Be Sage Conference Tickets Go On Sale Monday, February 2nd

On Monday, February 2nd at 10am EST, we will be opening ticket sales for Be Sage Conference 2015. We will be announcing the location and our topics. SET YOUR ALARM!

Another thing you may want to know… we have a sign up sheet here for those interested in our special rate. We will NOT be offering an early rate.


Our Promise to You…

As always, we are committed to top-notch business education that will challenge the way you currently do business. You will walk away smarter, brighter… sage(r)… and armed with tools to use in your business. (There will be no fluffy stuff… Only the good stuff that makes a big impact on your business.) 

You’ll make lasting relationships with people who value professionalism, depth… And also like to laugh! We value friendliness, openness, and approachability. Share your mind with us!

We like to share the knowledge of speakers outside of the industry (as well as some insiders) because we feel that we can learn so much from the success of others with their original insight and varied experiences. Speakers will be announced throughout the spring.



2015 Action Plan – Sage Wedding Pros’ Business Strategy for the Wedding Industry

Friends, it’s time!

It’s time to slow down a bit.

It’s time to reflect on 2014 and look forward to 2015.

It’s time for our annual (world famous!) 2015 Action Plan.


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This is the 4th year of our action plan. We’ve made a few updates… but you’ll find that the majority of our action plan is the easy-peasy planning workbook that you’ve come to know and love.

THIS YEAR – we are introducing a word doc version to go along with the workbook. We know that some of you are ‘type-rs’… if you’re like me, you want to type out your action plan. Now, you can go through the exercises in a word doc. (We also have the pretty formatted version in PDF to guide you – and if you prefer to handwrite, this is all you will need.)

Here is the easy-peasy workbook + word doc supplement ($20):

 Add to Cart

And, here is the easy-peasy workbook + word doc supplement + spreadsheets, templates, downloads ($45):

 Add to Cart


The 2015 Action Plan is a 34-page book that will help you chart out the upcoming year.  (When you click to purchase, you’ll receive a file emailed to you with the workbook, etc.)  It includes everything to review 2014 and plan for 2015 in a tight little workbook:

  • Identifying Accomplishments

The workbook with downloads includes the workbook PLUS all templates and spreadsheets you need to work thru the plan if you don’t care to put together some of the spreadsheets yourself.  (They are sold separately in our Toolbox for a value of $57, but we are offering the bundle for $45.)

The downloads include:

  • Sage Wedding Pros – Tracking the ROI on your Ads and Other Promotional Activities ($10)
  • Sage Wedding Pros – Financial Review – Excel Spreadsheet – $5 (Profit & Loss Report SPREADSHEET)
  • Sage Wedding Pros – Pricing TEST & Sales Plan (how many weddings to make as a sales quota) ($10)
  • Sage Wedding Pros – Promotional Plan & Goal Sheet – $10
  • Sage Wedding Pros – Accounting 101 ($2)
  • Sage Wedding Pros – Expense Budget
  • Sage Wedding Pros – Expense Budget for start-ups (if applicable)
  • Sage Wedding Pros – Cash Flow Plan ($5)

Have a fantastic holiday season and a prosperous and healthy 2015!

PS – are you thinking of hiring employees in 2015? Make sure to check out The People Plan.

PPS – are you in need of a new business plan or business plan revamp? Make sure to join us at The Simple Plan.


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

Gifting Services to Clients Kills Your Profits

Last week, we talked about profit margins and how important it is to know how much profit you make on each event. This was something that Todd Fiscus shared at Biz Bash in Florida a couple weeks ago and I completely echo his sentiment. This knowledge is valuable and without knowing your cost budgets per event, you’re putting your business sustainability on the line.



Another concept that Todd talked about was the idea of ‘gifting services’ to clients… intentionally and unintentionally.

‘Gifting services’ is when…

  • you go-above-and-beyond without charging accordingly
  • you throw in extra time or product without being compensated
  • you go WAYYY above cost budget to show off your skill without invoicing the client

You know how it goes… the client hires you to design their event, or take their pictures, or shoot their wedding, or design their invites…

Scenario 1: you fall in love with the client and you want them to love you… you become their slave


Scenario 2: your client hires you and you underbid their event… your brand is on the line and in order for your company to look good, you need to make up for their lack of budget

Any time that you go beyond your cost budget to gift the client (or show off in the name of your brand) you are putting your profitability on the line. This doesn’t mean that you ever cheap out, or do inadequate work. It doesn’t mean that you can’t give them an actual gift-gift for being your client. It means that you need to price your jobs accordingly so that you can do the best job for your client AND be profitable. You need to know what your price is for your services and you need to have that cost budget in place and stick to it.

What do you think about this idea of gifting clients on your services? Has this happened to you?

Be Sage Conference Speaker: Jane Park, CEO and founder of Julep

We are thrilled to partner with a range of amazing speakers for our Be Sage Conference this August. When we sat down to set our curriculum for Be Sage, we asked ourselves: “What are the challenges that experienced business owners have in the wedding industry?” We came up with a list of questions and found the best people to speak on these topics.

We are thrilled to introduce you to Jane Park, CEO and founder of Julep. You may have seen Jane recently featured in Forbes magazine. (Not just once, but twice.) Or, maybe in Fast Company magazine. Or, maybe this INC magazine article. We’ve asked Jane to share with us about how to build a business around really knowing what the client wants. She’ll be answering…


How can I better capitalize on needs in the market?
How can I continue to develop innovative products and services?
How can I use social media for market research?
How can I gauge demand to ensure clients will buy what I sell?

JaneParkJulepIntroducing: Jane Park, CEO and founder of Julep Beauty, Inc.

Jane Park is CEO and founder of Julep, one of the world’s fastest-growing beauty products companies. Since founding Julep in 2006, Jane has expanded the company into a multichannel beauty brand. Julep creates and sells over 300 natural, toxin-free nail and skincare products per year, based on crowdsourced feedback from its tens of thousands of devoted customers. Prior to starting Julep, Jane was director of new ventures for Starbucks, where she worked in management roles for nearly seven years. Jane started her career at The Boston Consulting Group, where she was a strategy consultant in the retail sector. Jane holds a JD from Yale University, and a BA in Public Policy and International Affairs from Princeton.

5 Things You’ll Learn from Jane: 

  • How to utilize social media for market research and product development.
  • How to grow a business by listening to the market.
  • How to get the market to tell you what they want.
  • How to find untapped opportunities.
  • How to gauge consumer demand.

We feel pretty strongly about partnering with companies and individuals that mirror and augment our own core values. Here is Julep’s core philosophy:

We believe beauty is about connection, not competition.

Make sure to check out the Julep video to see why Julep is different from other beauty companies.

We hope you’ll join us this August!


Ticket sales are open for Be Sage Conference and limited to the first 100 people to sign up. We do expect this conference to sell out. Early rates close on May 31, 2014.


Here’s a little refresher if you missed our post last month about our new conference:

We want you to have a deeper business strategy that will take your business to the next level. This isn’t a business theory conference. And, while you will certainly be inspired, we aim to prepare you with actual tools to use in your business (not just a hope and dream.)

We will continue to add conference details at:

Greenhouse Loft, Chicago | August 3-5, 2014