StressedLately I’ve heard a lot of pessimism in the wedding industry, a lot of hand wringing about shrinking wedding budgets, the DIY trend, unfair expectations set up by the bridal media.  Yadda, yadda, blah, blah.

I get it.  It’s tough out there.  According to the Wedding Report, average US wedding expenses dropped 32% from 2007 to 2009.  That truly sucks.

At some point it’s time to stop being a victim and take full responsibility for the success and failure of your business. 

It’s not empowering to blame your failure on an outside force.  Maybe it’s easier, but in the end it says you have no control.  And you DO have control.

In fact, things are getting better.  The average wedding expense went UP by 23% in 2010 over the previous year.  Couples are still spending money.  People are still booking weddings.  There are plenty of vendors who are absolutely crushing it.

Why aren’t you?

Let’s do an assessment of where you are at RIGHT NOW

  1. Pull out a sheet of paper and make two columns. 
  2. Label one column “Working” and the other “Not Working.”
  3. In the Working column, list everything that is working in your business, all the aspects of your business that you are happy with.
  4. In the Not Working column, write down everything that isn’t working.

Be painfully honest with yourself about your business.  Blowing sunshine up your own ass is deadly.

If your customers love your work, if you get great testimonials, if your closing rate is 70%, write it down.

If your sales are down, if your website sucks, if your phone isn’t ringing, write it down.

My goal is not to drive you to suicide; it’s to help you get real.

Now it’s time to take action.

Action #1 – Start with doubling down on what’s already working.

If you’re getting leads from a certain source, maybe you need to invest more that source to get more leads from it.  If face to face networking gets you work, you need to do more of it.

Action #2 – For what’s not working, find someone who has it down and find out what they’re doing so that you can model it.

Success leaves clues.  If someone has a great website that gets leads, ask them who designed it.  Look at their offer.  What can you learn from it?

It’s much easier to model success that it is to make it up from scratch.  Find someone who has what you want and learn from them.

The bottom line: if you have any talent at what you do, you CAN succeed in your business; you just need to use the tools you have available today to find success with the new brides in the new economy. 

Things are not going back to the way they were.  Wake up, get your act together, make a plan and move forward…or dig a hole and climb in it.

Either way, complaining without a plan of action is just bitching, and nobody wants to hear you bitch.