering, for example, if you're a photographer how about creating a short DSLR course to sell on your site. You could do the basic course and then create other courses to add in like editing and lighting etc. These could be sold in the background and this doesn't have to just happen now and then go away when business picks back up. So many businesses can do this. Look at your trade what could you turn into a tutorial or a short course that you could sell on your site? If you're a celebrant you could create printables for couples, such as ‘the top 10 ideas for bohemian wedding ceremonies that you haven't thought of’, or ‘the 7 most popular wedding traditions to use in your ceremony’.
Use your expertise to create something useful that you can sell that doesn't require your physical presence. You can aim things at couples or you can aim them at hobbyists in your trade or profession.
Another example for the wedding stationers you could do a tutorial on how the die cutting machine works or how you could do different things with a die cutter. There are people at home right now that are looking for new hobbies or looking to extend their skills in a hobby. This doesn't mean that they going to be coming after your trade once this is all done but it means that they get up skill at their level and we can help them do that. I've created a free guide with this episode that you can download that will guide you through the steps to discover what offerings you might have. We've already discussed courses, you can do workshops (live or on-demand) or you can create physical or digital products.
These are what I call sources of personal revenue. For example, a photographer might be really into landscape photography they could produce greetings cards with those images on and sell them through Etsy.
Not only can you create these personal revenue sources which are the number one priority to expanding your wedding business offering, but there are some third-party revenue options too. You can look into affiliate marketing. Perhaps someone has created a course that aligns with you or with your audience. See if you can become an affiliate for it. You can often get paid up to 50% of the course costs and it takes a minimal effort on your part compared to the effort required of creating a course of your own.
You could also look at sponsored content if you have a well-read blog, a YouTube channel or a podcast. You can create a piece of content on a product that a company pays you to talk about e.g the perfect DSLR for hobbyists or the best cake moulds that produce professional results. With third-party revenue, I would issue a caution, don’t just back whoever offers you the most money. You have built an audience and they have a certain level of trust in you. If you start to push things that don't align with your business, or things you don't believe in, your audience will know and they'll walk away. Be authentically you in everything that you do and you will just increase their trust in you.
Your other skills
Looking for other revenue streams or creating what you need for other revenue streams takes time but we have some of that right now so use it. If you're struggling to think of ideas related to your wedding trade perhaps look at hobbies, things that you do, skills that you have that you could share with people online. The idea is to create extra sources of income that flow into an account separate from your regular business income accounts. These revenue streams are your safety net income. They should be left to build up until you have at least six months minimum for your financial requirements. Once you've got six months look to increase it to twelve. Then look to increase it to another twelve to make it more comfortable than the bare minimum.
It will take time, yes and we should all have a safety net already, we all know the saying, ‘the best time to plant an oak tree was 20 years ago but the second-best time is today’. So start today get those extra streams flowing and then when we come out on the other side of this pandemic these revenue streams are set. They're there and you can let them build up creating that safety net.