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Lessons Learned From a New Small Business Owner

As a child growing up in the United States, you are taught and encouraged to be anything and do anything that you want – essentially the options are endless. So naturally it makes sense why 543,000 new businesses get started each month in the US. The Small Business Association (SBA) states that 30% of new businesses fail during the first two years of being open, 50% during the first five years and 66% during the first 10. Why do so many small businesses close up shop within a few years? Starting a business is hard work, and there are many unknowns to encounter, even by the most researched owner. From a new entrepreneur, here are some of my lessons learned on starting a new business.

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  • Don’t underestimate the amount of time and effort that it will take to grow your business. There will be a lot of networking, marketing,  and time spent in outreach with very little or no immediate return. A new small business owner can spend hours and hours of time unpaid to build a brand and name for their business. Depending on the type of business, there can be time spent explaining what exactly your business can do for them. It might take months or years to see a return on this time and effort investment, but it will be worth it in the end if you stick with it.
  • Keep focus on your mission. Never forget why you are doing what you’re doing. My business purpose is to help other people enjoy the time that they get to spend celebrating their friends and family, rather than worrying about the details of the gathering. This is something that I have to keep in the back of my mind all the time, especially on long days working.
  • Remember that it’s the little things that count for your customers. It’s very easy to forget about the small details of interactions with clients, so keep in mind that they notice things that you might not even think of. This can even include your mood that day, whether or not you are stressed out, and even how you feel about their behavior as a client. Clients may also notice details of the work that you do for them, especially since it is their project and they are close to the work being done. Don’t cut corners without talking to the client first about the changes that are needed or it will come back to hurt your business later on.
  • Trust and respect takes time. When you’re working with new clients who don’t know you, it’s easy to think that they just know you and trust you because they hired you. Don’t forget to build-up your trust with your clients throughout the process, and always communicate, communicate, communicate.
  • Stick to your guns. If you need certain information from your client or expect something from them, make sure that your expectations are communicated and hold them to their end of the bargain. Like any relationship, business-client relationships require interaction and information sharing between parties; even the smallest details matter. If you don’t have all the information that you need to your job, you are going to be the one that ends up looking bad in the end, potentially losing business in the long run.

Thanks to https://www.forbes.com/sites/jasonnazar/2013/09/09/16-surprising-statistics-about-small-businesses/#21d8a8695ec8 for providing the total number of businesses that open each month and to https://www.investopedia.com/slide-show/top-6-reasons-new-businesses-fail/ for providing the SBA statistics on percentages of business failing.

Facing the Stress of an Event with a Smile

Face it – events can be stressful, from large professional conferences down to small gatherings like dinner parties. Even the most experienced and trained event planners feel the pressures that come from putting on a well-organized, fun, and entertaining event. So how do event planners survive without pulling out their hair? Especially with planning more than one event at a time? A good event planner knows that every occasion planned should include back ups for every major component. Event planners typically check in with the major vendors several times prior to the event to create a rapport and relationship, building confidence that the services promised will be provided. Event planners also understand the power of stress relief, by taking time for their own friends and family, doing things they love, and getting pampered on a regular basis.

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Here are a few tips to help you:

  • Get organized with lists and plan as early as possible
  • Keep things as simple as you can – don’t over do the minor details that may go unnoticed
  • Create back up plans for the major components of your event, like food, decor, location, and music
  • Plan on having an emergency kit or quick access to emergency items – see http://exhilarateevents.com/2014/07/02/the-ultimate-event-planning-emergency-kit/ for examples of items in an emergency kit

And most importantly…..hire an event planner to handle all or even parts of the event! Find out more information on how we can help make your event a stress-free experience by filling out the Contact page!

 

 

To Drink, or not to Drink

If you are planning an event or considering planning an event, the question will come up – to serve alcohol or not. Here are some of the pros and cons to consider.

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Pros:

  • Alcohol helps people to relax and be friendly with each other. At most events, people don’t know each other, and liquor helps the conversations to flow and reduce the amount of uncomfortable silence in the room.
  • In some cases and at some types of events, it is expected to have some sort of alcoholic beverage.
  • You can say a lot when you propose a toast that you typically might not be able to say to the guests typically.

Cons:

  • Alcohol, bartenders, insurance, and possibly licenses can add a lot of cost to an event.
  • Too much can be a bad thing and add drama, stress, fights, property damage, etc.

Most corporate events do not serve alcohol until the networking or after hours. Most weddings do serve alcohol at the reception. However, your event can and should be what you want it to be. Feel free to decide what is best for you, even if others encourage you to go against your wishes.

Reasons You Need an Event Planner

Let’s say you have a big stressful project dumped on you at work – what would you do? Typically, you would work to break it down piece by piece, figure out how much time you have to complete the pieces, add more people, or get more money to add more people. Right?

In order to pull off a successful event, you need to look at it somewhat like a project with a plan, tasks, and schedule. An event planner is your experienced, star resource. Someone who is excited about your event, prepared for anything, and willing to be your right hand.

Below is a list of reasons you should consider hiring an event planner:

  1. Experience – We’ve been there, done that, we know what can and likely will happen because we have experienced it before. We know what to plan for and what items need more attention than others.
  2. Stress – Events can be very stressful. An event planner can take some or all of that off you by putting together all the details and helping you plan for what might come up.
  3. Plan/Task list – An event planner will put together a list of tasks for you that either you or they can execute. We plan it out in detail, so you don’t have to remember what to include in your event.
  4. Vendor discounts – We know what vendors typically charge and can negotiate based on business relationships or price matching.
  5. Day of – You should have the opportunity to have fun at the event, but typically you are dealing with and stressing over making sure the event is going well for the guests. An event planner can handle all of the components of the event day so you have the best experience.
  6. Design/Decor/Ideas – An event planner is a wealth of creativity. We know the latest trends and how to put together a classy event on a budget.
  7. Budget – Most people think “expense” when they think about an event planner, but a good event planner can actually help decrease costs, stick to a tight budget, and improve the quality of the event.

We offer a wide range of services to help you make the most of your event. Check out our services page for more details!