Starting up as a wedding planner is an exciting prospect for many. Your job will be to help couples organise the wedding day of their dreams, which means a large skillset will be needed to facilitate this. But you don’t actually need any kind of certificate or qualification to set up a wedding planning business, which does make a business plan particularly essential.
In this blog post, we will take a look at what is involved in starting up as a wedding planner and how best to plan to help your business succeed.
The Wedding Planner ‘Job Description’
As you will be running this business as a start-up, there will be no specific job specifications out there for your company. However, knowing the job characteristics and business type will help you to realise how ready you are and what strengths to play to.
On top of dealing with the bride and groom’s requirements, you will need to build relationships and negotiate with a range of suppliers such as photographers, venue owners and florists. Due to this, it pays to have networking experience, good communication skills and confidence.
Logic is a particularly important trait to have. As weddings are so important to people and they are often grand, complex events, things will inevitably go wrong. A supplier may not turn up or the weather may be bad, but as a wedding planner you will have to think logically and always have a plan B.
Whilst no qualifications are needed, some event planning experience would be desirable as well as the experience of an office environment. The event planning experience is obvious, but many people do not realise just how much administrative work is involved in wedding planning. On top of this, the ability to put people at their ease and allow them to trust you will be a vital skill. Furthermore, if you are starting a wedding planning business with no prior experience, you could consider specialist wedding planner training.
Building A Brand and Marketing Your Business
How well you market yourself as a business owner will be such an important factor in your success as a wedding planner. Developing a niche, identifiable brand is how you will stand out from the congested market of competitors. To do this, a lot of hard work is required. An advisable starting point would be to build up a portfolio of partial planning contracts before moving onto full planning services, once you have built up a great reputation as a brand.
Creating and building a good website that has been properly optimized for search engine rankings will drive prospective brides to your business and provide them with positive first impressions. Therefore, it must truly reflect your brand. A sense of style across all marketing platforms is also a necessity as a bride is choosing to trust you and your plans to create a beautiful wedding day. This style can be shown through your business name, logo, colour and font style and imagery. These aspects must all demonstrate your keen attention to detail and love of weddings!
Developing an identifiable voice on social media is also important. As weddings are such personal occasions, prospective clients want to feel as though they can connect with you on a personal level, based on the voice of your social media. This will reinforce your brand’s style and mission and help to secure those crucial first few contracts.
Being active across all relevant social platforms is essential for any business type, but for something as visual as a weddings Pinterest is a great way to expose your planning talents. This visual discovery tool has created great interest amongst brides-to-be, and as a wedding planner you should utilise this.
Ultimately, remembering that people are looking for support on an emotional as well as practical level. This means that your marketing communications need to show that you can help people make their ideas for their big day a reality as well as having experience and expertise to ensure that everything runs smoothly.
Forming A Legal Entity And Insuring Your Business
Establishing as an LLC prevents you from being personally liable if your wedding planning business is sued. There are many business structures to choose from including corporations, LLCs, and DBAs.
Even if you're based at home, you'll need to be properly insured as a business. You’ll need to take out professional indemnity insurance in order to protect your business from a claim if something goes wrong.
Creating A Business Plan
Having a clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. It will help you to understand all that is involved in your start-up and you can map out specific details that are unique to your business to help you begin and grow. A few points to initially consider are:
- Who is your target market?
- What are the ongoing costs?
- How long it will take you to break even?
- Where can I source a comprehensive list of suppliers?
Having a business plan can help you feel more prepared and ready to focus on your business. Put plainly, similar to the wedding plan you will create for your clients, your business plan should organize your wedding business, from the suppliers to the finances.
Most people in the UK tend to get married between the months of May and September, when the weather is better, so you will be doing the majority of your actual planning during that time. Between October and April, you should look at how to focus on securing new contracts and work on the logistics of your business.
For any business a business plan is a necessity, but this is particularly true for a wedding planning business, as the amount of work available will change dramatically with the time of year and this will need to be accounted for. This is because wedding planning is a seasonal business, so your earnings are likely to fluctuate, meaning proper financial planning is essential. Do not let this seasonal change put you off, as a key advantage of starting a wedding planner business is the low start-up cost. As you won’t need office space or additional transport to begin with, initial outlay should be very low.
What CBM Do
CBM provides comprehensive business plans tailored to your business. There is more to starting a business than just registering it and throwing yourself in at the deep end. A business plan will ensure that your new business is well planned out, registered properly and legally compliant as well as helping you to ease into everything knowing you are prepared.
As someone interested in becoming a wedding planner, you will surely appreciate the importance of planning. Why would you not feel the same about hiring an expert to create a plan for your business?
If you would like help with putting together your business plan, get in touch today! Contact us online using the form on the right or call 01604 420 420.