Are you a wedding vendor that is considering diversifying your business or branching out to manage another brand?
The Southern Wedding Collective founder, Dixie Bagley, is an expert when it comes to successfully managing multiple brands. Dixie is an owner of multiple wedding venues, a bakery, and a wedding and event planner. With over 400 events under her belt, Dixie knows what it takes to be the boss of successful and ethical wedding businesses.
It’s no surprise that managing multiple brands can be challenging but Dixie took time in September of 2021 to talk with Angela Proffitt and her Business Unveiled podcast to discuss the process she uses to ensure all her brands work off each other.
Learn to Say No
One of the key things that Dixie learned early on when diversifying her businesses and time was to be okay with saying “No.” Wedding vendors can be people pleasers by nature but in order to grow, it is key to evaluate what needs to be done with the limited free time available and to say no when necessary. This allows professionals a chance to have their brain space to pause, prioritize and focus on the process.
People tend to be afraid of the word no because of the consequences or the backlash that may follow. However, when no is given with an explanation people will be more respectable and understanding of the boundaries being set. Outside of this industry, it is not uncommon for other industries to say no. Builders say no because it isn’t possible in the timeline or it may be a yes just not now depending on materials, and the same logic should be applied to the wedding professionals.
If a brand has a waitlist, this means there isn’t something wrong with the brand but it actually says more about the services being in demand and customers are willing to wait.
Learn to Ask Questions
When the business is ready for growth take the time to listen to the inner monologue and decide if it’s the right time. Ask questions of the business, the employees, and most importantly, yourself.
- Is the current business going well?
- Are you or the staff bored with the business?
- Is it challenging?
- Is it time to grow the current business or go in an entirely different direction that will still benefit the business?
- Will the growth allow for more staff or can it be tackled with the resources already available?
Asking these questions is a lesson in the company’s self-discovery and leadership team. By stepping back and taking time to focus and really flesh out the answers the growth can happen naturally without too many impulsive decisions that could have negative outcomes.
Learn to Not Do It All
Learning how to do it all sometimes means not doing it all alone. Make sure you have the necessary tools to manage multiple brands. Those tools can be tech or the right people! For Dixie, she relies heavily on her color-coded calendar among other things. A calendar shared amongst her businesses and family helps keep her organized and allows for employees to have the whole picture in regards to her availability.
Speaking of staff, employ good people. Make sure everyone is aware of their role and how it fits within the company’s mission but at the same time don’t listen to the naysayers. Surround yourself with a solid team that understands the tasks at hand. Be a leader and be confident. Discover everyone’s strengths and work those lanes and delegate the weaknesses to staff members who excel in those areas over others.
Learn to Take a Break
Downtime is important and knowing how to spend time off and vacation benefits the business as much as being in the office. Family for Dixie is a number one priority. When her family comes to visit, Dixie makes sure she is present and available for them during that time. It refreshes and renews her to be able to step away from the phone or email and spend quality time unhindered with her children.
Dixie also recommends taking time on vacation to use the quiet to center herself. To work on the things that have been stirring in her brain and hone in on herself. Decide what was important, audit the brands, and think of ways that can be improved. It’s a practice she tries to do once a year if not every quarter.
If you are a wedding professional that is considering taking your business to the next level and would like to chat with Dixie more about business coaching don’t hesitate to reach out. Dixie offers the perfect blend of accountability and helping business owners take strategic action.