Wooohooooo! I am gearing up for a very exciting time in Nashville in a couple weeks. We will be presenting The Simple Plan, our business planning workshop for wedding and event professionals. We’ve received questions about the workshop, so I thought I’d put them up in a post and share with everyone. Let me know if you have more questions by posting a comment below. I’ll answer them there as well.
What exactly is The Simple Plan?
The Simple Plan is Sage Wedding Pros’ 2-day workshop which teaches wedding and event professionals not only how to write a business plan but also how to think strategically about your business. Let’s break it down:
- Our days are split into presentations and conversations that cover the four cornerstones of your business: company vision, marketing, operations, and finances.
- We present the strategy of each of these cornerstones. Much like on this blog, we present the business nuts and bolts. We share success stories from inside and outside the wedding industry. We then turn to you and ask you what you think.
- This is highly interactive. We share with you, you share with us, we all share with one another.
- We take breaks of ~10-15 minutes so that you can work on writing your own business plan.
Why is it “Simple”?
Well – quite frankly – Kelly and I just like to break things down to the easiest level. We just think this way and so we teach this way also. Why make things difficult? This doesn’t mean that we don’t get our heads working hard and that this is something for only start-up businesses (see below). What we mean is that we invite you to sit down and knock out your plan in 2 days with us in a fun collaborative environment. When was the last time you heard of someone writing their business plan in 2 days?
We are not kidding at all when we say that we make this SIMPLE. See why Broke Ass Bride’s Dana LaRue thinks that the workshop simply rocks. And find out why Catie Ronquillo says that it’s a “sneaky way of getting us to write a business plan.”
We don’t want to complicate your life. We want to make it easier.
Is this something that only a start-up will benefit from?
We have had people who have attended this workshop that have been in business for 1 month, but many have been in business for 2, 5, 10+ years. HERE’s THE THING: this is NOT a “how to start your business” workshop. No no. This is a “Hey, I have a business and I want to take it to the next level” workshop! The way we teach and the way that we’ve structured the curriculum allows people at all levels of experience to benefit.
Your business plan is never dead. When you stop planning, you stop being in business.
Do you really walk out with a completed business plan?
You will walk out with a plan that is ~80-85% complete. You will need to go home and tweak some parts and clean some pieces up, but you will have a plan that you can use.
But, let’s be real here: You get as much as you give. If you come to the workshop and don’t put in the work, you will not walk out with a business plan. But, if you come, ready to learn and ready to do, you will walk out with a plan.
How is The Simple Plan different from other workshops?
We are the ONLY workshop (or conference) completely devoted to business planning and business strategy for the wedding and event professional. This is not an inspirational workshop and this is not a workshop to teach you the craft of your field. This is a workshop about business strategy. We don’t talk AT you. We give you TOOLS to use in your business every day.
Will my business be changed after I attend this workshop?
YES. If you know me well, and have been following me along for the last 448 posts on this blog, you should know that I don’t toot my own horn. So I’m only going to share with you what our graduates have shared with us:
- A number of people had set out a goal to leave their day-jobs and focus on their business full-time. We’ve received some fabulous emails with great pride expressing that some of our participants have been able to do this or are on track to do so in a given timeframe.
- We’ve received several emails from graduates saying that they were able to achieve their sales goals for 2010.
- All of our participants have left the workshop with a stronger understanding of their target market, their niche, and how their branding marries the two.
- Many of our participants have told me that the finances presentation helped them gain control of the numbers. They now understand how to make decisions by reading their financial reports.
- Some of our graduates have gone on to hire assistants and staff. Others have outsourced some of their tasks. Learning about hiring and training has empowered people to not solely carry the burden of all these responsibilities.
- Most of our participants leave with a plan to raise their pricing. By better understanding all the cost and expense components of running a business – and, by better understanding the value of their craft – they are better able to find that “pricing sweet spot”.
Again, you get what you give. The participants who put their business plans into action have gotten the most rewards from it. Because it’s critical that our graduates do this, we continue to create a culture of achievement by having monthly chats, monthly educational newsletters, and just checking in on a one to one basis after the workshop.
But, I’m concerned about the cost.
The truth is that we’ve had graduate after graduate tell us that they would have easily paid twice for this workshop. $399 is such a small investment in having a business plan that will take you through the next year of business (at least). $399 to take your business to the next level. Think about it… it adds up to $33/month over a year.
And, here’s the kicker… we GUARANTEE it. If you don’t feel like this workshop served you any purpose, we will give you your money back.
When are you coming to my neck of the woods?
We are attending Nashville in November, the Midwest in February, and the Northeast in April/May. We will add one city in the fall on the West Coast. While we would LOVE to do one in every city in this beautiful country of ours, the truth is we simply don’t have enough bandwidth. So hop on that plane and come visit us. We guarantee the trip will be worth it.
I want you – more of you… all to myself!
We do offer The Simple Plan Exclusive which is a highly-customized personal approach to business planning. We partner with you one-to-one to build your business. This is perfect for someone who really wants to get into our heads and use our expertise to build their business. I specialized in product-based businesses and financial consulting, while Kelly specializes in service-related businesses and operations & training (hiring, training, HR, systems).
We also offer a-la-carte consulting and analysis for businesses needing a little more detail on specific aspects of their business: goal-setting, hiring and training, systems and procedures, marketing strategy, financial planning.
Soooo… any more questions? Let me know!