In the wedding industry, our first quarter almost always starts out more slowly as far as actual weddings are concerned, which makes it a great time to look at our bookings, evaluate how the year is shaping up, and make adjustments to our marketing as necessary. With good periodic tracking of our year-over-year numbers and of our progress toward current year goals (you do have written goals, right??), we can always be aware of when additional marketing may be necessary.
If you are behind on your bookings, the question always is, “what can I do?” Many business owners look at how they can cut costs – and although sometimes a little cost-cutting is necessary, usually doing “response” cost cutting can hurt your business more than help. Instead, I think that you should look at it the other way – what more can I be doing? The first thing I recommend is to evaluate your booking cycle (how far out couples book you, and others doing what you do). Based on your booking cycle, you can determine if more bookings could be coming for this year, and/or if there are possibilities for getting what might be considered, to you, last-minute bookings.
Then, here are some ideas –
* Look for upcoming wedding shows.
* Put the word out to colleagues that you have availability for last-minute bookings and that you are able to assist on weddings where they need help.
* Reach out to past couples to get more reviews.
* Improve your website’s SEO with fresh content (including blog posts and testimonials).
* Place a new ad or listing on a site or in a publication that targets your ideal client.
Even if you don’t generate the additional business you would like for this year, these activities should definitely improve your future bookings, and thus are a better way to go for your business than just focusing on cost-cutting.