I am excited to let you know that the July issue of the Wedding Business Magazine for 2018, Work, Life, Balance, has now been published. There are some great features for this issue. Here is my latest contribution.
When starting up a wedding business, there can be a range of benefits that will bring you a great sense of achievement, but unsurprisingly there can be obstacles along the way. The obvious obstacles can include raising finance, hiring the right team members, underestimating costs, etc. but one of your biggest challenges – often cited as one of the main reasons to set up a business – is to learn that you have the added task of finding a good work-life blend. You can often find, especially when starting-up, that your work is consuming all your time.
With first-hand knowledge and experience of working in the wedding industry, I understand that to build successful relationships with couples it requires a lot of time, dedication, attention to detail, effort and emotion – after all this is often one of the biggest days in your client’s life. That said, it’s not an impossible feat to find a sensible #WedLife balance.
When working with venue owners or vendors, I help them to understand that it is often their own attitude, behaviour and self-induced pressure they put on themselves to succeed, which can prove unproductive. I help them to re-think the way in which the work needs to be done, by whom and when. I help them to identify tasks that are taking up unnecessary time – time that could be better utilised, so resulting in a better marriage between the demands of their work and other aspects of their lives.
For me, work-life balance is about identifying how to benefit from a more imaginative, different approach to working practices. It’s about being flexible to meet the demands of your work and home life. For instance, sometimes, when working at home, I take time-out to pop to the shops, or when the sun is shining enjoy sitting down with my husband for a spot of lunch or to run an errand, like picking up his Landy from the garage. So, when I have a deadline, and I need to work late – it is give and take.
When working with clients I work face-to-face to explore their challenges and look to identify pockets of time. To find a satisfactory balance, we have a loosely structured discussion with some soul-searching questions that might include:
– Do they believe in the value of work-life balance?
– Do they perceive work-life balance to be beneficial to their business?
– What are the barriers that are making it difficult for them to take time out of their work?
– What tasks are they not so good at, or perhaps quite good at, but in all honestly, believe someone could probably do far better?
– Is there a better time in the day or week when certain tasks could be scheduled?
– How long does each routine task take?
– If they have a team, are they experiencing high staff turnover and, if so, why do they believe this is happening?
– Could any of these routine tasks be delegated and if so to what type of person?
– Could routine tasks be grouped together and, perhaps, become one person’s part-time or full-time job?
– What routines or templates could be put in place to help the team be more effective?
– Within the existing team, who has which strengths and who would relish taking on specific responsibilities?
– Or if the client doesn’t have a team, is there someone within their network that they could entrust to do the task or tasks?
– What changes could be made to improve the quality of their venue or service?
– What changes could be instigated to increase sales or their profit margin?
However, one of the biggest challenges I face during the question and answer time is that, often, the wedding business owner does not want to let go. In their words, they “can’t trust anyone, as it is the client that has booked me, my eye, my creative ideas”. I assure them that this is not the outcome we want to achieve, but depending on their answers, we will try to identify routines that could be delegated. In fact, during the process, we seek ways to give the owner, more time to be creative or more time to do the things that inspire them.
Once we have identified any tasks that could be positively delegated, then we start work on possible solutions. One-by-one. We also assess how long each task should take, what will be the impact on the member of the team and therefore, what training, equipment or additional support might they need to successfully take on the new responsibilities.
Remember, as a business owner, you are the creative, the visionary and the entrepreneur. To prevent you from becoming a workaholic dragged down by the details, be aware that you don’t also have to be the bookkeeper, the office cleaner, pick up every call and answer every email or be the social media guru. I firmly believe it is important to make time for the things that help make you who you are. I regularly go to keep fit and spend time with my friends (as they make me laugh) and as a weekend worker, I ‘book’ days-off to spend quality time with my husband, working in our wildlife garden – after all why wouldn’t I want to spend time with my number one fan?
So, start thinking about what aspects of your job you love and what bits you could divorce yourself from. That way you will naturally start to blend your #WedWork and #HomeLife!
If you would like to read more – http://www.weddingacademyglobal.com/the-wedding-business-magazine-july-2018/ or to regularly subscribe https://weddingacademy.lpages.co/wedding-business-magazine/