If you’re lucky enough to run a successful events business, and you’ve capped out, with no way to earn more money or accept more clients with your current team and services, it may well be time to grow!
Just wanting more isn’t enough to take a leap, however. You need to make sure most or all of the signs indicating growth-readiness are there. These signs include:
1. Your happy clients say, “Man, we wished you also provided X product or Y service.” This indicates that there is a further need you can fill and that you have primed a receptive audience. This was one of the important ways that we knew we were ready to grow.
2. You have developed methods and adopted protocols to use your time and resources wisely.
3. Your team is fully booked with no reasonable way to accept more business in the manner that you currently provide it. If you’re turning away as much or more business as you are taking, it might be time to add more operators and train more staff to handle your billable functions.
4. Your current clients are happy and delivering consistently positive feedback.
5. You have conducted market research and have discovered an absence of an in-demand service that you and your team are qualified to fill. The events industry is ever-evolving, and there is always something new that it is in high demand. If you have the right people to provide the product or service, consider expansion to fulfill that demand.
6. You have the details under control. If you are regularly apologizing for dropped details or mistakes, your company is not ready to grow.
7. Your current business is adequately meeting your financial goals and you have both the time and monetary resources to launch another or invest in more staff, equipment and promotion. If you’re already struggling, picking up additional responsibility isn’t wise. Make sure you are “safe” in your current operations before considering adding more financial burdens.
8. You have developed a sound plan for implementing your changes, complete with research, forecasts, opportunities and goals. Planning takes a lot of the risk out of expansion, so take the time to do your homework.
9. Your team in supportive, available, fully-equipped and trained. Don’t allow your well-oiled machine to fall apart because everyone is on a different page. You’re going to need the support of your best people in order to take your next steps, so spend time in reflection with your staff to ensure everyone is ready.
10. You have chosen a path that is in “your lane” – if you’re a DJ, for example, you haven’t decided to launch into floral design unless you truly have the skills and experience to support that decision.
If you recognize your business in most or all of these signs of readiness, now is a great time for you to launch your plans to grow.
Kevin Dennis is the editor of WeddingIQ and the owner of Fantasy Sound Event Services, a full-service event company based in Livermore, Calif. He is the current chapter president for Silicon Valley NACE and a previous national president for WIPA.