Recently, I spent two days at The Simple Plan, a business planning workshop for entrepreneurs in the wedding industry. This event was led by two incredibly intelligent and savvy women: Kelly Simants and Michelle Loretta. One of the main reasons I signed up for this was to better understand my financials and numbers I needed to continue running Keestone Events. I spent so much of 2013 immersed with weddings and birthdays that it was imperative that a portion of 2014 be dedicated to running a better and smarter operation.
Before attending this workshop, I had already created a business plan. It was about five pages and I thought it was decent…until I realized how much more I had yet to cover and the updated 2014 business plan is now 17 pages. Yikes.
We now have a new mission statement: Keestone Events provides creative solutions to events with warmth and efficiency while having fun. We also have updated core values which I truly want the whole company to be enveloped by.
Two things really hit home. I already keep track of expenses but finding out how much I have to spend each month was daunting. The second was the number I needed to make a year just to keep KE running. As much as I wanted to avoid the financial sheets – they were SO intimidating to look at, much less think about- it was necessary to look long and hard at those numbers.
This in turn really helped me establish and validate the prices I set for packages. One of the hardest things is when couples think it is okay to negotiate prices that are already set and try to haggle down to a budget they have in mind. I charge what I do because it is what I make a living out of, and what is needed to run KE. Almost everything I make goes right back into the company as I pride myself on continuously trying to improve with better tools and resources to make life easier for the client and ultimately deliver something that everyone is more than happy with. I am excited to share this with clients who understand this concept and who possess the same vision and philosophy!
An unexpected surprise happened towards the end of the workshop. There was a raffle for a Year Designer by the ridiculously talented Whitney English. When the drawing occurred, I didn’t look up since I wanted to finalize my mission statement and secondly, I have never won a raffle in my life (although I have participated in quite a few) and expected the same outcome. To my complete shock and delight, I won! Check out this beauty below.
I’ve been using this for the past three weeks and it has been amazing. It is so fulfilling to see goals being checked off and I honestly can’t wait to get that giant swell of satisfaction towards the end of the year when I flip back through the pages!
I am thankful that I was able to learn so much within such a short period of time, and meet so many like minded, and brilliant individuals. There are so many within this group that I admire as they are phenomenally gifted and I look forward to seeing where we all go with what we’ve learned in The Simple Plan!