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Image: Mathy Shoots People

I already feel behind on my business plans for 2017, how is that even possible?! Last year was a transition year for my business – we did a lot more work behind the scenes to understand what works and what doesn’t, where spending our time makes sense and where it doesn’t, and working on launching new things. I was happy to see the overall revenue of the LLC as a whole increase, but felt like there was SO MUCH MORE I wanted (needed) to do in 2016.

But hey, that’s the beauty of owning a small business, there are always new goals to set and new things to learn, and new roads to try and travel. So for 2017, I hope to refocus and work on honing and growing some of our core offerings: blogging, wedding coordination, & ecommerce.

Blogging: I took a big step back from the blog after I had Evie – some because of time/priorities changing and some because my business priorities shifted. I spent 2016 launching the wedding planner & finally getting the shop up and running. However, what I learned is that my blog is still one of the corner stones, and frankly most successful, parts of this business. It helps my SEO, it feed my wedding coordination clients, and (I hope) it will drive traffic to our online store as well. I’ve changed advertising up a bit, and I reallllly hope to re-design the blog this year, to simply the design and some of the functionality we don’t keep up with. We’ll see :)

Wedding Coordination: While I took a step back from taking more than 8-9 clients in 2016 (and I don’t really see that changing in 2017), our wedding coordination business is BOOMING. With Kara joining the team last year, we took on 26 clients and I am SUPER PUMPED to share that we will have a new coordinator joining the Capitol Romance Wedding Coordination team for 2017, Amanda!! Amanda will be “interning” with Alesha, Kara & I for our early weddings and will start to take on her own clients in the second half of 2017. We are barely two weeks into this year and we already have 20 weddings booked and have 4 consults in the pipeline and seem to be getting new inquiries every day! I am SO excited about this – but it also means it’s time for this arm of my business to mature a bit in terms of how we do our inquiries, payments, & bookings. I will be looking to sign-up with HoneyBook or some sort of online service to help us better manage our inquiries, deposits, and contracts. I think it’s finally time.

eCommerce: My goal for the CapRoShop in 2016 was simple: just launch the damn thing. It took SO MUCH LONGER than I ever expected to get that thing up and running. But now it’s finally there, and Kara & I are figuring it out, and for 2017 I hope to spend more time on marketing our products and looking for ways to wholesale our products. I am hoping to find vendors that might use our products as client gifts, or stores in DC that might be interested in selling our apparel. The skies the limit here and I am excited to see how we can grow the shop in 2017.

Email Marketing: In 2016 I made a personal goal to get better about sending at least a monthly newsletter. I’ve done pretty well at sticking to this, but in 2017 I am hoping to kick our emails into another level. With the varying arms of our business and varying interest levels of our readers/followers, I plan to get better at creating more specific lists of recipients – those that are in the throws of wedding planning, those that are already married and want more on events/business happenings, and those only interested in the shop. I will be honest, I have NO IDEA how I am going to do this … but I look forward to trying to figure it out :)

Speaking Engagements: In 2017 I would LOVE to get into more business/entrepreneur spaces to serve on panels, give talks, be a keynote at conferences, etc. I am not exactly sure how to do this either, other than planning on adding a page to the blog that says “Hey! I’m fun! Let me talk at your event!”, but maybe writing it here will help. Last year we got to be on a podcast (man was that fun!!!) and we co-held a workshop at The Lemon Bowl and our own for Cherry Blossom Creative’s Maker Series, but I want MORE in 2017! I am looking forward to what opportunities might present themselves in this area and am super excited to share that I’m being interviewed on Friday for a local DC entrepreneur podcast (more details coming!). So if you’re planning a conference or event and need a speaker, or panel member, that can talk about the wedding industry, starting a business, managing a side hustle, or being a hustling mompreneur, I am your woman.

Alright, I think we’ll wrap it up here! It feels awesome just to get these goals out into the world and I hope to hear from anyone that might have ideas, insight, or even just words of encouragement on these topics. Stay hungry Romancers!

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