If nothing else was to be said about 2020 and the wedding industry, overwhelming might be the best word. From not knowing what is coming next to a complete change in our ‘normal’ way of doing things, this past year took a toll on us all but was especially taxing for solopreneurs. Solopreneurs are subtly distinct from entrepreneurs in that they found and run their businesses all on their own. They work independently as both founders and employees with a single business focus. We've rounded up a few things that will be important to note moving into this new year as client requests leftover from last year pile up and things potentially become busier than before.
Being A Solopreneur
Many wedding pros took on being solopreneurs because they didn’t like the corporate grind. They wanted to become their own bosses. While this is all awesome in good times – you have to take the good with the bad. The old-time terms 'Chief Cook' and 'Bottle Washer' meant they did it all. All of the projects and responsibilities fell onto the shoulders of the boss. Since then, technology and social media have evolved, changing how solopreneurs do business, and Aisle Planner has led the way with incredible tools to help streamline workflow.
Success Starts With A Plan
If you dive into anything without a plan, your path is sure to be filled with stress. You may find yourself often brimming with a sense of overwhelm and experiencing a lot of burnout. The first step leading to success and focus is to develop a plan for your business. Setting goals and giving yourself actionable steps will pave a smoother path. Begin the new year by reviewing your business plan, taking a good look at your workflow, and running a thorough review of your online presence is a great place to start.
Carve Out Time For You
Coming out of a stressful year, having a self-care plan is another great way to set yourself up for success. Self-care is a huge part of what makes wedding pros successful, and this year caring for yourself will be even more vital. Ask any seasoned wedding pro, and you are sure to hear stories about new, driven, talented wedding pros who dove headfirst into their business and eventually began to spiral out of control into burnout. Wedding pros whose sole focus is their business who don't include time for themselves, their family, or their relationships can easily crash and burn. Be sure to develop a plan for a better work-life balance and take care of your mental health. Burning the candle at both ends can affect you, those around you, and the quality of work you produce for your clients.
You Are Your Business
As solopreneurs, you are your business. Your name is often emblazoned on your business. The work, your brand, and everything you touch is an outward reflection of you! If the business is down, you are often down. which can have a big effect on your mental health. It is a vicious circle- is business down because we are down or vice versa?
A large part of your business plan and review should be to continuously refresh your brand presence. Does your logo reflect you and your work? What about your website and branding? Does it look like you or like the old you? Is your language more inclusive? Have you updated your content to reflect the offerings/modifications you had to make because of the pandemic? Fortunately, you are the one who determines if your brand still reflects you. Though, being a solopreneur doesn’t have to mean doing all of the work alone. There are lots of resources on inclusive language, updating your listings, and easy scheduling tools for social media that will streamline updating your presence.
There is No ‘I’ In Team
You might also want to consider outsourcing some of the tasks you dread, allowing you to work on growing and being the face of your business. Consider hiring a freelance writer to refresh your web content. They can help make your site's language more inclusive or write blog content that will generate better SEO and showcase your most recent work. If you have bookkeeping, look at hiring a part-time bookkeeper to get things organized for your accountant and tax filing.
Just because you are a solopreneur doesn’t mean you have to do it all alone!
Take Advantage of Tech
While the word ‘pivot’ might be one of the most hated words of the last year yet, our industry sure did it! To survive and meet the needs of couples, we all began offering new products and services. So, while you’re doing a website refresh, be sure to add on those new services.
Helpful tech such as Aisle Planner’s Design Studio is the perfect way to create professional-looking visuals and share them with clients and the wedding pros we work with. Put your circle of trusted pros to work for you, they can’t share your new products if they don’t know about them!
Aisle Planner is in your corner. Work smarter and not harder. With couples continuing to reschedule weddings, many for the second or third time, AP tools can make rescheduling easier. With some long-awaited updates, AP can help you streamline other tasks that were stressing even the most seasoned pros.
We’re entering a new year with a world of possibility. Take this time to create a plan and use tech to make business easier. Combine that with some time for self-love and you’ve set yourself up for success and can keep from becoming overwhelmed!