This episode references other episodes of the Wedding Pro CEO Podcast. We have them linked as needed.
[00:00:00] Brandee: Hey there, CEOs. Welcome back to today’s Thursday short of the Wedding Pro CEO Podcast. I’m your host, Brandee Gaar, and as always, I am on a mission to help you, the wedding industry entrepreneur, to build a profitable business that you love, one that pays you a full-time salary and doesn’t require your constant oversight.
[00:00:21] Brandee: Today is December 1st, and we are officially in the last month of 2022, and there’s a few things that I want to help you do before we ring in the new year. There’s actually five specific things that I want you to make sure that you do before January 1st comes, because I want to make sure that you’re set up for success in 2023.
[00:00:41] Brandee: the first thing I want you to do in your wedding business is to finalize your budget. Back in episode 133, I talked with Danielle Hayden from Kickstart Accounting. Kickstart Accounting is a great partner of the Wedding Pro Podcast.
[00:00:54] Brandee: I used them for all of my businesses. I love Kickstart Accounting, I had Danielle on the podcast and we [00:01:00] talked all about what a healthy. Business looks like from a financial perspective, how much you should be spending in each of the categories on your business, things you need to consider and how to make a budget if you have not already made a budget for your business for 2023.
For more on making a budget listen to Episode 133
[00:01:16] Brandee: I will tell you to run a successful business that pays you a salary and has a profit and runs without you. You must have a budget! You must have a budget. So I want you to go back and listen to episode 133 of the Wedding Pro CEO Podcast and listen to Danielle and I break down every single category of your budget.
[00:01:38] Brandee: We also have a freebie in that episode as well that Danielle gives out to track all of your expenses. go and listen to that episode and one quick note, make sure that when you are budgeting for next year that you have continuing education courses, conferences, included in your budget. Maybe like the Wedding Pro CEO Summit that’s happening June 5th through eighth, [00:02:00] 2023 in Orlando, Florida.
[00:02:02] Brandee: You definitely want to be there. It is the can’t miss event of the year, so, okay, point number one. Finalize your budget. Make your budget for 2023.
[00:02:10] Brandee: Number two is raise your prices!
[00:02:12] Brandee: Normally I wouldn’t just say, okay, go raise your prices. Like everyone has to do it, but y’all. Inflation! Okay? Like when it becomes $6 for a gallon of milk or $5 for a gallon of gas, like wow! Prices have gone up so much, and the wedding industry sadly, is not following along.
[00:02:30] Brandee: We feel like, oh no, we can’t charge our clients more. But guess what? Everything is more expensive. Your cost of living is more expensive. It’s going to cost you more to have a team. All of your supplies for your events are costing you more, and so your prices need to follow along. Okay, so I am suggesting to all of my Mastermind students to raise their prices by 20%.
[00:02:52] Brandee: I did this as well as a business owner. In my planning company, blush, we raised all of our prices across the board by 20% this [00:03:00] year because we really are just trying to cover for our cost increases.
[00:03:04] Brandee: I would tell you to take a nice hard look at your packages, and really see what costs have gone up for you this year. Are there costs that have really. I know that there are because of inflation, and so it’s really important for you to look at your package prices to make sure that they’re profitable and to raise those prices right here before 2023, because what you don’t want to do is sell half your year or more at your old pricing and then raise your prices later.
[00:03:30] Brandee: No, go ahead and raise them now so that you’re selling the bulk of 2023 or at least the fall of it at your new pricing.
[00:03:38] Brandee: Now back on episode 153, I talk all about pricing and how to know if your packages are profitable. So if you’re looking for an episode, to dig a little bit deeper into this, if this is an area where you know you need to go back and do a little checkup from the neck up before we ring in the new year, go back and listen to episode 153 of the Wedding Pro CEO Podcast and I’ll [00:04:00] walk you through exactly how to know if your packages are profitable and how much.
For more on appropriate pricing listen to Episode 153
[00:04:04] Brandee: Okay. Number three. We’re halfway through. Okay, so number three is going to be to. Boundaries and take back your time. Now, I know you guys are like, okay, Brandee, that sounds so great and all, but it’s really difficult to do that, and I totally understand. I’ve been there. But here’s what I want you to understand.
[00:04:23] Brandee: No one steals your time. Your clients aren’t stealing your time from you, they’re not taking advantage of you. You’re allowing them to have that time by not setting proper boundaries in advance. I really want you to look at next year and think, what do I want my year to look like?
[00:04:41] Brandee: I always suggest that you take Mondays off as a CEO day. So yes, you’re not necessarily like sitting on the couch eating Bon-bons, but I never do any client facing meetings on a Monday because I really want to be able to work for my couch on administrative things because I’m having a wedding [00:05:00] hangover from the weekend.
[00:05:00] Brandee: I’m exhausted from the weekend and this is my day to know that I have to catch up on my inbox to schedule out the rest of my week to make appointments, confirm appointments, anything you need to catch up on, and then also to do that CEO work. And so I really want you to think about. What do I want my weeks to look like next year?
[00:05:19] Brandee: And set those boundaries hard and fast. Now, Write yourself a note and a promise to yourself even that you’re going to maybe not take any client facing meetings on Mondays and Fridays.
[00:05:29] Brandee: That’s how my schedule works. That allows me an office day to catch up from the week to make sure that I’m able to catch up on my inbox, that my emails are answered, so that over the weekend and on Sunday, I don’t feel super stressed that I haven’t answered emails for so long. Now, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, my days become very, very, Full, because I stack client meetings right back to back or Zoom calls back to back.
[00:05:52] Brandee: But the nice thing about that is that I book into my week on Mondays and Fridays as purely admin days, and I don’t have these just like little pockets of admin [00:06:00] time in between meetings because that’s not really that efficient to work.
[00:06:03] Brandee: If you’re looking to deep dive into this topic and really how to understand how to maximize your time and get back your time, I’m going to encourage you to go listen to Short 36 of the Wedding Pro CEO Podcast. I talk all about time management and how to maximize your time and grow your revenue.
[00:06:21] Brandee: That’s so important as a business owner, I don’t want you to just get time back so that you can eat Bon-bons. No, I want you to get time back so that you have a fulfilled life, that you are spending time with your family, but that you’re also really focusing on revenue generating tasks. And so it’s really important that you focus on what those boundaries are going to look like.
For more on time management listen to Short 36
[00:06:40] Brandee: So goal is into short 36, and it’ll walk you through a deep dive on exactly how to maximize your time and to grow your revenue.
[00:06:48] Brandee: Okay, are you guys ready for number four? This one’s actually the simplest of all of them, but when I say run, do not walk, like run to your computer and go do this right now [00:07:00] if you haven’t already. Cuz I’ve talked about it so much on the show. But number four is to apply for the employee retention tax credit.
[00:07:07] Brandee: This is the most important thing you will do in 2022. If you have any W2 employees, and you were impacted by the pandemic, which, hello, we’re in the wedding industry. If you had any W2 employees between 2020 and now, then you will qualify for the employee retention tax credit, and it’s a tax credit given by the government,
[00:07:29] Brandee: up to $26,000 per employee that you have on your books, and they’re giving it back to business owners as a tax credit for saying Thank you for keeping your employees. Thank you for having employees. Thank you for making it through the pandemic. All you have to do is click the link in the show notes below.
[00:07:47] Brandee: We’re going to put it in the show notes right here for you to click. It takes two minutes to fill out the application, and then someone from the ERTC team is going to get back with you and they’re going to ask you a few questions, [00:08:00] ask you to submit very simple payroll reports that you can run yourself, I promise you, and they’ll even show you how to do it.
[00:08:06] Brandee: And then they’re going to tell you how much you’re going to get back. You guys, the number of wedding pros that I have sent to go get their ERTC, and they’re coming to me like, Brandee, thank you so much. I’ve gotten tens of thousands of dollars, like some of them are 50, 60, $70,000 that they’re getting back, and I absolutely love hearing this.
For more on the ERTC listen to Episode 157
Sign up with the ERTC Wedding Pro CEO Podcast special link and see what your company will qualify for!! CLICK HERE!!!
[00:08:25] Brandee: I’ve made it a mission of mine to tell as many people as I can. if you want to understand a little bit more about it, if you’re like Brandee, I want to understand before I go just apply for this, go back and listen to episode 1 57 I had Sunshine Chapman on the show.
[00:08:39] Brandee: She’s the owner of ERC provider, the company that.
[00:08:42] Brandee: I used to file our ERC and I absolutely love working with Sunshine and her husband and her company and they handle absolutely everything for you. It’s all electronic. It’s so simple. I want to say we spent less than 30 minutes gathering all of the information they needed to apply for this tax credit for us, [00:09:00] and it was so, so simple. I Promise you guys, this is not too good to be true. It is free money next year for business owners, so please go get it. Who couldn’t use an extra $10,000 or more to run their business next year?
[00:09:12] Brandee: Okay, the last one, number five. Super, super simple. But this might be the most important one, and this is because we’re in engagement season. It is selling time. You guys, we are selling contracts as fast as we can write them, hopefully, and that is a great thing. But have you looked to see what your customer journey is like from when they.
[00:09:35] Brandee: First interact with you until they pay you money. What is that journey like? Is it difficult on your website? Is it hard to go from your Instagram to your website? Is it hard to book a consult with you? Is it hard to communicate with you? Do you have easy follow-ups? All of these things I really want you to audit.
[00:09:52] Brandee: I want you to either yourself or ask a friend, a friend who doesn’t even know the wedding industry, just say, could, you try to [00:10:00] figure out how to book a consult with me, just ask them to do that and see if they can go on your Instagram and figure out how to get to a consult or go on your website and figure out how to book a consult. Can you do this for me? It’ll only take a few minutes. Let me know if you hit any stumbling blocks or if anything was confusing.
[00:10:15] Brandee: Because what we want to do is we don’t want to lose leads into a leaky hole in our funnel. We want to make sure that we’re able to get those leads smoothly right from the top of our funnel all the way down to booking with us.
[00:10:28] Brandee: Now I feel like one of my most listened to podcasts, certainly the one that has caused the most interesting conversation is short 42, which I just did recently, all about auditing your sales funnel. So if this is a place where you still need to do this before 2023, go back and listen to short 42 and listen to exactly how I tell you to audit your sales funnel from beginning to booking with you
[00:10:54] Brandee: I want you to have the very best engagement season that you could possibly have.
For more on auditing your funnels listen to Short 42
[00:10:58] Brandee: Okay, you guys, that is [00:11:00] all five of the things I think you need to do before we ring in the new year.
[00:11:03] Brandee: Don’t get overwhelmed by this episode. If you hear it and you’re like, I need to do all five of those, listen. I gave you an episode on my podcast for each one of them to go really deep dive. Don’t feel like I’m just saying like, go do this, but not giving you any instruction. No, I’m giving you all the resources to go do all five of these things and maybe just pick two of them that you’re like, yeah, these are the two that I really need to focus on before 2023 comes, go back and listen to those episodes and really do those things that I talked about in the podcast because I’m telling you, if you can preplan and set yourself up for a great 2023, it will make things so much easier. When you go to start booking and you go to start getting back into busy season, it’s going to be so, so helpful to you.
[00:11:50] Brandee: thank you so much for being here every single week. I cannot even tell you how much I appreciate you being here and letting me come into your AirPods or into your [00:12:00] cars stereo every single week. Is car stereo even like a real thing anymore? Do I sound like I’m a hundred years old when I say car stereo?
[00:12:07] Brandee: I don’t know if that’s what they’re still called, but anywho.
[00:12:10] Brandee: I would love it so much. If you would take just a second to review this podcast wherever you’re listening to it on Spotify, Apple Podcast. Wherever you’re listening to this episode, take just a second to review the podcast.
[00:12:23] Brandee: When we see your reviews come in, it helps us so much to know what episodes are resonating, what we should make more content of, maybe what we shouldn’t make content of, but we always love hearing those reviews from you, and it helps us so much to create content that’s really helping you to move the needle forward and building a profitable business that you’ve always dreamed of.
[00:12:45] Brandee: You guys, thank you so much for being here, and I will see you next time.
Cheers to a brand new and prepared for 2023!!
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I help creative business owners sustainably scale their business so they can create a thriving career and work-life balance.
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I have experience speaking at both live and virtual events, educating creative and wedding entrepreneurs how to step into their role as CEO. If you're looking for speakers for your next conference, workshop, event, or the next guest for your podcast, I'd love to see how we can collaborate!
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