Pivoting With Your Business With Hannah Fay Painter

Today we are talking all about pivoting with your business with Hannah Fay Painter. Hannah is the founder of Wildcliff Weddings & Events. Their goal is to help couples make one of the most important days of their lives flow as seamlessly as possible and serve their clients in any way they can!



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Meet Hannah Fay Painter

Hannah is a small-town girl, Christian,  and grew up in a town of fewer than 200 people. She went to college in Tennessee where she met her husband. He had the idea to run a wedding venue with his family in Alabama, but when they got serious and he saw her family property, plans changed. She graduated with a degree in Media Communications. 

They both worked at their alma mater for 4 years and while we were there, they thought about and worked on the “venue”. Finally, they took the plunge to move to Missouri and things took off quickly! Now they do 35ish weddings per year. They love serving people on their big, STRESSFUL day!


How does having systems in place benefit your service-oriented, brick-and-mortar business?

Hannah starts by saying that even with a brick-and-mortar business, you definitely cannot run a business without systems in place! 

She shared a quick anecdote by saying that when she and her husband first got started with the venue business, they did everything on paper! But as they began to grow their team and clientele pool, they realized they had a problem with information overload! 

Every couple gave them soooo much information that all needed to be tracked and easily accessible for each member of the team. She followed this up by saying that even if you take paper and pen notes, you are always going to want to have things digital for your team. 

For Hannah and their team, the solution to this was HoneyBook. 

They needed a way to get contracts back and forth without it being so clunky and so time-consuming. HoneyBook made that process smoother and more natural. Hannah stated that having this sort of client management tool was vital to the growth and efficiency of their business.

Hanah then focused on some of the benefits her team experiences from having systems in place. First, it is very beneficial for her team to have one place where they can all log on to find all the information they need.

She continues by saying that having 1-2 central systems in place allows them to easily step in and get up to date on a project if they need help, have to cover for someone, or are just generally wondering about a client’s project progress.

Her conclusion was that having all their client information stored in a central digital location where the team could access and understand the project status if needed, gave her peace of mind because she wasn’t the only one who knew certain aspects and requirements about each project and the overall client management process.


What are some other features you love/use in HoneyBook?

Hannah continued the conversation about HoneyBook by mentioning some of her other favorite features. She states that she and her husband also chose HoneyBook because they knew it was a platform that could grow and scale as their business did.  

Other aspects of HoneyBook she loves are templates and the ease with which she can send those out. This helps systemize her client management process. Next, she loves the built-in workflow management aspect of HoneyBook. This allows her to easily see where clients are in the workflow process and also see how many clients are in each step of the process.

She concludes by saying that one of her favorite features is the ability to share private notes with her team inside specific client project profiles. This helps them remain organized because notes are only attached to their relevant projects and to systemize their internal communication.


What is the growth strategy you used in order to grow your business so successfully over the past five years?

Hannah begins by saying that they always preferred an organic growth strategy.

She continues by saying that their goal was not to let themselves be influenced or intimidated by the industry and competition in their field. They wanted to treat their business and their journey as entrepreneurs as unique from everyone else’s experience and focus on what works best for them.

She says that they never wanted to over-commit or over-exert before they knew that there was a need. But they did make sure pivoting and adjusting their business processes as needed was always a part of their strategy. This allowed them to stay true to themselves and grow at their own pace. 

She adds that another key part of their growth was bringing in additional team members as they grew. And making sure those team members were in roles that exemplified their strengths and skillsets. 

Hannah says in the wedding industry (but also any industry!) it is so important to have a team you can trust with your client’s satisfaction. She says that these main elements have played a big role in scaling their business over the past 5 years.


How do you keep a healthy amount of work-life balance while still ‘giving your all’ to your role as a mother and as an entrepreneur?

Hannah begins by saying that, for her, it is all about expectations. When she is in ‘work mode’ she tries to give all her focus and energy to her work! She explains that an important aspect of this not feeling ‘mom guilt’ for being at work and away from her family.  

That being said, she says it is natural to struggle with the guilt of being away from family at work. To combat this, she focuses on giving herself grace and saying, “Ok, I set aside this time to work for my family, so that’s what I am going to do.” 

Hannah then says that it can be beneficial for moms to be able to wear an entrepreneur hat and be challenged in a different way. When business owners focus on giving their all at work and don’t let themselves feel that mom guilt, they can go home and put on their mom hat feeling much more rejuvenated than they would if they beat themselves up about it. 

 Building off of that, she says that this is a very positive thing for entrepreneurs and their families. It always just comes down to a matter of making expectations clear and communicating needs and schedules.

In summary, she states that ‘pivoting’ to meet the needs of their business will always play a crucial role in the lives of entrepreneurs. Business needs will change and develop over time. Being aware of that and pivoting as needed is vital. 

She shares a quick guide for how business owners can determine if pivoting is needed and then carry it out: First, determine your needs (Is something missing? Is it time to grow? Change a process? Or even stop doing something?). Then determine the steps you need to get there (What does this need entail? New team members? Equipment? Software, etc.?). With this in mind, pivoting their business when necessary played a big role in maintaining work-life balance. 


What tips do you have for building your business around client satisfaction? 

Hannah says their golden rule is to treat people the way they would want to be treated on their wedding day. 

From there, she says they take that one step beyond. Their goal has always been to make the wedding day as least stressful as possible. And basically, that comes down to, if they see a need, they cover that need. No matter what it is.


If you’re looking for a beautiful outdoor venue, connect with Hannah by checking out the links below!




Check out HoneyBook (and use code ‘systemsup’ to get 35% off your first year!)



Check Out Hannah’s Website! 

Connect With Hannah On Instagram!



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Check Out Our Website

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Pivoting With Your Business With Hannah Fay Painter

January 18, 2023