The Bridal Business Masterclass
Whether you’ve been in business for 20 years or two months, you know that bridal stores are just different. What works in other industries doesn’t always work for your store. And the resources and tools out there don’t always apply because they’re not built for bridal.
Our team at BridalVision has worked closely with bridal store owners to help them achieve their financial goals and realize their business’s vision.
What we’ve found is that most bridal store owners simply don’t know where to start.
Over the next 6 lessons, we’ll take you through the different parts of building your dream bridal business, from applying a goal setting system that actually works to implementing a stellar cash management strategy, and using data for profitable decision making.
Time to get you unstuck!
What We’ll Cover:
We’ll explore how to get organized with your shop’s numbers so that you can actually create and achieve goals that propel your business forward.
Bridal Store Goal Setting Key Takeaways:
- Having sales targets is not enough to drive your business forward.
- Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) is a quarterly goal setting framework that has helped small businesses and large tech companies alike set and hit their goals.
- A quarterly objective is simply what you want to achieve over the next 90 days.
- Key Results are the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) you use to measure progress towards the specific quarterly objectives that you set.
- It is best practice to start small when introducing OKRs. Start with one OKR that you will focus on as the owner, and work your way up to setting OKRs with your team.
Most bridal store owners do goal setting wrong. It’s easy to pick a sales target for the year or quarter, continue business as usual, and hope that this is where the numbers end up. But obviously, this is not effective goal setting.
Here are a few common pitfalls that bridal stores face when it comes to goal setting:
- Not setting goals that are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely).
- Waiting for the perfect time to start looking at the numbers and setting goals (there will likely never be a time when you do not feel busy!).
- Introducing too many goals at once.
- Not measuring progress towards goals on a regular basis.
- Setting pie in the sky annual goals instead of breaking large goals into smaller quarterly objectives.
- Only focusing on sales targets, and not the fundamental actions that must be taken to move the needle.
To sum it all up: Sales targets do matter. However, your small business needs a more comprehensive approach to ensure targets are hit and to drive underlying profit.
Now that we’ve covered what most bridal stores get wrong when it comes to goal setting, let’s walk through a better approach.
Your ability to identify and communicate all of the goals underlying your sales goals is what will ultimately drive not just sales, but profit. A framework that we at BridalVision use both internally and with our clients is the OKR framework, which stands for Objectives and Key Results.
This quarterly goal setting framework allows business owners to set specific, measurable goals and communicate them across the company.
There are two primary parts of OKRs—objectives and key results. A quarterly objective is simply what you want to achieve over the next 90 days. They should be challenging, yet realistic.
If you feel stuck when setting your objectives, ask yourself these two questions:
- What is most important for the next three months?
- Where should we concentrate our efforts and resources to make the biggest impact on our long-term goals and vision for the business?
Once you have identified your primary objective or objectives, you must determine how you will measure and determine success. This is where Key Results come in.
Key Results are the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) you use to measure progress towards an outcome. They are tied to the specific quarterly objectives that you set. Basically, your Key Results will help you and your team understand how close you are to achieving your quarterly objectives.
As with most new strategies and frameworks, it’s best to start small and simple and add in more as you go. Below are a few recommendations for bridal shops who are just starting to set OKRs.
First, brainstorm all of the potential focus areas for your quarterly objectives. This might include things like mapping out your customer journey, revamping your online presence, or rebranding the business to cater to plus size brides. After your braindump, group and prioritize similar focus areas.
When thinking about these goals and focus areas in terms of quarterly objectives, ask yourself these questions:
- Is it inspirational - Is this a goal your team will be inspired by, and is it something they’ll be intrinsically motivated to do?
- Is it too hard? Do you have a chance of achieving this goal? Do you think it is possible to hit this OKR within the quarter?
- Is it too easy? Don’t set the bar too low just so that you can achieve it.
- Is it what you (and your team) want to be focusing on for the next 3 months?
Also, save your brainstorm work! Something that might not be a focus area this quarter might become an objective the following quarter.
Start Small and Build
It is best to start small and add more quarter over quarter as you and your team become more comfortable with the process. For example, your implementation might look like this:
Quarter 1: Set just one objective, and try the OKR framework yourself for one quarter without involving your team.
Quarter 2: Add a second objective, or you can add in your managers.
Quarter 3: Once you are comfortable with OKRs, bring in your team. Start with just one quarterly objective with your team, even if you have graduated to more than one objective between the store owners/managers.
This lesson is meant as an introduction to profitable goal setting using the OKR method, and we’ve only just scratched the surface!
For example, you can’t be sure you’re working towards the right goals if you don’t have a vision in place. And it’s difficult to reach goals without some sort of accountability and coaching. The Bridal Store Profit Accelerator has you covered on both of these.
Ongoing advisory and accountability with a profit-focused financial coach is a great fit for you if you want one-on-one expert coaching. You can learn more about BridalVision’s services here.