It takes a special kind of person to set up a wedding planning business. Could that person be you?
It goes without saying that wedding planners need to be organized, but the best ones are also level-headed, hard-working, and probably quite romantic at heart.
With that unique skill set, you can build an impressive online business.
That’s despite the pandemic and an overall wedding industry shake-up – millennials are taking their wedding days pretty seriously.
So, if you’re a meticulous entrepreneur with a love of love, here’s how to make wedding planning work for you in 2021.
It might be all blush tones and floral arrangements to those outside of the industry, but wedding planning is a serious business.
You’re expected to be creative, yet analytical – a great wedding will run like clockwork without any of the guests noticing. But there’s more to it than that.
A wedding planner has to be great with people, too. Although you’re planning for the happiest day of someone’s life, they’re most likely to be very, very stressed beforehand.
So, before you waltz into wedding planning, make sure you gain some industry experience, first. This will give you everything you need to make your own business – you can:
- Identify your strengths. Maybe time-management is your thing. Perhaps you’re a talented baker, or a table-setting guru. Your strengths will guide your business trajectory.
- Network with vendors. As a wedding planner, you’ll need to know all the right people. Before you start your business, start filling out your address book.
- Build your portfolio. Potential clients will want to see visual proof of what you’re capable of. Now is the time to collate examples of your work.
Write a business plan
You’ve baked cakes and arranged flowers. You’ve managed schedules and negotiated payments. You live and breathe weddings: time to create your own business.
Just like the events you’ll be planning, your business needs (and deserves) a detailed strategy.
A solid business plan will not only help you get ahead of any potential stumbling blocks, it’ll also give you a realistic view of your future success.
Thanks to a rocky 2020, wedding days have evolved in fascinating new ways. If you want to be part of the movement, you should be prepared. Consider this your business plan checklist:
1. Outline your USP
Every business should have a mission statement or a set of guiding principles. They’ll carry you through uncertain times, and will give you and your clients the clearest picture of your brand.
So start out by outlining what makes your wedding planning business special – what your unique selling point (USP) is. As part of this, consider what services you’ll be offering:
- Consultation level. You’ll point clients in the right direction with event recommendations.
- Partial planning. It’s your job to assist with timelines and perhaps the big day itself.
- Full wedding planning. You’ll be there for the couple every step of the way.
2. Research the market
Your mission statement will guide your market research, and your market research will guide your mission statement. Planning a business isn’t a linear process.
Researching the wedding industry will aid you in finding a niche, positioning your business, and finding the right target audience for your services.
3. Identify your competitors
No matter the niche, chances are you will have competition. Your job isn’t to find ways to push them out of business, but rather to figure out what sets you apart.
Say you want to organize fully sustainable weddings. Who else does that? Establish what their unique selling point is now, before you spend any money.
4. Consider your legal obligations
Every business has them, and wedding planning is no different. Depending on where you operate and what you specialize in, make sure your business is operating legally.
This might mean taking out particular licenses, undertaking training, or finding insurance deals. As last year taught us all, it’s best to be prepared for the worst.
5. Forecast your revenue and spend
A lot of factors will impact the profitability of your wedding planning business. Beyond having a great niche, you also need to think about service types, time spent, and location.
It’ll pay off to be brutally honest with yourself about how much money you’re likely to make. Wedding planning is often a seasonal industry, so check affordability as a priority.
6. Do a SWOT analysis
We’d recommend road-testing any kind of business before you start selling to customers and clients. That’s tricky to do with weddings, so be sure to analyze your business plan.
SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Take time to identify how your business addresses these points.
Build your brand
Now that you’re absolutely confident in your business, it’s time to convince everybody else that it’s worth paying for.
Obviously, you’re a serious entrepreneur and every step is hard work. But this is the fun part.
Here’s your chance to define your brand’s identity and show it to the world – or at least, people in your local area who specifically want to have a wedding.
Find your brand identity
With your mission statement in mind, think about what personality you want your brand to put across. Aside from ticking all the wedding planner boxes, you should consider:
- Tone of voice. How will your business come across to potential clients?
- Visual impact. Think about elements like color scheme, logo, and typography.
- Marketing plan. Based on your target audience, where should you promote your brand?
Build your wedding planning website
Word-of-mouth is a great way to network, but having an online presence is going to be essential to reaching new customers. Building a website doesn’t need to be complicated:
- Opt for a one-page website. Keep it sleek, stylish, and informational.
- Use a website builder – it’s the quickest and most accessible way to get online.
- Make use of ready-made tools. All Zyro sites are SEO-friendly and fully supported.
Strengthen your network
Remember those contacts you made when you were gaining experience? Now’s the time to put them to good use – here’s why a network of vendors will be so useful:
- You’ll need guidance along the way, especially when you’re just starting out.
- Trusted contacts can help each other navigate any issues.
- Your network could bring you new business opportunities with their clients.
Make sure that your wedding planning business is visible everywhere. Sure, you have a shiny, SEO-friendly website, but it’ll take some extra effort to market your brand:
- Use social media to reach a wider audience and boost engagement (no pun intended).
- Attend wedding fairs and meet couples face-to-face to build credibility.
- Offer free consultations to potential clients, and discounts to family and friends.
Is wedding planning worth it?
It takes that unique skill set. You’ve got to be a laser-focused planner, a go-getting networker, and an all-round charming human being.
But beyond that, wedding planning can be rewarding to those who make a business out of it.
As long as you’re able to evolve with changing demands, you’ll likely always find work as a wedding planner. Some couples just need that extra helping hand.