Recently, a cosponsor of the monthly networking event I host had to back out at the last minute — her reason was that her car was in the shop, and apparently renting a car wasn’t possible for her. I felt bad for her, because I’m sure that wasn’t the kind of impression she had in mind when she asked to sponsor the event. It got me thinking, though…how many other wedding business owners have no backup plan for when things go wrong? And what effect will that have on their business?
Because, of course, they do go wrong. Cars break down, equipment fails, illnesses strike when we least expect.
I’d venture to guess that most business owners place a premium on fulfilling their promises to their clients. They couldn’t stay in business long otherwise. However, keeping our word to other wedding professionals is just as important from a business standpoint. I’ve heard it said, “How you do anything is how you do everything,” and I couldn’t agree more. Everything we do speaks to our dedication, our resourcefulness, and, at least to a degree, our character.
For example, I can’t count how many times I’ve walked through a wedding show and seen exhibitor tables sitting empty, usually marked with the no-show vendor’s name. Everyone notices. And, those who think like I do tend to perceive those business owners as irresponsible (and possibly unable to take care of their clients).
There are all kinds of non-wedding obligations that still count toward our business image: networking events, styled shoots, wedding shows, presentations, or any other event to which we’ve committed to participate.
I think all of us would be smart to consider our backup plan for when a promise can’t delivered upon:
- Are there emergency funds available for car rentals, extra staffing, or replacement supplies?
- Do we have secondary equipment for when our primary gear fails?
- Is there someone we can call on to fill in for us when we can’t personally attend a function?
Taking the time to map out every scenario that might impede your ability to fulfill your word, and creating a plan for if (or when) that occurs, is one of the best things you can do to protect your professional image.