Saturday, May 15, 2010

Wedding Business and Performance Reviews

I recently read an article about how antiquated and useless the idea of an annual performance review is, and I have to say that I agree. I’ve worked in a lot of different places, and in more than a few of them the manager would tell people to write their own review and they would read it and sign off on it. What’s the point of that?

I used to be a department manager at a large department store in Boston, and if I waited to give my employees a review once a year nothing would ever be improved during the rest of the year. People need to have feedback on a regular basis to know how they can improve their job performance.

As wedding vendors, we do get constant feedback, in the form of client thank-you notes, complaints, and referrals from other vendors. If you choose to ignore negative feedback you won’t improve, and if you choose to ignore what people say they liked about the work you did you’ll be missing out on valuable tips about what clients want.

If I realize that I’m not getting ANY referrals from other vendors, what does that say about me? On the other hand, if I take vendor referrals for granted, I could be missing out on the opportunity to pinpoint why people are referring to me. I recently had the catering manager of a local hotel tell me that he was going to have his staff direct their brides to me, and then HE TOLD ME WHY. This was a goldmine of information, both about what I could do to help make other people’s jobs easier, and what other vendors weren’t doing. That kind of feedback is invaluable in business, and you need to listen when given the opportunity to hear that kind of information.

Some people say that you’re only as good as your last job, but I disagree to a certain extent. I think that you’re as good as the entire body of your work, and how you react to improve it. Reputation can be made by listening to feedback, improving when you can, and building on experience. Performance reviews shouldn’t be just once a year, and neither should the desire to look at your work and see what you can change for the better.


 Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC in Richmond VA, and cake supplies online at www.acaketoremember.com and www.acaketoremember.etsy.com

1 comment:

OFD Consulting said...

I could agree with you more Kara- great post! Constant feedback (good or bad), as well as what you do with it, really makes or breaks a business.

Another one to throw in there- referrals from competitors. If a wedding professional doesn't have a "go to" person for when they can't do the job (it: already booked, etc), then they're missing out. If you used to get referrals from fellow competitors but now you don't, it's time to do a little self evaluation.

Keep up the great work!