Generosity and service are two crucial cornerstones for any successful business. We feel especially drawn to them, particularly as we help guide the next generation of creative professionals. We’ve both spent years honing our skills in catering and venue management. In those roles, some of our best learning opportunities were spent under the watchful eye of our lead producers. As entrepreneurs charting the course for 42 North, we’ve learned the value of mentorship and instilling confidence in our team by focusing on building upon existing strengths and reinforcing those areas where there’s room to grow.
Spread a business mindset
While it’s important for us to remember that our business is not a hobby, it’s equally important to remind our team of this. We encourage every team member or fellow entrepreneur we encounter to embrace a business mindset and interpret it in a way that empowers them to work toward their goals.
Key Tips for Setting & Keeping a Pro Perspective
- Maintain control of the investments you make in your business – both time and financial resources.
- Generate a business and customer acquisition plan that meets both your abilities and your expectations.
- Hire a bookkeeper and CPA. That is, unless you’ve got a degree in business finance and know the latest tax code. Set up quarterly meetings with both to review your books.
- Be mindful of who’s making waves in your market. Draw inspiration from them that helps you better define how you want to run your business.
Show up (not off)
Humbled by the request, we’re always happy to participate in industry events to share our point of view or insights we have with fellow pros. When we get approached by eager, aspiring individuals looking to break into the industry or level up in their existing business, we’re just as pleased to share with them one-on-one. No matter how busy we may be, we offer up whatever time and knowledge we can. An hour over the phone or in person is a small expense for us that can make a significant impact in instilling confidence in a fellow professional. To optimize our time, we find that asking that individual to send us their portfolio or any questions ahead of time is essential to having a productive conversation.
Encourage a modern approach
We encourage professionals to integrate technology tools to make the process easier for their clients. According to Forbes.com, taking a digital-first stance on your business strategy can increase your revenue, on average, by 34%! Consider ways to streamline, automate and improve antiquated or inefficient processes. We’ve implemented auto payments, deadline reminders, online project management and calendar bookings into our service. This also offers us the ability to strengthen our relationships with destination clients by offering virtual tours of venues, Google Hangout video conference calls, CAD drawings and 3D renderings to communicate design visions and more. Think creatively about how to modernize your process for clients in a way that complements their everyday lifestyle. A positive experience with you in planning and preparing for their event is just as important as the experience they’re looking for from you on the day of.
PRO TIP: Aisle Planner is constantly developing new products to help you better manage and grow your business. Check out the latest updates here or reach out to our amazing Customer Success team at firstname.lastname@example.org for a walk-through!
Instilling confidence in their instincts
Design intuition can be cultivated over time as you’re able to see how plans unfold during live events. As experienced professionals, it’s our job to walk the team through the thought process of event design. Nothing, however, replaces real life experience. Many concepts will be immediately evident when put into action. Seeing how an amazing tablescape design, for example, has to be re-engineered for a family-style dinner. Seeing a flaw in the system is the best way to learn. Don’t hesitate to call it out. Do so objectively so they learn how to avoid making a misstep again rather than wallowing on the failure itself. Years of experience have taught us to pivot when challenges arise. Likewise, they’ve also taught us how to anticipate details far in advance of the day of. Giving your team a glimpse inside your thought process will help accelerate their understanding.
Above all, we encourage budding creative pros to replace fear or anxiety with a strong, empowering sense of purpose. Don’t be afraid to do something new, unique and maybe even disruptive. Following the lead of someone with seasoned experience and a honed skill set is one thing but there’s no reason anyone needs to stay in their shadows. Shake things up and be confident in putting your signature on your work!
42 North is an event design and production firm founded by Francie Dorman and Britt Cole, two seasoned creative event producers with a specialty in distinctive weddings at private estates and non-traditional venues. Check out their Aisle Planner listing here.