When I started TGA it was just me. Well to be fair, Ipo was definitely there in the beginning as well, just more in a “I support you in anything you need” role. Eventually she came on full time as the business grew. It was just the two of us rocking and rolling every wedding, a little in over our heads. We then added on Lalea, who was my first employee who helped us out on event days, because running 150+ person weddings with just two people was completely nuts! Lalea was with us for about two years until we then decided to bring on an admin assistant, a social media manager, and another event assistant in 2021. As the business grew, so did our demand and I needed way more help. Now we are in 2022 and our ever growing team now has myself and Ipo, two admin assistants, one event lead, two event assistants, one media assistant, one social media manager, one website manager, and an accountant. Crazy to think that four years ago I was alone and now I have a crew of talented people working with us.
So what is the point of this blog. Aside from introducing you to my team, it is also to talk about when you should take the inevitable jump to hiring (more) staff. There are certain signs that I used to cue myself when I needed more help and I am here to share some of those with you.
Sign 1: Working 7 days a week, morning to night. I mean it goes without saying that when you are a business owner you are literally working all the time. I think I saw a meme that said, “I quit my 9-5, so that I could own my own business and work 24/7.” But if that is actually happening, where you feel like you have so much work that you have no time to actually enjoy the perks of being an entrepreneur, then it is probably time to hire someone. When I hired my first admin staff, she was working like 6 hours a week, but it made a HUGE difference. It legit gave me back 6 hours a week, so that I could actually log off my computer before 12am. Working like this creates burn out and I have experienced it first hand. It is miserable and takes a lot to get out of that funk, so prevent yourself from entering the burn out by hiring someone to help out here and there.
Sign 2: You lowkey hate what you do now I think we have all been there as business owners where we lowkey question why we went into this in the first place. I have told myself before, “I could be having paid time off, a health care plan, structure, and co-workers I could talk to.” Usually this is coupled with the first sign of burnout, but if you start to hate what you do when the whole point of working for yourself is to do something you love, you probably need some help. In 2020, much like everyone else, I questioned why I choose to do what I do. I almost quit entirely and went back to the comfort of a structured job, but after I got some help from my team and they handled the tasks that were not the parts that I enjoyed, I felt better equipped to handle my role as the business owner.
Sign 3: You have to turn business away.
I am a yes person. Anyone who knows me, knows that I will figure out how we can make something work, even if all signs say it canʻt be done. So the worst thing for me is having to turn business away, because I physically canʻt take on more. I have had projects that I had to turn down that were amazing, because at the time taking more than one event a month seemed impossible. Now, doubling and tripling up in a month doesnʻt feel so hard and that was only capable because we had more hands to help.
Sign 4: Your performance is taking a hit. I will start off by saying you cannot please everyone. Even with a fully staffed team, I still have clients who want the JLO wedding planner-planning experience and that is just not us, so their expectations will never be met. But if your baseline standard of service is taking a plunge and a ton of things are starting to take a hit, then it is probably (definitely) time to bring on more help. No matter how stressed out you are, projects you bring on, things you add to your plate, if your clients can't feel the lapse, then you are doing your job. If they do become aware that there is a shift in your performance and it is valid, then that falls on you as the owner to address. I am pretty passionate about this one, because I think everyoneʻs expectations of wedding planners is that we are supposed to be on call at all times and respond within 2.4 seconds, because it is the most important day for the couple and we work for them, but we are human and things do take time. BUT, if there is a definite lack of service on your end and especially if it has changed from when you all first started working together, then for sure you need to hire some people.
Sign 5: You want to make more money. The last sign and also where I will leave you today is that you should enlist help running your business if you are ready to make more money. It's weird because you need money to pay your employees, but you also canʻt make more money if you canʻt take more business – We got a little chicken and the egg situation here. Truly, as scary as it is, you have to just take the plunge, especially if you are experiencing 3 out of the 5 of these signs. I am a firm believer that you do have to spend money to make money and investing in your business by hiring on staff so that you can build that business is money well spent. The first time I cut checks, my heart sank into my stomach and I thought “holy sh*t what did I just do, can I afford this?” And then that same week I booked a wedding that I otherwise would not have taken if I didn't have help. It all evens out in the end and what you are left with is a little better quality of life, more finances, and the ability to fall back in love with your business. I think that is a win, win!