Here are the 3 ways to stay on budget in your future event endeavors complete with a cheat sheet!
Dare I say, May has been the most insane month of this entrepreneurship journey thus far.... and it was completely self inflicted!! In my scramble to gain clients, build a portfolio, and make a living I signed contracts for 2 wedding day coordination, full planning services for a meet and greet and a wedding, and re-lauched a local chapter of a national networking group all while picking up as many shifts that I could get at the Tmobile Arena for income.
Even though this month was pure madness, the main takeaway is that I made it through. It was rough, exhausting, stressful and mentally challenging but I made it through! Now looking back I am so grateful for the lessons learned throughout this month of madness.
Lesson #1: time management
My time management skills are still a work in progress but working so many events and being at the arena every day I could get forced me to get serious about my work time. If I had 2 hours to work, I couldn't afford to waste 30 min of it on Facebook and reading blogs. I had my task lists for each week and reviewed them and updated nightly. And with time being so tight this month I made sure my designated work time was just that, no procrastination. I put my phone on DND and made sure to remain focused on the task at hand.
Lesson #2: financial planning
Taking on so many contracted events in May meant I received payment in the months prior and had to budget to make sure I was able to make it through the month. So my actual income for May was extremely low. Also, with most of my contracts taking place on the weekends I missed out on some major income days. I make sure to look at my projected income 3 months out to ensure I am going to meet my financial goals. So far its giving me enough time to plan to make any adjustments for compacted contracts.
Lesson #3: sales and marketing
An obvious realization I had was during the planning phases of an event the last thing I have time for is sales and marketing. Procedures need to be put in place and I need to remain strict about continuing with my sales and marketing even with an event in the works. I need to get to the point where I am working from one event to the next.
Lesson #4: outsourcing
Speaking of sales and marketing, I decided to make it a goal in the near future to hire someone, at least for a couple hours a week, to do some sales and marketing tasks. If I had someone that took care of sending out proposals, replying to emails and scheduling social media it would relieve a huge task load.
Lesson #5: overextension
I also learned to be more careful in accepting contracts, to place a limit on the amount of events per month and work toward spreading them out throughout the year. Overextension is a real thing and I definitely exceeded my limit this past month. In the future I will be tactful about the events I accept.
Overall, May was crazy, hectic, exhausting, stressful, a little out of control and a great learning experience that I needed to go through as an entrepreneur.
So next time you have a rough time ask yourself "But did you die??". Laughing but serious!
A: Regardless if you are a business, wedding or non profit organization, keep in mind your target demographic and that its 2017! A note pad with your logo is pretty irrelevant these days unless your supporters are of the Baby Boomer generation, and most of them are taking notes on their tablet or phones! Phones and tablets are undeniably a way of life and, therefore, perfect swag targets!! Try ordering logo'd phone cases one for Android and one for iPhone, logo stylus, iPad covers, stick on phone wallet, logo microfiber cloth, finger grip for phone, and logo selfie stick.
Whether technology related or not the best swag lasts longer than just the day they get it. My biggest pet peeve are those plastic coffee cups that melt in the washing machine and the paper logo on the inside of the cup gets wet and damaged even if you hand wash it. If you are on a limited budget, creative postcards are better than swag that gets ruined when your supporters try to use it. Cheap swag sends the message that your company or organization is cheap and that's a message you DON'T want to send!
This post is one of the 31 Days of Event Advice. Throughout the month of January, Kirk will be answering questions that you have regarding your event. Comment below or contact me via any social media avenues with your questions, they will be answered throughout the month! #31daysofeventadvice