How to Successfully Manage Multiple Brands
Show of hands, are you managing multiple brands? It's no surprise that managing multiple brands is challenging. Some may even call this being a “serial entrepreneur”, but with the right plan you can achieve success in all of your brands!
The key is to find the right balance between time spent on each different aspect of your companies.
I’m so excited to share today’s guest, Dixie Bagley, owner of The Farm in Rome, GA. Dixie is going to share with us her organizational process behind managing multiple brands, how to know that you are ready for growth, and what to do to ensure that your brands work off of each other.
The organizational process behind managing multiple brands
How to know that you're ready for growth
What you should do to ensure that your multiple brands can work off of each other
Balance your brand identities while serving customers through various avenues
Businesses need more than efficient management they need organic, timely content and someone to engage with each audience effectively
Having a solid team is essential to growing and managing multiple brands
MORE ABOUT OUR GUEST
Dixie Bagley is the owner of The Farm in Rome, Georgia – a European farm estate with lodging set in the northwest Georgia mountains. The venue focuses on working with couples who want to give their guests a relaxed but thoughtful countryside weekend wedding experience. Having been in the wedding industry for 12 years, Dixie is a master of multi-tasking and wants to make everyone feel at ease. Dixie is an active entrepreneur in the wedding industry. In addition to owning and operating a venue, she also owns The Sweet Bar Bakery, Tillman Hangar, Dixie Events Planning and Business Consulting, and she holds a degree in exercise science from the American Council of Exercise and is launching her new initiative, The Southern Wedding Collective.
Hi, y'all. It's Angela. I'm back for another episode of business unveiled. And I'm so excited to talk to our guest today, because we've known each other for years, and followed each other on social media. And we've been in similar industries. And she is a woman of force and power and amazing entrepreneur, business owner. And so if you are thinking of starting another business, or managing two separate brands, or some people, three separate brands, or you're trying to diversify your time, because you're bored, and you want to do something else, you're gonna want to listen to today,Continue Reading
because our guest has learned how to manage multiple brands, and be in the events industry, which is a whole just job in itself. But she has done it really, really well. And so Dixie, welcome to the show today. Hey, thanks for having me. Happy to be here. So excited. So before we jump off and start helping people get their mind around, having multiple brands and how to manage it, and how to diversify. I would love for you to share your background and your journey on how have you gotten to where you are today. Sure, I mean, I've always been a worker i think i've you know, a cannot recall not getting paid, whether it was in Mississippi sweeping the driveways when I was five years old, but my grandmother have always done something and 13 lives that I was 15 to get my first job at Ryan Steakhouse as a hostess. I've just always been a worker and can't sit still. So we kind of found a barn venue wasn't a venue, it was a horse barn in Rome, Georgia, and I've always had real estate issues and car issues, those are my thoughts. And just came to look at it for shits and giggles. And after we looked at it that night, I went home have a bottle of wine and my wheels started spinning. And I told my husband that we had to have it and we had a brief argument about my craziness.
But very nice brief argument was nothing serious. But he was like you're crazy. And then I showed him kind of a floor plan. That was my intention was to turn the barn into our home because he's a builder. And I thought that would have been great for his career. And so long story short, we got it and started working on renovating it to be our home and I was a personal trainer at the time. And the man who trained me to be a trainer signed us up for a half marathon and fell over and unfortunately died while training to run it. And his
his son was going to propose that night at our house. And needless to say he didn't none of that happened. And a few months later in my previous life, let me say my first marriage, I was married to an attorney and I was always throwing social events and arranging things for his clients. So when Scott was his name when he passed away, and little Scott didn't propose a couple months later, I just told my husband I said, I'm just going to offer to throw the wedding at the farm and we'll just as a community potluck, and we'll make it come together. And everybody will chip in and donate something. And we did and maybe you know, like it will I'll say by the end of the wedding, people were begging me to do weddings. I was like, No, I'm a guy's girl. I'm a personal trainer. I'm not a wedding girl.
You know, don't kiss ass all the reasons I was going through my head of why this would not be a good idea.
And I got tired of people asking me so I signed up for a wedding show. Did it had Nope, no interest whatsoever. And then about three months later, I had a random person call me and the phone calls just started coming in. And within six months, I was booked for a year solid every single weekend. And everything else just kind of evolved from there.
Isn't it crazy though? How something so sad. And so unexpected? of someone. I like to call it celebration of life, not death or funeral.
But how something so good and so beautiful. I know it sounds so cheesy. But something so good that your heart was in the right place like wanting to help that person and then host the wedding. And then look at what it has evolved in today. I mean, yes, have such an incredible y'all the venue is beautiful, the events that you guys do I see it on on social media, it's beautiful. And you lead with such passion and heart. And not everybody does that. And so I feel like not everyone is cut out a to be an entrepreneur. And not everyone is cut out to run multiple businesses and multiple brands. It's just not in the DNA. But in your DNA. It is definitely there. And it runs through and through and it shows and it shines. So anybody that is listening, or watching that wants to either take what they've already started or take what they've learned and do something else with it, or really grow on that or add more value to their clients, their audience. What are some things that helped you get prepared to be able to diversify your time? And how did what does that look like when when you're running like multiple brands? A key thing and it's really hard for people, especially people in the wedding industry, is being okay with saying no to things because we're people pleasers and we want things to happen. But for me when I'm sitting back and knowing that I'm about to roll into next, my next project, I have to really evaluate what I do with my free time. And I'm very diligent with that I very, you know, kind of by the books, I am spontaneous, but at the same time when I'm working on something, I'm like, I don't have time for that, like, if you're hanging out with me, Angela will be like, Look, you just need to know, you can't be surprised me for the next month because I have a list of things to do, and I want to accomplish them. And so you have to be okay with saying no, whether it's social things, you know, I mean, I think you have to really focus and give your brain power to these things and, and to know if you're committed and if you can handle it. And if you don't say no to certain things, and you don't give yourself enough time to really focus on it and don't think and prioritize the idea and the process and everything that goes into it.
Do you think that comes with an I don't want to say like, age, it has nothing to do with age it has to do I feel like with like life experience of like being an entrepreneur. And because when I worked in corporate America, it's like I was kind of told how I was going to spend my time. And what was the priority? I didn't have to think about it. But when you are the driver and you are doing all of these things, you have to learn how to prioritize for yourself, or they are there.
Do you have any like advice or ways for people that are listening or watching that they're like, Oh, I know, I need to say no. But like, I don't know how to say no. And I don't want to miss out on an opportunity. Or I don't want people to think that. I don't care about them. It's just it's it's not on my vision board right now. So the answer has to be no. How do you communicate that to people and like, let them down gently? I think first of all, I think a lot of people are just afraid of the word. No, they're afraid that people won't come back to them or they won't like them. They're just afraid of the consequences of the word No. But I think in you know, for me, in my experience, when I tell people that I have to say no, because here's what I'm working on. And this is my goal and my focus to get this brand or business up and started. And so right now I just can't do it. Maybe I can in a month and revisit it. So I do explain myself. And most of the time, people are very understanding and very admiring of that. And you know, once you say it that way, it's no different than my husband who's a builder. He's got a waiting list. The answer is no for six months, you know, and but when you tell people that and say, Look, I'm busy making this great house right here, and I've got to focus on this house before I can move on to another one. And they understand that so I think it's just a matter of how you handle it and how you explain yourself. And it's it's so important. I do know that people take read things like emails or text or a slack message. I was recently having dinner with some girlfriends and someone a business came up and I'm like, Oh my god, they're awesome. They're great. Like, I mean, I've known them not a long time but have gotten services there. And then another one of our friends said something where she
had an awful experience. And she's like, I would never give them a penny of my money. I wouldn't spend time there. And I'm like, Whoa, shit, what happened? And so we started talking about it, and come to find out. She didn't like the fact that, you know, things booked up, we booked up, we sometimes were booked two months in advance to do like a day long strategy with a client. And just because you don't like the answer, then you form this negative opinion about a brand, which, you know, so I just I talked it through with her and and kind of like exactly what you just said, when I'm working on your house, or your event or your wedding or whatever, don't you want me to give you 100% attention and give you that great experience. If you have to wait two months to get in to somewhere, that might tell you something, that they're doing something right, and they have a wait list. And if you want that level of customization and customer service, then you're going to have to wait in line just like everybody else. But she was just pissed that she didn't get the answer that she wanted. And I'm like, there's nothing wrong with their brain. And I kind of challenged her to it. I'm like, don't go saying that. I'm like there. Yeah, I mean, I've had a great and then a few other people who didn't have the balls to bring it up. Before I said something good for you. Let's be honest. You know, they're like, Yeah, actually, I've been there. Like they do a great job, you know, you do have to wait. So book in advance kind of thing. So it's not a bad thing. It's just the way that you interpret what the messenger is telling you. And yeah, and there's some people who don't really want you, they just want a product right then and they want it quick, fast and easy. And you're know, deters them, then they're probably not for you anyway, they didn't really want you and what you're offering, so that's okay.
Exactly. You're not for everybody, like it is Oh, K is okay. So do you have any experience shares on how can people really get ready for growth? Like, how do you know like, Oh, my God, I need to hire somebody else? Or Oh, my God, I need to do something else. Like, are people? Are there signs that people can look for when they're really like ready to grow? Or the better question is that they can they have the time to dedicate to opening another company or starting another company or managing another brand? Like how do you know, I think, you know, obviously, you have to have the time to listen to yourself and focus on yourself some quiet time with yourself, to decide if it's right for you. One, if your business is currently going well, if it's if you're kind of bored in your business, not because you're not busy, but you're just kind of like, I'm not being challenged every day, or I feel the need to joke and say I'll rearrange the furniture in my house all the time.
If you're getting itchy like that, you don't I mean, there's probably a sign that you that's an opportunity for you to either grow your existing business, or to go into another direction that's going to, you know, help your business. I mean, pretty much all of my businesses benefit from each other, which is really nice. You know, so you kind of I think listening to yourself, looking at what's going on how much time you got D want to grow what you've got even more and bring in more employees? Or do you want to branch off and start a new brand of something? And that's a personal choice, obviously, for everybody. Yeah. So I'm interested to know, the different brands that you guys have and that you're managing? Do you guys are there because you know, I'm a tech girl. Were y'all we were talking about Apple before. We're talking about notifications, and how annoying they are.
But are there tools or apps or platforms, software's that you could recommend to people where it's like, yes, like, we live by this to make sure that we're managing our content and our just all of the digital assets that you really need to run a brand. Yeah, I mean, my favorite things. Obviously, I'm a huge fan of Dropbox and Google Drive I have that for every every single person subject in my life. God bless my husband. My husband's like, what do you send to me again, I'm like, it's so easy, I swear.
But then, you know, I'm a huge fan of timeline genius, just because it's something I can use across the board for everything, including my own personal travel. You know, I think trying to like brain farting here. Pages, yeah, pages is, you know, another favorite of mine. It's simple. I can move that anywhere and change anything but those are personally for me My Favorite Things. I don't really get into a whole lot of tech software type stuff. Just
Because if I would have to have so much with so many different brands,
I don't want to I don't want to overwhelm myself with all that. So, yeah. How do you? How do you choose? Like? Like, do you have just this massive calendar? And you color code your different businesses? And how do you decide like where you're going to spend your time, like in those different businesses, I do a color code, everything, it's all in one calendar, I also keep a paper calendar, I've got one in every building, I've got one in my house, one of my car one.
And I try to consistently keep the same thing across all of those, you know, I'll let my assistant take one and be like, make sure all these, you know, say the same thing, just in case. You know, I even write down where I eat lunch most of the time. I'm a little anal with that. But calendars are a huge thing with me. And I do definitely prioritize everything. I mean, my children, my children are grown. They're on my calendar, and they have a color.
And I'm really diligent. I mean, I'm just I'm really diligent about that, just because I know what's important to me. So I'm very good about going, here's what I'm going to spend my time on today. And here's what I'm not going to spend my time on. And if it's not the best use of my time, the most efficient use of my time, in getting the maximum, you know about that I can get out of myself, I just don't do it.
Yeah, that that's been the key for us, too, is like everything's on one calendar. And I will say, I don't keep the paper calendar just because like, I loved my planner, and then it was stolen, because my car was broken into my purse was stolen, and my planer was my purse. And then the other thing that I've learned is like, in order to like delegate and like, share the calendars, you know, so that multiple people can see it. And what's great is if I don't get to something, because I know like as entrepreneurs, we think that we're sometimes I'm like, I'm Superwoman, I can do 50 things today. Yeah, and I'll fit it all in and everything, I'll have a 10 or 15 minute increment, and like, I'll be able to do it. And then shit happens in life happens, or, you know, I mean, this happened this morning. It's like, we went outside, I took my little pup out, and then we come back in and she shits like, right in front of me, I'm like, really, we were just outside, like, what are you mad about? So it's like, I have to stop, I have to clean it up, I have to clean her up. And it's like then that I'm 15 minutes behind. So I've learned to just like, let life happen. And like, give yourself grace, and then just slot it to the next day. And give yourself that some breathing room and some breathing time so that you can eat and you can run to the bathroom. And it seems like simple things. But to me, like if it's not on my calendar, it doesn't exist. Outside of like eating and going to the bathroom and sleeping. Sometimes I even put sleep on my calendar. Like if I'm traveling and I'm in different time zones, like I understand how important it is to block and time block those things to make sure that I am staying healthy. Because if you're traveling and all these different time zones, and you don't get the proper rest, and you don't give your time for jetlag. And it's like a real thing. Like, I used to end up getting sick a lot. And so I'm like, I know that about myself. So why would I not like go in and block the calendar. It's like, people make fun of me, like, Oh my god, you have sleep on your calendar. Like just sometimes like there's a reason for it. But that's how we GSD that's how we get shit done is making sure that we're doing that. It's so so so important. So for people who maybe already have multiple brands right now, are there any takeaways that you can share with them? Like if they feel like they're running around like a chicken with their head cut off, I used to feel that way. Not that we had multiple brands that we were running at the time, but we were managing 250 plus events. And we had 12 people and 12 different managers and it was just a lot because everyone came to me for every little thing that didn't go as planned. So when you're managing this, do people come to you? Or do you have people underneath you that they go to like, what does the organizational chart look like for you? So that anybody listening? It could help them understand like, you can't do it all? You can't do it all by yourself? Yes. I mean, you know, it's both for me one in one reason is because we have a bakery, so I have to have employees and a staff and a bakery. So you know, there was a point in time where that bakery consumed every bit of my time
from designing it to finding someone to come in and make donuts in the middle of the night, then someone to run it in order the product and cake decorator, I mean, the list goes on and on. And then let's just throw in that it's pretty much full of all women that are administrating age and hormones and add into it. So for about five years, that was a consistent coming to me, you know, wrangling everything, herding cats, and now that's running really well. But I do have a manager there and have a cake decorator and my donut maker, those three people pretty much, if they can't handle it, they typically will come to me, you know, and then I still do the social side, and the charitable things and all that kind of stuff of bringing stuff together on the back end. Everything else, I have an assistant that works underneath me with all my other companies. And for the most part, I really try to handle everything. I let them handle the junk emails, that kind of stuff. My son helped us with Airbnb. So he handles that. So I pretty much have you know, about four people underneath me, that helped me with things. And if they can't handle it, they come to me, but I'm really good at managing that. Like he said, I don't I mean, it takes a lot to blow my skirt up. And it takes a lot to fluster me. So I'm really good at managing that. But for somebody who's not they would need to go, Okay, here's the list of what I did today that I hated. And I need to figure out a way to streamline that and make that better or not do it. Because if you hate it, you're probably not doing it well anyway.
And figure out, you know, what your yeses and your nose are and how you can make them better. And sometimes, you know, people have too many brands and one of the brands is causing the most headache, and it's not really profiting them anyway. So it's time to go, Well, maybe you know, I need to let that one go. So be realistic with yourself.
And it's okay. Like, I know, some people feel as though Oh, I'm failing, and they will do anything in their power to keep a business alive, regardless that it is hemorrhaging money. Because they don't want they care too much about what other people think about them, that they're a failure. And so I had to learn early on, like, unless you're working with me, in the industry, you know, my business model, you know, my business, you're not gonna understand, and that's okay, you can develop your own whatever opinion of what we're doing and how we're doing it, but and you don't really get a seat at the table. And, and you can't really give advice to someone, unless you actually work alongside them. And you understand what is going on. It was so hard years ago, when I would do all the planning all the design and then hand it off to a director to go and direct everything. And then I had some girls that were complaining about various things. And in my head, I'm like, I don't even know how to address this. And I got a business manager back then. And he was like, You know what, you can't even have that conversation with them. Because they don't see the 910 1112 months of work that you're doing in the background, the nights that you stay up to make the client happy, the sleepless nights, the days you don't eat, the days that you are out there, making sure that your client is happy, they have one job to do. And that is show up on that day and execute all the stuff that's already been planned. That's the easy part. the easy part is execution. If it's planned well, and it's communicated Well, I'm sorry, if the guys are getting too drunk and out of control, and they're hitting on you. Like that's the least of my worries. Like, I don't even know what to tell you because you don't know the big picture. But it's frustrating. And so I would sit down and try to have the conversation. My business, my business manager, he's like, they don't care. And they can't even understand where you're coming from. So there's certain conversations that you should have with your team. And there's certain conversations that you should not have with your team. Because it doesn't matter. They can't feel it if they're not in it. So he's like you're just wasting your breath. What what are your thoughts on that? And involving your team? I definitely, I'm with you. It's really hard. Like they're, you know, I've had the conversation before it's my girls at the bakery. They have no idea how many nights I laid awake, thinking about how I could and I want to drop the bomb here unfuck a waffle house because it was a waffle house. And it was my only option left of where to put this bakery and make it profitable and lay awake at night thinking about all the different things I could do paint and constructionwise to make this not look like a waffle house and then the name and you know the logo and all of the stuff and the feeling and what we would provide
Didn't, like my grandmother's recipes are in there, my husband's grandmother's handwritten recipes are in there, you know, all of that stuff. And then you have a girl Come in, you know, next week working and she's like, hey, she, when she do, like, she just, you know, the wife of the owner.
Just like, it is frustrating because I'm like, Girl, you have no idea how much time I spent building this brand. And making this and getting Facebook followers and, you know, and the thing is, is she's not gonna understand because that I and you are too We're different mentalities of people. And there are certain people who are not built like that, and they will never get it, even if it's told to them, they're not really going to understand the time and energy that people put into that and, and you have to be okay with that not everybody's gonna understand and not everybody's gonna sing your accolades or praise you for what you're doing. You have to be okay with that. I often say doing weddings is a thankless job sometimes, not because it's intentional. It's just because everybody's in the hurry. But I'm like, Hey, man, I worked a year and a half on your wedding. And Mike stayed up at night, I was thinking in my sleep about how to arrange this for you and how to do this and how you know, could make all this stuff happen for you. And now the wedding's over here like Bassi lighter
weight, weight is that all, no hugs, no love, like,
and you know, it's just one of those things do you have to be okay with it, because it's not because they're not trying to be appreciative and thankful, or of what you do, they just are not, we're not built the same way. And we can't always expect that out of somebody. So I think you know, there's times you have to convey that there's times you don't have to convey that. But ultimately, being a leader and building brands, you have to be, you know, confident in yourself and your decisions and be okay with it. Because if you have to constantly rely on somebody else to help you be confident as someone with multiple brands, it's not going to work. I mean, you know, it's kind of like when you go in and try a shirt on that shirt you're wearing today, like you try that shirt on, you didn't have to ask anybody's opinion about it, you liked it and you wanted it, you didn't need to do that, if you are that type of person, then it's probably not gonna work out for you where you have to ask all the opinions. It's so funny, because my mom says that, when even when I was super young, I would rewrite you talked about rearranging the furniture. And so something for those of you listening or watching have young kids and it's like, the I used to rearrange my furniture just in my little bedroom a lot. And because I would get bored. And so there's certain things that you can look for on people that their brain is just naturally wired that way. And work in your strengths. Don't focus on the weaknesses, hire, like delegate out the whole weaknesses. But there, there were all these little things in them. And then I would like lunch at my toys, and in a LAN. And if anything got at a place I would like flip out apparently, these are stories my parents told me. And so even now, as an adult, when we would go in to do these huge designs and operations, my team knows I like every I like all the linens lined up. For all I'm like all the 120s all the 130 days, all the 19 by 130, sit like line everything up, count them, make sure they're here. And we know that at the very beginning of the day five or 6am. Because if something's missing, we have the rest of the day to like go figure it out. So it's like even what I was doing when I was three years old, like is carried over. And yes, sometimes it's a little bit OCD. But there has to be order to the madness. Otherwise, the outcome is never going to be incredible.
So when you want downtime, or you want to go on vacation, or you want to travel with your family, and you want to be just left alone, are you able to turn your phone off? Are you able to tell your team like peace out guys? I'll be back in two weeks. Don't call me or text me unless I was dead? Well, kind of you're kind of sorta Yeah, so like, when my children come home, and I am notorious, like and I probably won't even remember to tell you, but they're also adults so they can be spontaneous. But if they were to show up right now, I'd probably drop my phone and I like when I pick it up two days later when they left you know what I mean? Like Yeah, oh, sorry, Angela, my kids.
All right. But so when they come home, I really tend to spend my time with them because it's so much fun. Can I just say like being 50 and having 27 and 25 year old and being young enough to enjoy them is really fun because they were such pain in the ass as when they were little and teenagers. So I really enjoy being able to like adult with them. You know what I mean? In
basking in that with them. So I give them all of my attention. But we out when Lee and I go travel, I really travel with the intention of having quiet time to focus on all the things that are in my head and put them in this computer and make this product. I mean, the southern wedding collective, came out of going to Montana, the week that the pandemic hit and was announced, and we went to Montana to ski and all of a sudden, we couldn't ski. And not only that, but like Bozeman airport, I walked in and was like, Hello, it was a ghost town to get my rental car. And so I had all this quiet time. And this has been on my brain for a while and I was like, this is the time to do this, this is my time now it's quiet, easy to do. So for me, I kind of look forward to those times of vacation, to be able to, you know, hone in on myself and improve myself. And even if it's not building another brand, just auditing my existing companies and what I can do better, I firmly believe that everybody should do that every single year, if not once, maybe twice. And I mean, everything, your pricing, your wording, your verbiage, your BIOS on social media. So you know, I always use that time and my husband's the same way he'll go. And we will go somewhere and work till lunchtime, on our computers working on the back end of things, you know, not getting interrupted and having to go out. And so it's really productive for us. So I'm both I shut down when my kids are, kids are home. And on vacations I use part of my time to hone in on me and what's important.
But it's so important to like have that moment or those moments where you can be present. You know, what is important, Thomas precious. And you know that it'll be there when you get back or you have team members that can help take care of that for you while you're out? And yeah, it's so important to like, take the time to work on the business, not in the business. Like I say that so much. And so many other people say that too. But it's a thing. It's like if you're so busy in the rat race, and I don't mean that in a negative way. But if you're so busy just working, it's like, how are you going to grow? And how are you going to do projections? And I had a coach asked me once, and he's like, well, how many events do you want to do? And I'm like, I don't even know what to say. Because we just say yes, I mean, they just come. And he's like, we've got to get a handle on these things. And on the business model. And you can't say yes to everybody. And, you know, going from 250 plus events to 30 in two years, and then doing the 30 we were much more profitable as a business and with the business model than doing 250 of just half ass doing things and not asking enough questions. So it really can make a difference to make sure that you're actually being profitable in your company so that you can be present and support the lifestyle. So this is awesome if people want to connect with you, what's your favorite platform? And of course we'll put all of your your websites and your businesses in the show notes as well. But do you have a favorite place where you hang out where people can connect with you? Yeah, Instagram and of course clubhouse. It's nice. Not everybody's on there. But clubhouse is great Instagram though Dixie Bagley Dixie does weddings is my hashtag. That's the best place to kind of find me and you can link over to all the other companies if you're interested. Awesome. This was so so fabulous. Like I just love everything that you do. So everyone listen you're watching be sure to check out what Dixie is doing and reach out to her on Instagram. And thank you so much for watching. Thank you for your time today. And be sure to tune in next week for another episode of business unveiled by y'all. That's it for this week's episode of business unveiled. Now that you have all the tools that you need to conquer the world and GSD get shit done. Would you share this with your friends and fellow business leaders? One thing that would really really help us and help new listeners is for you to rate the show. And leave a comment and Apple podcast, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you tune in and listen to business unveiled. You can check out the show notes at Angela proffitt.com slash podcast and link up with us on social media so you can share your biggest insights. And I want to know your aha moments. Until next week, remember the profitable shifts and structures you're creating in your business help you be more present in your life. So get out there and GSD