Announcing: The Simple Plan Workshop – Washington DC, July 6-7

Join us for easy-peasy business planning in Washington DC this July 6-7, 2015!

The Simple Plan Workshop DC

It has been 5 YEARS since we did a DC workshop. We loved the wedding pros we worked with in 2010 and  continue to collaborate with many of them. We are thrilled to head back to our nation’s Capitol this July!

The Simple Plan is our 2-day workshop where we guide wedding pros through the writing of their business plans. (You will walk out of the workshop with a written plan in hand.) Our goal is to give you a solid foundation for success in:

– your business’s over-arching vision
– your marketing strategy
– your operational strategy
– your financial strategy

Business planning is goal-setting at its best… for wedding pros, at every stage of their business. (Goal-setting never ends.)

The Simple Plan Workshop
Easy-peasy Business Planning
July 6-7, 2015
The Loft at 600F – Washington DC

Learn more and register for the workshop by clicking here.

A BIG BIG thank you to our gracious host and sponsor, The Loft at 600F. They have been so attentive to all of our needs! We are so thrilled to be working in this gorgeous space with such beautiful light.

theloft

Watch this lovely little video to see us in action at The Simple Plan

 

 

Announcing: The Simple Plan Workshop – San Francisco – May 18-19

Join us for easy-peasy business planning in San Francisco this May 18-19, 2015!

TSP-SF

The Simple Plan is our 2-day workshop where we guide wedding pros through the writing of their business plans. (You will walk out of the workshop with a written plan in hand.) Our goal is to give you a solid foundation for success in:

– your business’s over-arching vision
– your marketing strategy
– your operational strategy
– your financial strategy

Business planning is goal-setting at its best… for wedding pros, at every stage of their business. (Goal-setting never ends.)

The Simple Plan Workshop
Easy-peasy Business Planning
May 18-19, 2015
Blu Bungalow – San Francisco, CA

Learn more and register for the workshop by clicking here.

A BIG BIG thank you to our gracious host and sponsor, Blu Bungalow. They have been so attentive to all of our needs! We can’t wait to work in this lovely wedding studio.

Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 11.08.28 AM

Watch this lovely little video to see us in action at The Simple Plan:

Sage Wedding Pros – The Simple Plan from Bella Films {Beth Oslander} on Vimeo.

The Simple Plan – Seattle – February 2-3, 2015

Friends! We are heading back to where it all started… SEATTLE!

TSP-SEATTLEFor those of you who don’t know, Kelly and I met in Seattle in 2006. We had a great connection from the get-go. (I think our nerdy business-selves felt a match.) From there on, we would get together every month to work on our individual business plans. YES, people, we really do believe in business plan collaboration as the funnest(!) way to write a business plan. In 2007, we co-founded Get Hitched Give Hope with 4 other lovely ladies. (The 6th GHGH is this Thursday!)

And, in November 2009, we held our very first The Simple Plan workshop as part of Sage Wedding Pros in Seattle!

So, we are heading back to Seattle this February 2-3, 2015 and we invite all of you to join us in this lovely city. (People – the coffee really is amazing there.)

The Simple Plan is our 2-day workshop where we guide wedding pros through the writing of their business plans. (You will walk out of the workshop with a written plan in hand.) Our goal is to give you a solid foundation for success in:

– your business’s over-arching vision
– your marketing strategy
– your operational strategy
– your financial strategy
Business planning is goal-setting at its best… for wedding pros, at every stage of their business. (Goal-setting never ends.)

The Simple Plan Workshop
Easy-peasy Business Planning
Feb 2-3, 2015
Seattle, WA

Learn more and register for the workshop by clicking here.

Watch this lovely little video to see us in action:

Sage Wedding Pros – The Simple Plan from Bella Films {Beth Oslander} on Vimeo.

We are thrilled to have 2 fabulous partners for The Simple Plan Seattle:

sponsored by

hosted by

Business Plan Case Study: Sugarcomb

We feel pretty strongly that a business plan can help you to define your business goals and give you a road-map for the future of your company. But, what makes a company that has used a business plan different from others? How has a business plan made the difference for that business?

Here’s a pretty cool stat: of the 15 business owners who attended the very first The Simple Plan workshop in Seattle 2009, 14 are still operating (and THRIVING at leaps and bounds!)

Kelsey Eads by James MoesWe recently talked with Kelsey Eads, owner of Sugarcomb. Kelsey was in her start-up phase when she joined us. I’m in awe of the strides she’s made in 4.5 years. We don’t see a lot of business owners in the wedding industry make it passed the 2 year mark, let alone accomplish what Kelsey has in the last several years since The Simple Plan.

Kelsey shares what business planning has helped her achieve…

Why did you decide a business plan was important/necessary?

I wanted to develop a strong business and hop out of hobby territory as quickly as possible. A business plan was the perfect way for me to focus my outlook from one structured point-of-view and direction. It makes such a positive difference when your business has a firm baseline to help you make decisions and growth from.

What were some of the biggest ‘A-HA’ realizations you had while working on the business plan?

For me, the biggest eye opener was learning to map out and forecast finances the right way. It’s an honest face-to-face with money, the short-fallings and potential, and I think it’s the point that really taught me how hard I’m going to need to work to make Sugarcomb the success I was aiming for. It’s a reality check that every business owner should experience.

How have you used the business plan to move your business forward?

Every year when I revisit Sugarcomb’s business plan I realize how much everything has evolved. It’s a great checkpoint to look back on and to help you refresh and feel growth as you make updates and dreams for the next year.

What are some of the biggest improvements you’ve made in your business?

I’m very independent, but over time as my business grew, I came to realize how ideal it would be to have someone to collaborate with and to have the flexibility to take on more projects. I wasn’t actively searching, but in the past year I met Tara, Sugarcomb’s new Planning and Design Lead, and working together was the perfect fit for where we were both at in our careers. It’s been a great learning experience for me to hand off responsibility and to balance what the business needs from the two of us now. For a Type-A like me, it was a scary step to take, but the growth, benefits and new potential have made me so happy with this new direction and the way that Sugarcomb can grow from its new normal.

Have you had measurable improvements?

It has taken time, but every year has brought increased revenue. In the beginning there was a lot of testing and guesswork that went into advertising avenues, pricing my services, and deciding what expenses were necessary to uphold the integrity of Sugarcomb, and which were not. It’s a balancing act, but the best way to figure out what is right for you and your unique business is experience and, when available, great advice. I’m constantly learning how to streamline finances; being diligent about keeping records and notes on what is working and what is not is a great thing to have by your side when you revisit your business plan every year.

Thanks Kelsey!

You can read more case studies here. Find our workshop schedule here.

Business Plan Case Study: Flora Nova

We feel pretty strongly that a business plan can help you to define your business goals and give you a road-map for the future of your company. But, what makes a company that has used a business plan different from others? How has a business plan made the difference for that business?

Studies have shown that having a business plan doubles your chances of success. It’s not the paper that is magical. It’s the process of writing, thinking, strategizing that puts you one step ahead of your competitors.

4.5 years ago we launched The Simple Plan workshop in Seattle. We follow up with attendees periodically to ensure they are still getting value from the investment they made. Here’s a pretty cool stat: of the 15 business owners who attended the Seattle 2009 workshop, 14 are still operating (and THRIVING at leaps and bounds!)

ChristianeZweiflerWe sat down with one of our attendees from our Seattle 2009 workshop, Christiane Zweifler of Flora Nova Floral and Event Design. Christiane is celebrating 10 years in business this year! We continue to work together quarterly on financial strategy.

Christiane shares what has worked for her in business planning…

Why a business plan is important…

When I first started my business 10 years ago I started writing a business plan but I never actually finished it. I had a somewhat good idea about the services, the business structure, the marketing strategies, even operations, but the financial part kept being a little fuzzy to me. My business never had any losses, but I never truly understood how to make a profit.

About 4 years ago I started to plan for a business expansion: I wanted to add design services beyond just flowers and wanted to purchase more expensive props to my rental inventory. But most importantly this expansion meant I needed to move my business to a much bigger space in order to run the larger operation. I was determined to rewrite my Business Plan  – this time with a solid financial plan.

What are some of the challenges you faced before having a business plan? How did the business plan help?

I hated numbers and compiling financial reports! I knew I would never just sit down on my own to tackle a solid business plan – I needed help. That’s when I heard about the Simple Plan seminars. I signed up to attend their workshop that same year. What I learned in class made writing my first complete business plan fun and yes, actually really “simple”! Besides many other things I learned the importance of calculating my business expenses and CoGs, to do sales forecasts, and setting clear goals – it helped me reach a point where I can be profitable and even keep expanding.

How often do you revisit your plan? How do you use it to guide you?

Now I look at my numbers on a regular basis – I would almost say that I even “like” doing my reviews because it forces me to stay focused and to look at my business from various angles. And this is by far the biggest improvement the Simple Plan has offered me: to better understand my business finances, to do quarterly reviews, to make sales forecasts, to adjust practices where necessary, to keep my expenses in check, and to think about how to reach my sales goals.

Thanks Christiane!

You can read more case studies here. Find our workshop schedule here.