Incoming wall of text/rant:
I've been in the princess party business for about 4 years now. When I started, there was barely any competition. I was making bank and staying very busy.
Then Frozen came out and things really took off. All these other princess party companies popped up in my area. There are DOZENS of them (counted at least 30). Most aren't very good but there are a handful I would consider stiff competition.
I was feeling burnt out from it all at the end of the year last year and almost quit. Instead, I revamped my website, my packages, my costumes. It lit a bit of a fire underneath me and I felt motivated again!
The same cannot be said for my customers though. They've all but disappeared. I went from nearly 10 parties a WEEK to lucky if I get 5 in a month.
I am worried some of the changes I made in my revamp murdered my business. Specifically, we used to offer a 30 minute party package. It was pretty popular, but I cut it out because it didn't make me a lot of money, and was a hassle. (2-3 hours prep and drive time for 30 minutes of performance? Was hard to schedule performers for it!). I also raised my prices a bit (because I raised my quality). I am trying to get more high end clientelle but I am fast becoming aware I don't know how to do that Also, I stopped allowing outdoor parties because it was unsafe, poor quality and wrecked my costumes. I think these are the reasons my business is tanking.
I really only have a few more months left. If I can't turn things around by September, I am going to have to shut it down. The thought breaks my heart. I've put my heart and soul into this and to fail like that…is super disheartening. Plus after 4 years working for myself, how can I go back to working under someone else?! lol
Anyway, I guess this was mostly just a long rant. I had to get it off my chest. My friends and family don't really know what's up and I am a little ashamed to tell them I am not as successful as they think I am.
I've been working on getting more professional, high quality pictures for my site (I am photographer as well) and am trying to stay up to date on social media. I recently visited the SBA and spoke with a business mentor and attended a seminar on email and Facebook marketing. I just, I feel very disheartened at the moment.
Any words of encouragement or advice would be so much appreciated!