I’ve been talking to many wedding pros lately who have shared that 2016 has been their slowest booking season in recent years. As someone who endured the economic downturn of 2007-2010, this concerns me. I don’t want to be “doom & gloom”, but I see some national trends that make me a little nervous for our industry:
- Oil industry is suffering, weakening local economies
- A volatile stock market has impacted VC capital investment leading to major technology layoffs
- Political uncertainty as a result of impending U.S. elections
- Generational shift (millennials are choosing to live at home with their parents versus a spouse, partner, or friend)
Again, I don’t want to spook you. This could all turn around tomorrow. But, I do want you to be proactive. I’m thinking of the things I would have changed in my business in the last recession.
These are the things I recommend you consider doing in the next few months in an effort to ease your cash flow:
- If you rent or lease a space, downgrade or move your office in-home.
Unless you are in a situation where you cannot downgrade, this can be a huge relief for your expense budget and can generally save a business owner several thousands of dollars in a year.
- Cut back on payroll expenses.
Examine labor closely. This isn’t an easy thing to do EVER. It’s a very personal decision as your employees rely on you for income. And, employees likely support a large part of your operations. But if you don’t have the operational budget to support a team of people, you need to make the cut. Examine which labor costs are fundamental to your business continuing and which are not necessary given the slowness in bookings.
Here’s the thing… rent and staffing are the 2 largest expenses for any business of any size. (This is true for a HUGE org like Apple or a small solopreneur biz like yours).
I also recommend that you examine whether the following are helping you achieve your sales goals:
- Advertising choices
- Promotional choices
- Marketing choices
I DO NOT recommend that you cut out ads to save money. BUT if you have ads that are NOT performing, you HAVE to cut them out.
What are your thoughts? Are you feeling the SLOWNESS this year? I want you to be proactive rather than waiting until it’s too late to be intentional with your finances. Share your tips with us in a comment below.