Knowing your numbers is one of the most important parts of running any business – especially as a wedding planner! Our finances are often a bit more confusing since each client might have different packages and expenses. But that is all the more reason to keep track of everything! One of the biggest game-changers in my business was when I started tracking my reports monthly and doing quarterly and annual reviews.
By implementing these quarterly and annual reviews, you can keep your goals top of mind and take action to make progress towards those goals. It also allows you to tweak and adjust your goals based on milestones you may or may not have met yet. And if you didn’t meet those goals – that is okay! Part of running a business is knowing how to pivot and adjust each quarter.
So how do you run these quarterly and annual reviews?
Setting Quarterly Reviews
I suggest setting the quarterly review dates in your calendar now. Block off that day, or 1/2 day, as a CEO day where you focus just on your goals and numbers. Set one in early January, late March, late June, and late September.
Look at your overall yearly goals each quarter. Ask yourself, “What has changed? What hasn’t changed?” This will also let you see which goals need to be adjusted and which may no longer be a priority.
Setting Annual Reviews
Don’t forget your yearly annual review! I will also do an additional annual review at the end of December. This is where I look at my yearly reports and my notes from the previous quarterly reviews. Determine what strategies worked and what didn’t work. And think of how you want to tackle the next year’s goals.
4 Important Financial Documents I Couldn’t Run My Wedding Planning Business Without
01. Profit and Loss Report For Your Business
Your profit and loss statement (for your business as a whole) will give you important insight into your finances. This summarizes the sales and expenses incurred during a specific period. You can easily run this report each quarter, as well as annually. It is necessary to review this weekly or at least once per month. Your profit and loss statement will help you determine how you need to operate your business for the rest of the year.
Helpful Business Tool: Quickbooks
02. Profit and Loss Report For Each Client
While this is not easy to run in Quickbooks, it is an essential one! This report summarizes the sales and expenses incurred by each event. Knowing your P&L for each client will let you see if you are really making money off of a client and help you determine your package pricing.
You can create your report in a Spreadsheet, with the following information on each client:
- The total package price they paid
- The total time spent (consultations, backend prep work, emails, timeline creation, vendor communication, updating details, etc.)
- Expenses (mileage, credit card fees, client gifts, consultation f&b, assistant fees, etc.)
Once you add up all of your time and expenses, you can see your profit margin. For example, if you charged $1000 for a planning package, and your total time and expenses totaled $600, you have a 40% profit margin. This might be a good amount if you are a solo business, but as you add team members, you will need to raise your prices.
03. Annual Budget
Your annual budget report estimates income and expenses for the year ahead. This tracks everything you are spending money on and how much revenue you forecast for the year. Knowing this report every quarter will ensure that you can afford anticipated expenses and know which months need more income.
04. Cash Flow Worksheet
Cash flow can sometimes be confused with the profit and loss statement. Your cash flow report shows what is actually guaranteed income and expenses for your business in the months ahead and compares it to your annual revenue goal. This report helps you see when money will be coming in and when money will be going out based on currently booked projects. This report should be run each month, each quarter, and annually.
How To Stay On Top Of Quarterly And Annual Reviews
Running your bookkeeping can be an overwhelming part of your wedding planning business. And it is often the things we overlook each quarter, especially during a busy wedding season! But as a business owner, it is essential that you run reports quarterly and annually and really take the time to focus on knowing your numbers. These are my biggest tips on how to track your numbers consistently.
- Make it a priority. If you do not know your numbers, you can’t accurately make financial decisions.
- Keep your business and personal finances separate. One of the first steps in setting up a business is to get a business bank account! This is not just for legal purposes -the IRS will want to see a separate bank account. But you will also want to keep the money separate to get the best gauge of your numbers.
- Have a system in place. You don’t have to do this with paper and a pen! Whether it is accounting software, like Quickbooks, or a simple excel spreadsheet, you can create a system that runs the numbers for you. This way, you can easily and quickly track every single incoming and outgoing dollar.
- Categorize your income and expenses. You can easily do this inside Quickbooks or even a spreadsheet. Some categories include: Meals & Entertainment, Client Gifts and Subcontractor Fees
- Keep thorough records of everything. Every single purchase, time in the car driving to meetings, and subscriptions, need to be tracked.
- Maintain it! Closeout your books at the end of every month to ensure accuracy and save you time while income and expenses are top of mind.
- Take a CEO day to look at your numbers each quarter and each year. It can be easy to forget to run your reports. So schedule days for the coming year in your calendar NOW so that you have it blocked off in advance. Take a 1/2 day or full day to invest in knowing your numbers. Even during a busy wedding season!
Quarterly Review and Planning For Successful Wedding Planners
No matter what software you use, or how you set your goals, knowing your numbers is going to make running your business easier! So take some time and get those CEO dates ready, and start investing time each quarter to review your numbers.