It’s no secret that running a business that is truly successful requires the business owner to do more than just that one thing they’re passionate about. For the readers of this blog, event planning is the most common passion that we deal with. We love to create an experience for other people, coordinate logistics (how crazy are we?!) and sit back and watch our client enjoy a really successful event. Whether it’s a wedding or a conference or a product launch, we get a thrill from doing that work. But, we know from many business experts that doing that alone is not enough to make it a successful business. Unfortunately, being a great event planner does not mean you will have a great event planning business. We need to market our business, take care of all of the finances, work on social media campaigns and much, much more. This is not even taking into account all of the work we need to do to build a great team! So how can you manage all of these things and still do what you love? How do we learn the skills we need to be successful in business ownership when our primary skill set is in the passion of the business? Here are a few tips I’ve learned along the way.
The truth of the matter is that if you don’t enjoy doing something, you are less likely to get it done. I could force myself to work late on a design element for an event, but when it comes to tracking my receipts for our accounting, I can never find the time. I know I’m not alone in this. So – the way to overcome this is to force yourself into a schedule. Perhaps you need to do your accounting once a month. If so, schedule time for yourself each month and don’t let yourself procrastinate. One of the biggest keys to successful business ownership is being self disciplined and this means that you have to force yourself to do things that you don’t want to, just because it needs to be done. You are more likely to accomplish these tasks if they’re built into your schedule than if you have to fit them in when you are really enjoying doing something else you love to do.
Learn, learn, learn
I’m a huge believer that you shouldn’t outsource anything you cannot do yourself. This might seem odd, but I do believe you have to know the scope of the project before you can manage someone else doing it. This is how a lot of people get screwed when it comes to running their business. They hire social media experts, but they have no idea what it takes to do a social media campaign so the “expert” charges them way too much money and under-performs. You don’t have to be an expert at everything, but you do need to know the basics. So – if there’s something you don’t know how to do that will make your business more successful or even something you hate, master that thing. Take classes, read blogs, study books and do whatever you can to get a better understanding of that skill. You will become a more well-rounded business owner and you will also be able to grow your team the way that it needs to. Maybe, along the way, you will realize that you really can do some of the things that you never thought you could.
Once you know how to do something and can understand what it really takes to do it well, you can hire people to do those things. Let’s say you really hate accounting. Look for people who can do the tasks that you are looking to outsource, but also fit in very well with your team. Whether they are working for you full-time or a contract basis, it’s really important that they communicate the way your team communicates best and that they can have a great time with the team. Remembering this is actually quite difficult when you are going through the hiring process, but it is really important. Make sure that you set goals for these roles, manage their work very closely and have a mutual understanding of what success will look like. If it doesn’t work out, cut it. While relationships are very important, you can’t compromise the success of your business because you want to be nice to someone. You must be ruthless when it comes to finding the right person for your team and for the job itself.