You're here because you want to be a wedding planner. More importantly, you want to know how to start your own wedding planning business.
First, let me say how delighted I am for you. When I started my wedding planning and design company back in 2007, I had the same feelings you did about creating a life and career I wanted.
I was excited, nervous, energized, and willing to consume any information available on how to start a wedding planning business. Back in 2007, that information was hard to come by. There were not a lot of resources on how to start a wedding planning business. But, lucky for you, you've got a lot of information on hand to guide you.
I'm going to break down how to start a wedding planning business–but not just any kind of wedding planning business–one that will be profitable and scalable.
In this blog post, I've put together my 12+ years of experience in running a profitable, multi-6-figure, multi-country wedding planning & design business so you can build a business you love quicker, faster, and better.
Here are the 11 steps you need to take to start and grow your new wedding planning business:
VISION CAST FOR THE KIND OF BUSINESS YOU WANT
Before you do anything, vision casting is the first step. It's important to know what kind of business you want, which will help you to write strategies to make that biz come to life.
We can't know what we're really building until we see the destination we want to arrive at, right?
That's what vision casting is. It's knowing the destination you want to arrive at–the business that you want. To make this even easier for you, I've recorded an entire podcast episode on how to vision cast for your business. Episode 42 of The Power in Purpose Podcast gives you step-by-step guidance and action on how to start your biz.
Everyone is building a different kind of business under different circumstances. You might want to have a career that allows you to raise your family at the same time. Or, you might want to build a million-dollar empire.
It's important to know what kind of business YOU want so that you can reverse engineer the strategies that it will take to get there.
Don't skip this step. And listen to this podcast episode to get started.
WRITE A BUSINESS PLAN
Yes, I know you wanted to skip this part–biz plans are so 2007, aren't they?
No. They're essential. To build the business YOU want (the one you vision casted for!), you have to write a strategy to get there.
That's what a business plan is: an overarching strategy for how you will get from where you are today to where you want to go. And it cannot be overlooked.
Writing your business plan doesn't have to be challenging or overwhelming. You don't need an MBA or a fancy degree to start a business. Instead, you just need to discover a problem that needs solving, and then your business becomes the solution.
With that said, I know that writing a business plan isn't the easiest (or sexiest) task. That's why I've created my Free Business Plan Outline + Guide, a way to jumpstart your efforts and get you writing a plan for your business. Download this guide to get you started.
KNOW YOUR IDEAL CLIENTS
The #1 reason why businesses fail is they don't know who their customers are. They don't really, truly, and personally know their customers.
This isn't going to be you, though. You're here to learn how to start a wedding planning business–and a crucial step is knowing your ideal clients. You're going to create a business that fully understands who your ideal clients are so that you can solve their problems quicker, faster, and better than anyone else.
You have to get specific about who your ideal clients are and why they need you to solve their problems. Knowing more about what motivates them, what they value, what challenges they face, and yes, what problems they have means you can position yourself as the solution.
And knowing your ideal clients is more than knowing what kind of car they drive, what their favorite color is, and their age range. Those things are essential, but they only tell you part of the story.
When you start your business, you'll be tempted to serve everyone and anyone. That's one of the biggest mistakes new entrepreneurs make: they reason they'll cast a wide net, which will increase their chances of customers. After all, the wider the net, the more you can catch, right?
What ends up happening is you become too watered down, too unspecific, too generic. By appealing to everyone, you appeal to no one, because no one can really connect with your company.
They don't look at what you offer, your message, and say, “this is for me.”
In my free, on-demand masterclass, The Ideal Client Blueprint, I walk you through uncovering your dreamy clients. The best people who value the work you do and are willing to pay for it.
If all this sounds like a foreign concept–meaning–you're not familiar with what it means to know your ideal clients, register for my free masterclass. I walk you through, step-by-step, using my 7-part formula.
CREATE A BRAND THAT GETS NOTICED
There are a lot of wedding planners out there. What makes you different?
One of the cornerstones to marketing is that people buy with their eyes, and your brand–aka the visual manifestation of your company–is what sets you apart.
You need to create a visual brand that gets noticed. One that makes YOUR ideal client stop in their tracks. One that makes your perfect client buy with their eye.
Your visual branding helps to accelerate the know/like/trust factor with your customer. They land on your website or see some of your marketing, and because of its polished nature and overall experience, they want to know more.
After you've set a vision and written your business plan, don't let it all fall apart by having a bad logo and website. Your clients will notice right away that your business doesn't live up to what it's offering. And they will click off.
You have a matter of seconds to capture someone's attention (sometimes, it's a faction of that number!). How will you capture the attention of your ideal clients with your marketing and branding?
WORK ON YOUR BIZ MORE THAN IN YOUR BIZ
You had the idea to start a wedding planning business because you want to be a wedding planner. But the moment you decide to open up your own company, you're a business owner first. Wedding planner, second.
Businesses fail not only because they don't know their ideal clients, but because the owner of that business doesn't work on their business.
You toil away at being the best wedding planner, focusing all your time on planning weddings and serving your clients. But what about the business owner side?
I want you to work more ON your business than IN your business. Aka, consider yourself a business owner above all other roles that you might have in your business.
Owning a business is like having a classic car: it needs love, care, and attention. It needs you to tune it, fix what's broken, and invest in its care.
If you're serious about owning a wedding planning business, consider yourself an entrepreneur first and a business owner second.
NETWORK WITH THE RIGHT PEOPLE
The wedding industry is mostly about connections, and some of the most incredible business comes from referrals (if you watch my masterclass, you'd know how important this is!).
You have to seek out new connections actively–but not just any old links–the right ones.
As you set out to market your business, you need to get in front of the right people. Ideally, the people and companies that are already in front of your ideal clients.
They have the power to refer to you and to help lift your business alongside theirs.
Networking with the right people is one of the first things I did when I started my biz. Armed with my biz plan, a vision for the future, and a nice looking brand/website, I sought out businesses who were already in front of my ideal clients.
And it paid off, in dividends.
KNOW YOUR MESSAGE
Marketing is simply sharing your message so that it reaches the right people. What's your message?
Your company's mission, vision, and purpose are vital. They connect you to your customers and what ground you when the going gets tough.
You need to have a clear, concise message about what your company does, how life looks for your customers after you do it, and why you do it in the first place.
DO IT YOUR WAY
When you start a business, you follow the same path as those you admire. No doubt you've rapidly followed a bunch of people on the ‘gram who are killing it in their wedding planning biz right now.
And you're probably thinking: I need to do it this way too.
Maybe. Or maybe not. Don't fall in the trap of copying what other folks are doing. That's their business–their vision–not yours.
I want you to feel empowered to do it YOUR way. Sure, you can seek out roadmaps and blueprints on how to build your business, but make sure you adapt what you learn as it fits your unique circumstances.
Don't build someone else's business. Build yours.
GIVE IT TIME TO TAKE ROOT
As a biz coach, I've seen biz owners quit just when the going gets going. Owning a wedding planning business is a marathon and not a sprint. It takes time for your efforts to start to take root.
When I started my company, it took me six months to land my first client. Imagine if I had quit five months and two weeks in?
I want you to know that things take time. Give your business time to take root. It will happen, with consistency and perseverance. Don't quit at the first failure.
Kate Crocco, author and guest on The Power in Purpose podcast called failures something else–redirections.
Remember, your failures lead you toward your successes.
Patience is necessary for business (just like with most things in life). The strategies you implement today may not start to see results for 3-6 months. But they will see results if you give them a chance.
HIRE A MENTOR & LEARN, LEARN, LEARN
Why not hire someone to help you do all the above and teach you the ropes so that you can accelerate your business quicker and faster?
There is no greater gift you can give your biz than enlisting the help of someone who has been where you want to go.
As a business coach and mentor, of course, I'm going to advocate for what I do. That's because I've seen the results my expertise brings to those that I humbly help.
If you're serious about starting a wedding planning business, pay for an expert to teach you the road to success.
Be open to learning as much as you can, from a variety of trusted sources, as you navigate the tricky road of entrepreneurship. Recognize that you don't know everything, be 100% coachable, and apply what you learn in your business.
You'll achieve the results you want quicker, better, and faster than you had expected.
BELIEVE IN YOURSELF
Finally, I want you to believe in yourself.
No, seriously, I want you to believe in your abilities to design a business you love, a business YOU want. While you may lack experience in certain areas, you have a wealth of knowledge about how things work.
You're smart. You're driven. And you're here for the right reasons. Believe in your abilities to learn as you go and apply your knowledge and unique life experiences to the services and products you provide.
Too many people quit because they lack the confidence and belief in themselves to do what they want to do. I don't want you to be one of those people.
I believe in you. So believe in yourself. All things are possible and you CAN design a business that you love–and one that gives back to your meaningful life.
If you're serious about starting your wedding planning business, here are some resources I offer to help:
- Free Business Plan Outline + Guide
- The Business Plan Blueprint
- The Ideal Client Masterclass
- WeddingPro Insiders
Know that I'm cheering you on and believing in you.
EXPLORE MORE RESOURCES
- How to Vision Cast For Your Biz And Why You Need To
- 5 Online Wedding Planning Tools You Need to Use
- 4 Strategies That Will Help You Book MORE Of Your Ideal Clients