In this episode of Entrepreneur Money Stories, we revisit Brandee Gaar, the founder of a thriving wedding planning business based in Orlando, Florida. With an impressive track record spanning sixteen years in the industry, Brandee has not only built a profitable business but has also become a dedicated coach to other wedding professionals. Her mission is clear: she wants to help others succeed while challenging the pervasive burnout culture that often plagues the wedding industry.
The conversation takes place just after Brandee’s annual Summit, an event she meticulously plans with thoughtfulness and intention. Initially starting her coaching online, Brandee found her true calling in in-person events, allowing participants to experience a sense of empowerment and embrace their roles as CEOs. Every aspect of the Summit is crafted to provide authenticity and realness to attendees, both during the sessions and outside of them. Brandee believes that gathering the right individuals in one room can spark transformative changes in their professional lives.
Tracking the Financial Side of Things
Brandee astutely manages her business, ensuring clear financial segregation among its various branches, such as wedding planning, the Summit, and coaching, all under the same LLC. This approach enables her to closely track the profitability of each segment individually. She emphasizes the importance of paying attention to the finer details, especially during less profitable years, and setting expense goals to complement sales targets, driving steady growth.
Looking into the Future
Despite the fear surrounding a possible recession, Brandee adamantly refuses to plan from a place of fear, dismissing it as an excuse for mediocrity. Instead, she advises professionals to focus on excellence, redouble their marketing efforts, and invest in personal and business growth. Even post-pandemic, when her company seemed to be coasting, Brandee recognized the opportune moment to push for growth and made concerted efforts to expand the business.
A strong advocate for investing in her team, Brandee believes in providing her employees with opportunities for growth. For instance, she invested in her social media manager by purchasing an SEO course, which will remain available to future team members in that role, enhancing their skills and contributing to the overall growth of the business.
Money Mindset and the Financial Aspect
A major decision Brandee made recently was moving the Summit from Orlando to Austin, TX. This shift was a strategic one, calculated to foster a 20% growth in that region by centralizing the event. Drawing from past attendance data and comprehensive planning for best and worst-case scenarios, Brandee confidently took the leap, recognizing the potential for success in this bold move.
Advice for the Fearful Business Owner
Brandee’s insights resonate deeply with entrepreneurs, emphasizing the importance of thoughtfulness in managing one’s business, resisting conformity, and identifying and addressing the gaps that hinder growth. Her approach exemplifies how investing in essential areas and shedding weaknesses can lead to business expansion and overall success.
In conclusion, this enlightening episode with Brandee Gaar is a treasure trove of wisdom for anyone navigating the wedding planning industry or seeking entrepreneurial inspiration. Her remarkable journey, coupled with her passion for uplifting others, serves as a guiding beacon for entrepreneurs striving to thrive in competitive markets while avoiding burnout. Listeners are left with invaluable takeaways on building profitable businesses, fostering authenticity, and nurturing a strong team to achieve their goals.
[04:48] The Summit
[09:28] Tracking the financial side of things
[17:18] Looking into the future
[24:34] Money mindset and the financial aspects
[32:43] Advice for the fearful business owner
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Connect with Brandee:
Website | https://brandeegaar.com/
Instagram | https://www.instagram.com/brandeegaar/