Advice for Entrepreneurs: Cindy’s Top 10 Tips on How to Grow Your Business
I get asked often what advice would you give me now knowing what you know, and here’s a recap of what I’ve shared in my public talks. Feel free to connect with me on social media; always happy to chat more there about these topics as I’m truly grateful for my mentors and business advisors that have been instrumental to the growth and success of RVE.
10. Decide early.
As an event planner, you have to decide upon launching your company if you want to do the planning yourself or be a manager. If you are going to do the planning yourself, realize that you will always be limited by capacity since you are only one person. If you are willing to be a manager of other planners, then your company has a tremendous amount of growth potential.
9. Quality vs. Quantity.
For me, it’s not about our company planning a 1,000 events a year. It’s about the quality of the event. When you are beginning, it’s important to choose wisely when deciding what projects you want to take on. Be realistic. Maybe that means you will restrict yourself to only one event every month. But you can make each of those events amazing.
8. Network, network, network.
Even if you’ve been in the business for many years – and especially if you are new to the business – you are never too old to network. It’s important to understand that when you join an organization, it’s not enough to just sign up. You will gain so much more if you volunteer for a committee or take a position on the board. What you put into the organization is how much you truly will get back.
7. Stay educated.
Never say you’re done learning. Don’t be complacent. If you’re considering something new and it’s scary, do your research and go for it.
6. Become mildly obsessed.
When I started, I would eat, sleep and dream the events industry. When I shopped, I would look at storefront windows and think “Why did they choose that design? Could we try that?” When I travel, I love being inspired by sights, colors and sounds. I’m always observing and thinking, “How could we apply this to what we do at RVE?” And now with social media, it’s even easier to become obsessed with the business across the globe.
5. Be honest.
We all make mistakes. Own up to it and don’t pass the buck. I’ve even owned mistakes that weren’t mine directly in order to protect my team and the company’s reputation. If you genuinely apologize for your mistakes, it is much easier to build a long-term relationship with the client. And of course learn from your own mistakes so you can prevent from repeating it in the future.
4. Be self-aware.
Similar to the previous point, be always aware when you may have offended someone and take action before they even bring it up. And know your audience before you openly speak. It’s so important to realize when you may have crossed the lines and approach it head on versus avoiding conflict or even worst, being passive aggressive.
3. Ask more than talk.
You can always learn from other people. Let people talk and don’t interrupt them. And really listen and take their advice.
2. Hire slow, fire fast.
This is probably the hardest thing because we all want our decisions to be the best decision. Don’t rush the process of hiring. And don’t make excuses for a poor performer or team member. Ask yourself, “If this team member were to quit today, would I be unhappy?” If the answer is no, then you know what to do.
1. Balance is Relative.
Many people ask me, how do you balance life and work? My answer is, “Don’t set your bar to someone else’s standard.” You need to find the balance that is right for yourself and your family. And it’s so very important to have the support of your partner. And talk often.