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Growing a Business

Why You Should Write A Business Plan In 2024 For Your Wedding Business

May 23, 2024

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I'm candice!

I'm Candice, your new tell-it-like-it-is BFF (and purpose cheerleader). Are you ready to grow and scale a profitable business with purpose–and one that gives back to your meaningful life? Thought so!

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*cues up to the bar* Let's start the tab, shall we? Take the quiz and find your brand cocktail for success.

The wedding industry has changed a LOT since 2020. After several whirlwind years marked by a wild pace of backlogged celebrations and last-minute bookings, 2024 has felt like a dramatic slowdown for many wedding professionals. Whether you're a seasoned vendor or just starting out, understanding the nuances of your business and the evolving market has never been more important. And while I do think that slower years are a normal part of business growth, I also believe that we need to use this time to get strategic. This is exactly why I’m going with 6 reasons why you should write a business plan in 2024 for your wedding business. 

Don’t need to be convinced but want a little help getting started? I’ve had hundreds of wedding pros download my FREE business plan template (with rave reviews–I might add). Grab your copy here!

1. A Business Plan Gives You Clarity and Direction

First things first, relax—you don't need to draft a daunting 40-page business plan aimed at wooing investors. The business plan I’m asking you to write is FOR YOU. It’s a tool meant to serve as your personal roadmap as you set out to build a profitable business with purpose. Having a business plan helps crystallize your vision, align your goals, and map out a clear path forward. It forces you to step back and really understand where you are, where you want to be, and how you plan to get there. 

Remember, this isn't about impressing anyone. As you dig into your business plan and gain clarity, I want you to focus on these questions:

  • Who do you want to serve?
  • What type of business do you want, and how do you want to get there?
  • What is your WHY behind starting?

As you start writing, don’t worry about getting it perfect. While I do believe that you should write a business plan for the business you WANT (and not necessarily the one you have), I also believe that your business plan should be a living and breathing document. You don’t need to obsess over mapping out every tiny detail for the next ten years and then etching it in stone. You can come back to this anytime!

2. It Gives You a Chance to Dive Into Data

Did I say “gives you a chance to”? I meant forces you to look at the more technical stuff that you've been avoiding. Your business plan? It’s not going to help you if it’s filled with fluff. You need to know where you sit in the marketplace. 

One of my favorite exercises to work through as a business coach is a SWOT analysis—Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. I go into detail on how to perform a SWOT analysis on your business here. But the short version is, that it's a tool that helps you evaluate not only your own business but the broader wedding industry as well. When was the last time you really did that? Too often, we get caught up in our own heads, swayed by emotions or, worse, drawn into playing the comparison game with competitors. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you how that can distract us from the more valuable practice of putting on our data analyst hats to look at industry trends objectively.

Conducting a SWOT analysis empowers you to identify both the internal factors (YOUR strengths and weaknesses – since there’s a good chance that you are your business right now) that you can control and the external factors that you cannot (like global pandemics or more competitors popping up in your area). 

I really want to encourage you not to rush this step. Performing a SWOT analysis on your business really is the cornerstone of putting together an effective business plan. By understanding your strengths, you can capitalize on what you do best; by acknowledging your weaknesses, you can plan to address or mitigate them (especially as you grow your team). Opportunities in the market can be seized, while potential threats can be prepared for. You get the gist.

While you’re at it, don’t forget to channel that new girl energy!

While you’re writing your SWOT analysis, don’t be surprised if you find new competitors you didn’t realize popped up on the scene (that now seem to be everywhere). Remember when you first started your business and had unlimited energy? If you’re looking to build some serious momentum in your business, this might be worth channeling again. Here are five ways to do just that!

Want more? Check out this video on my YouTube channel ↓

3. Map Out a Marketing Strategy

Speaking of new girl energy, let's talk about it. As a business coach for wedding pros, I wish I had a dollar every time I was asked about marketing. Whether you love the marketing aspect of owning a business or hate it, it’s going to play a BIG role in your overall business strategy. You need to SHOW UP for your business!

The truth is that it's easy to become engrossed in the day-to-day operations and either completely halt marketing efforts or, in a panic, copy the strategies you see competitors trying. However, I probably don’t need to tell you that neither of these approaches is particularly strategic. A thoughtful business plan prompts you to ask fundamental questions: How do you want to market your business? What methods align best with your goals?

I often recommend a combination of networking, blogging coupled with Pinterest, and leveraging Instagram.

Each of these channels serves a unique purpose and reaches audiences in different but complementary ways. Networking allows you to build personal relationships that can lead to referrals and collaborations. Blogging and Pinterest are powerful tools for showcasing your expertise and style in a search-driven medium, which helps in attracting clients who are looking for your specific aesthetic or service offerings (while they're in planning mode and more likely to make a buying decision). And Instagram? The fact is, it’s where your customers are (and between posts, stories, and reels – you have a lot of ways to connect with them!).

What does this have to do with why you should write a business plan for your wedding business? Your business plan should outline how you will use each of the channels to reach your target audience effectively, reflecting both your brand's identity and the specific goals you aim to achieve.

Wondering if you should be on TikTok? Here are my thoughts about how it can help you (even if you never post anything!).

4. Make sure you’re business is profitable

If you instantly felt defensive reading this and thought, “of course my business is profitable Candice”, back up a sec. I want to challenge you here. Is your business profitable… after you pay yourself? Or are you just paying yourself whatever is left after expenses and calling it a day? 

If that’s what you’re doing, then your business is NOT profitable, friend.

Don’t worry, that’s one of the reasons I’m encouraging you to write a business plan for your wedding business. A well-structured business plan is crucial not just for steering your business in the right direction but also for ensuring that it remains profitable and supports the lifestyle you envision. 

One of the fundamental aspects of any business plan involves a thorough examination of your pricing and service offerings. It's worth asking yourself: Did you start your business by simply copying your competitors' packages and pricing? If so, how is that strategy working out for you? In the wedding industry, it's common for vendors to undercharge and overextend themselves, leading to burnout and high turnover rates. It’s time to look at the numbers and make sure that you are not heading in the wrong direction.

Are the services you’re offering now, the same services you want to offer in the future?

Remember earlier when I said one of the reasons why you should write a business plan for your wedding business is so that you can decide WHAT you want to do (on top of who you want to do it for)? This is a good place to start.

For instance, you might find that your calendar is barely booked this year. Then, you decide to offer some type of day-of coordination services just to fill the gaps. If this isn't something you want to continue providing in the long term, your business plan should reflect a strategy to phase out these services and focus on what truly aligns with your vision. Similarly, if you feel your design skills aren't yet up to par, part of your business plan might include investing in professional development (my wedding design playbook is a good place to start!). That way, you can feel confident before officially adding design services to your portfolio.

Your business plan should detail how each service contributes to your overall profitability and fits into the lifestyle you want to lead. This means not just evaluating the money but also considering the time and energy each service demands. Are your current offerings sustainable, and do they allow you to maintain a work-life balance at a level that feels good to you? Are you okay working the amount of Saturdays required to hit your profit goals? If not, what changes need to be made? 

5. Your business has blind spots… a business plan will help you find them

Every business has its blind spots—and your business is no exception. If nothing else has resonated with you yet (which let’s be honest… you wouldn’t still be reading this), crafting a comprehensive business plan forces you to scrutinize every aspect of your operation, from marketing strategies to financial health, and everything in between. 

If you’re like literally every other woman I’ve coached, you will find areas that have gone unnoticed or unaddressed. Perhaps there are untapped markets, overlooked cost inefficiencies, or neglected areas of customer service (a lack of an onboarding and offboarding process is a big one I see!) that could influence your business's success and how you are perceived among your ideal customers.

6. People who write down their goals are more likely to achieve them!

Last but not least, you should write a business plan for your wedding business because people who write down goals and have a clear plan ahead are more likely to achieve them. The act of writing helps clarify your thoughts, solidifies your intentions, and serves as a constant reminder of what you aim to achieve. When you document your business plan and set specific, measurable goals, you create a tangible roadmap that guides your actions and decisions. While I’m not the kind of business coach who tells you that you can grow a thriving wedding business without putting in any work, you also should not have to compromise your health or personal happiness. This plan is how you do that! 

After You Write a Business Plan for Your Wedding Business

Like I said for the start, your business plan is not a “set it and forget it” kind of thing. Your business plan should be a living document that you refer to often. I hope that this blog post has convinced you to take the time, because I know that if you do you will reap the rewards of your efforts. And remember, I have a FREE business plan outline to get you started (and I will even check in to see how it’s going after you get started). Grab your copy here.

Is 2024 the year you finally stop settling and grow the wedding planning business you have always wanted?

If you are looking for real advice on growing your wedding planning business, I would love to invite you to sign up for the Planner’s Playbook waitlist. Unlike some of the other “wedding planner courses” on the market, this one is less about making it look like you have a good wedding planning business and more about what it takes to actually RUN a wedding planning business.

Yes, each month I give you a marketing plan, but the Planner’s Playbook was not created to teach you to “grow” your wedding business on Instagram. Instead, each month, we dig deep into one part of your business and make it 100x better with about 50-75 pages of advice (whether that be creating a design dossier or what to include in your onboarding process). Sign up here to get access to the waitlist (and any special offers as they come your way – I promise they are worth it!).

Explore More Wedding Industry Resources

For More Wedding Planner Business Secrets Follow Me On Instagram

Is your brand experience attracting and repelling the right people? 🤔🤔🤔🤔

Branding and client experience are important as a wedding pro, and today, we are talking about where the two meet! 

In this episode, I’m chatting with Ally Baur of @allybdesigns all about the elements of brand experience, the role of branding in attracting ideal clients, the impact of templates on brand consistency, and the significance of customer service in the wedding industry. 

It’s an episode you’re gonna want to listen to if you want make sure your brand and brand experience is up to snuff.

Comment 133 below and I’ll DM you a direct link to listen! 

#powerinpurposepodcast #thepowerinpurposepodcast #brandidentity #brandexperience #weddingindustry #weddingpro #weddingpros #candicdcoppola #weddingproinsiders #clientexperience #brandstrategy #brandingtips
Today was a GREAT day to chop off all my hair. This is your sign to shed anything that’s not serving you. ✨

Special thanks to @naomihairsyou and @ronavictoriaa_ 🥰😍

#hairtransformation #hairchop #shorthair #bluntbob #blondebob #candicecoppola #hairbeforeandafter #barbados #summerhairgoals #chopoffyourhair
Can you get sued for networking? How should you be LEGALLY protecting yourself while building relationships within the wedding industry?

This is an interesting question we are exploring and answering in the latest episode of The Power in Purpose Podcast! My guest is attorney @nicolecheriodenlaw and she’s breaking down the steps you need to take to make sure you’re protecting your biz.

👇🏻 Comment the term LEGAL below and I’ll DM you a link this episode! 

#thepowerinpurposepodcast #candicecoppola #weddingpros #weddingindustry #weddingpro #weddingpodcast #weddingpod #weddingindustryeducation #weddingphotography #weddingplanner #networkingtips

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Each week, we explore how to build a profitable business with purpose—and the stories behind successful entrepreneurs who have. Get ready to dig in and have meaningful conversations about business and life, as we explore the strategies and techniques that build the kind of business you want. 

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