Are you ready to bring a little Rihanna energy into your wedding planning business? Ready to walk into your accountant’s office with that “Bitch better have my money” energy? Listen, if planning to profit is not your strong suit (you wanted to become a wedding planner, not an accountant after all!), today’s blog post is for YOU. As a business coach for wedding planners, I’ve seen so many talented wedding planners leave money on the table, and struggle to grow a profitable wedding business they love.
Have you ever felt like there was something missing in your business? Maybe you are yearning to hit the coveted 6-figure mark. OR, you are just tired of working so damn hard just to barely scrape by. If that’s you, I’m glad you are here.
Today, I’m sharing just 6 ways (to be honest – there are so many more!) that I see wedding planners leaving money on the table almost every single day, both when they book NEW customers, and with the customers they already have. If you want to make more money in your wedding business, keep reading!
1. You Have a Shitty Money Mindset
While we will dive into more tangible ways wedding planners leave money on the table next, I wanted to start with this one because, as a business coach for wedding planners for almost a decade now, I know that almost ALL of the ways you are leaving money on the table stem from your money mindset. And while I can’t waive my magic wand and fix that for you (yet), it felt wrong to dive into all of the ways you can (and should!) be making more money without addressing the elephant in the room first.
As woo-woo as it sounds, your shitty money mindset IS costing you real money. If you enter every sales conversation discounting your services from that number that you really want to charge or are cringing every time your clients show you their Pinterest board because you think they can’t afford it, your money mindset is holding you back, my friend. The fact is: your customers DO have money for what they want (and they probably aren’t afraid to spend it!).
So as you scroll through the rest of this post, I want you to keep that in mind. Resist the urge to say things like: “that would never work in my area” or “my customers would never pay that”.
2. You Give Clients YOUR Discounts on THEIR Rentals
Looking for an additional revenue stream? Not sure how to make more money without adding more work or raising your prices? This little tip has been a GAME CHANGER for so many of the women inside the Planner’s Playbook (THE BEST membership for wedding planners) and Wedding Pro Insiders (my high-touch mastermind).
Adding a rental revenue stream to your wedding planning business (for work you are ALREADY doing, by the way!) can make a huge difference to your bottom line. If this is something you are interested in (and friend, it SHOULD be), head to the shop and grab my Wedding Rental Strategy Guide ASAP. This isn’t something you should wait to implement “one day”. You are doing the work – go get paid for it.
3. You Aren’t Planning the Rehearsal Dinner
Or their welcome dinner. Or their morning after brunch. Whether it’s because they want something casual and you assume they don’t want the help or you assume their budget is maxed out on the wedding and “if they wanted help, they would ask,” – you are leaving money on the table here. In my strong opinion, you are actually doing them a DISSERVICE by not offering to quote them on the additional events surrounding their wedding day.
Is it too soon for another heart-to-heart? Do you think wedding planning and/or event planning is worth what you charge? If not, it may be because you LOVE what you do and you are naturally good at it. While that’s a beautiful thing (and I sure hope you feel that way!), it’s holding you back here. Your customers likely hired you because they think the help IS worth it. They might not even consider the option of having an elaborate welcome dinner or over-the-top brunch because they would never do it on their own. That doesn’t mean they don’t want it (or aren’t willing to pay for it!). You are the expert that’s supposed to guide them through “all the things” surrounding their wedding. That’s not limited to just ONE day! Don’t be afraid to offer a full wedding planning experience.
4. You’re Charging a Flat Fee
Can I ask you something? When you set your pricing, did a part of you look at what your competitors charged and then make your number a little more or a little less? That’s NOT the best way to price your wedding planning packages (but I’m guessing you already knew that). In my Pricing Your Wedding Planning Services For Profit Guide, I break down all of the pros and cons of charging a flat fee (and some of the other methods I see planners charging and what I find to be the most profitable), but here’s what I want you to know first: Flat Fee pricing works best for your CUSTOMER, not you.
Flat fee charging from wedding planners makes uncomfortable conversations down the line and scope creep inevitable. If you have been in business for longer than a minute, you know: wedding budgets go UP, not down. Often weddings need more and more throughout the planning process, and if you have charged a flat rate from the initial consultation, you either need to absorb the cost (your time is money!) of planning a bigger wedding than initially envisioned OR plan on having an uncomfortable conversation down the line as you tell your customer “Ummm this is going to cost more money”.
While there ARE ways to protect yourself while charging a flat fee, it’s likely one of the reasons you are leaving more money on the table. Grab our pricing guide here if you need a little extra PROFIT this year!
5. You Forget to Upsell
Whether it’s a mindset thing or a lack of systems and processes thing, you are leaving money on the table with your current clients (even though I’m willing to bet if you are having cash flow problems, you are focused on getting MORE clients). upselling your current clients (with stuff they actually want – obviously!) will likely always be a more profitable decision because, again, YOUR TIME ISN’T FREE.
In case you haven’t picked up on this by now, we have a TON of resources to help you grow a profitable wedding planning business with purpose over in our shop, but I want to bring your attention to one of my favorite Playbook’s here: The Ultimate Guide To Wedding Planning Packages. This one breaks down exactly what you SHOULD include to make your packages sell, and what services are better served as an upsell (for both you and your clients!). I also share how to set your prices in a way that leaves you selling CONFIDENTLY so you can stop leaving money on the table because of your shitty money mindset, too (scroll up to point one for more on that!).
6. You Are Filling Your Saturday Dates With “Wedding Management” Instead of Saving Them for Full-planning and Design Clients
Potentially a little controversial (but NO BS is kind of what you get over here!), I don’t think everyone needs to offer “wedding management” or “day of/month of coordination”. And you DEFINITELY don’t need to offer them two years in advance, on your prime Saturday dates.
For most wedding planners in the Planner’s Playbook, I recommend skipping offering this package entirely and holding out for the kind of clients and packages you really want. But in case you are a sucker for punishment, here are some rules I think you should have regarding offering the service:
- You need to be CHOOSY about which clients to take. Offer this service only if the client has chosen certain venues and hired professional vendors. Don’t set yourself up to walk into a shit show of DIY projects at their grandpa’s farm with the aunt who just so happens to be a photographer and a florist.
- Use it as an opportunity to scale your business and grow your team. Your team can take on these smaller clients to help get real wedding day experience while they are learning the ropes.
- Don’t book the service on Saturdays two years in advance. HELL NO. If they want to book a lower package, you can open select dates at your convenience. But don’t offer it too far in advance!
Want to Make More Money as a Wedding Planner?
You are in the right place. As a former wedding planner (with a closet full of expensive handbags), I know what it takes to make more money in your wedding planning business. Nowadays, I spend my days coaching wedding planners inside the Planner’s Playbook (from my own little private oasis in Barbados). And can I just cut to the chase here? If you really want to grow your wedding business, you need to be inside. I’m spilling all the tea and sharing all of my trade secrets to help you build the wedding planning business you’ve always wanted (and yes – DESERVE).
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