Hi My Loves!
What a nasty little storm we are having out here in Chicago! Not quite rain, not quite snow. But a bunch of slippery ice and strong winds! They don’t call us the “Windy City” for nothing, that’s for sure! I’m not minding it all too much as the weather has got me still stuck in the same sweatpants that I woke up in, the Harry Potter Marathon playing on my TV and some hot tea on my mug warmer.
As some of you may know, this past week Storybook Weddings & Events celebrated its first birthday!! Woohoo!! Over the past year I have gained much knowledge, encountered challenges and celebrated many successes and I want to share that journey with you, beginning at the beginning! I know that some of my readers are aspiring wedding planners, photographers or creatives who look for blogs that provide encouragement and “real talk” and I wholeheartedly believe in sharing that! So let’s get to it, shall we? Most importantly, you need to begin with putting together a list of those important questions that you already keep asking yourself in your head and get them answered.
“How realistic is this?”– No brainer! 100% realistic my loves. If you had the creativity to dream up this idea, then you are more than capable making it your reality.
“If I cannot afford to do this full time, how can I eventually get there?” –At one point or another, most of us were in this position. I was! When I first opened Storybook, in December of 2014 I only had two weddings booked for 2015 and it wasn’t ideal to quit my full time job. I would advise you to create a spreadsheet that contains all your personal expenses and savings goals and also include your estimated overhead costs for running a small business. Find out what you will need income-wise to remain comfortable and paying your responsibilities. Then figure out your next step.
“How many weddings do I need to book to hit my goal income?” – First you will need to find out what you need to charge for the amount of work and value of your services or products. Reach out to mentors and others in the industry and ask them for their advice. What I initially began charging was way off of what I actually needed to charge in order to account for hours worked, assistants needed, transportation and parking costs and a whole lot more. I would love to chat with you to help you find your “ideal” starting point. Once you have your service cost, and the amount of profit you will make, you can calculate your “booking goal”.
“What do I need to do to get started?” In my first year of business I spent many nights and weekends researching LLC’s and what I needed to do to file for one, which website hosts offered user friendly websites, how to go about creating a logo, what marketing pieces would I be needing, etc. Once you have your list compiled, start checking them all off. You will need to have all of these things in order to be successful. My biggest recommendation is to only go for something if you go for it, 100%!
Please keep in mind that I consider this the “short list” but also the “most important list”. Depending on your goals, additional and more specific questions will be asked. But this is defenitly a good starting point. If you would like help putting together a more tailored list for you, please feel free to reach out to me at Nicole@StorybookChicago.com. I would love to help you!
It is so important to understand that in the beginning, you will be busier than you could ever imagine! You will somehow find time that you didn’t know existed. But if this passion is truly burning inside you, you will have no problem with it. You will find it exciting, fun and it should give you those little butterflies in your tummy! Going after your dreams is such an amazing feeling.
Lastly, I would like to leave you all with this quote,
This is the absolute truth my friends! Please promise me that if you ever have a dream, no matter how small or how large, that you will go after it. Your dreams are completely possible! Hope this little snippet helped you figure out the first steps you need to take towards your “next big thing”! On the next blog where I continue this topic, I will dive more into the scary feelings and exciting moments of “making the jump”!! Woohoo! Fun times ahead!
Always, if you ever have questions or need a little motivation, you can always reach out to me.
Talk to you all soon!
Great post! It’s inspiring + transparent. Happy, Happy Birthday!
Thanks Kristie! 🙂
Great advice for people starting out! Congrats on a first year! 🙂
Thank you Mandi
What a beautiful quote and reminder for all of us small business owners! Happy first birthday to Storybook, I totally feel you on those long, late nights 🙂 Congratulations on all your successes (and hard work)!!!
Thank you so much!
Love that quote!