Keep It Simple, Don't Be Afraid to Reinvent Yourself
Reinvention is the name of the game when it comes to Meggie's small business success.
Meggie Francisco, owner of Meggie Francisco Destination Weddings, has never been afraid to reinvent herself. She grew up in what she calls an “adventurous family” that moved around the country approximately every two years. “Moving as a child gives you this opportunity to change your interests, change your fashion style—just really grow and rebrand yourself,” she says.
Knowing how to take advantage of new opportunities and rebrand has played a significant role in where Francisco is today. After a decade of working in the hospitality and business consulting industries, she launched her own business as a professional wedding planner, a career path that evolved from her hobby of helping friends plan their weddings. At first, Francisco based her business model on the ballroom-style weddings that were popular in Dallas where she was living. But as volume increased, it became difficult for her to give couples the same high level of service she had been able to in the beginning. She needed to streamline, so she started reading up on the subject.
Learning about simplification was a game changer: Francisco rebranded her company to focus solely on minimalist destination weddings. This new focus not only allowed her to give all of her clients excellent service, but to grow professionally as well. “The more you are able to simplify your life, the better you are able to be an entrepreneur,” she says.
Francisco’s comfort with moving around also came in handy as her business scaled. She is now based out of Columbus, Ohio, and travels all over the world to manage client weddings in dreamy destinations such as Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; Lake Tahoe, California; Telluride, Colorado; Florence, Italy; and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
While it all sounds very glamorous, running a wedding planning business is demanding. Francisco says the key is staying calm and resilient. “You’re going to make bad decisions sometimes. And you’re never going to have all of the information you want to make the decisions you have to make,” she says. “But you keep cool, keep calm, and you learn from it, and make a better decision.”
One thing that has helped her run her business is the general liability insurance and professional liability insurance policies from small business insurer Hiscox. “Hiscox is so well established I feel super confident that I can focus on doing my job—creating beautiful events that are safe for everybody who is attending,” she says. “If anything were to happen, I know that Hiscox would be immediately responsive and good to work with.”
For those who dream about having their own business, Meggie advises moonlighting. “If you love a hobby and you’re thinking about doing it for your career, you should keep that day job. It gave me a huge leg up when I took the leap to start my business. When you start a business, you need [startup] money,” she says.
While she relishes being an independent contractor, Francisco still relies on lots of folks—florists, musicians, caterers, etc.—to help her pull off a successful wedding. “One very intimidating thing about being an entrepreneur is that you think you have to be it all, and do it all,” she says. I’ve learned that you can’t be good at everything, and that’s okay. You can still be really successful.”