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.




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Jeff Padovani

Jeff Padovani is a professional musician, wedding business marketing strategist and resident wise ass at Book More Brides. He’s the “big ideas” mastermind behind the many business ventures (and misadventures!) he enjoys with his wife, Stephanie.

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0 thoughts on “Shut Up and Fix Your Wedding Business Already!”

  1. Anonymous says:

    It’s a lot easier said than done to say just shut up and fix it. You can’t fix what’s not broken. What’s broken is today’s cheap brides thinking they should have it all because it’s their wedding, yet they don’t want to pay for any of it. Maybe if there were not 2,916,555 vendors in each category, of which 2,916,001 will be out of business in the next 5 years, things wouldn’t be so bad? If I’m to step forward and take charge maybe I should actually step backwards and take out a few more of the competition? The DIY brides are the other 1/2 of the equation and there is no stopping them. They know it all and think Aunt Betty can solve all their problems. I have a better description for the DIY bride, she’s clueless as to what her DIY mentality is actually going to cost her when her cake falls over, her caterer doesn’t prepare the right hotdogs for her guests and years down the road she wonders why her pictures suck. Yep, saving that dollar is sure worth it. As for fixing my biz I’m on top of it. You wedding folks can have it. After 12 years I’m done competing with the cheap guys and answering the tired question, how much does it cost?

    1. Jeff Padovani says:

      Bob, thanks for proving my point!
      It would appear that your focus is on “cheap brides who want it all”.
      Maybe that’s your problem. What you focus on is what you get. There will never be a shortage of people to blame when things aren’t working out with our biz. In the end it all comes down to you.
      Hows that working for you? Seriously, I’m not just trying to bust your chops. There will always be competition and customers we prefer not to work with. This doesn’t seem to get in the way for many who target the market they want and create an offer that is truly unique.
      You say “you can’t fix whats not broken”.
      If your business is suffering than something is seriously broken.
      Do yourself a favor and stop blaming the economy, brides (fill in the blank..) and get honest with yourself and fix whats NOT working..or don’t and let some outside force choose your destiny.
      Good luck either way!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I like this blog. It is concise and to the point. We as business owners must step up and be responsible for what is “OURS” and that is our business!

    Re-evaluating your business plan is an ongoing process. What worked 6 months ago may not work today. That is why your business and marketing plans are “LIVING Documents” they will forever be changing.

    Keep progress moving forward, it is an investment but well worth the time!

  3. Anonymous says:

    I like “write it down”. It really get you thinking about your business… what is working, what is not working. I’ve learned its even better to re-visit this often. For example, what worked last month, what didn’t and make adjustments as needed. The most successful businesses constantly evaluate their performance and make improvements. I encourage every business to do the same.

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