Are you dreaming of starting up a wedding planner business? Then I have a real treat for you today! Kim, owner and lead planner for Good as Gold Weddings, is sharing with us her best kept secrets to conquering those fears of becoming a wedding planner.
Starting Up A Wedding Planner Business
A lot of people have fear when an idea pops in their head. There are a lot of “what ifs”. As a newer wedding planner myself, I know I had a ton of fears, and still do sometimes! But please do not let that stop you from jumping in and going for the dreams you have! Let’s start with the biggest fear I had and how I addressed it.
Fear of Failure
Failure. What if I put all this money into something and it fails? What if I tell people about my new adventure, and fail? What if I forget something? What if a vendor doesn’t understand? Let me be the first to tell you, there will be failures, and that is ok! I am a strong believer that failure is a stepping stone to growth. That is, if you use it the right way. I personally did not want to hit the ground running with something as big as someone’s wedding day. With that being said, I started out slow.
What I learned from Interning
I started in the industry as an intern for another planner. From this I could gain the knowledge of someone who has failed and learned already. I could also see what was currently working for her and what was not. What I liked that she did and what I didn’t like. For example, this particular planner offered rental items as a part of her business model. I was able to see the nitty gritty how that worked first hand.
After that I knew that I did not want to offer that service as a part of my business, for various reasons. This was one less thing I needed to find out on my own. I watched and learned things like how she communicated with clients and vendors and the logistics of owning and running a business without having to wing it on my own. I avoided failure with what I was able to learn from her.
Never stop learning
Learn as much as you can before jumping in. You can do this by interning or working for another vendor in another area of the industry. Interview someone or take a class to learn more. The more you can learn the more equipped you’ll be in order to be successful. I have worked for various vendors in the event industry. I have also gone to many conferences, shows, and lectures to learn as much as I can. And still do! Take a photography or floral class. See how and why other vendors do things the way they do. This will help communicating to vendors, staff, and clients. Another way to avoid failure.
Starting with One Client
The final way I tried to avoid failing was to only take on one client to begin with. Doing this I was able to pinpoint what I did well and what I did not do well, what I liked and what I didn’t. I was able to see the things that did not go well (failed), and evaluate how I could adapt and change for the next time. For example, I told my first client my price right away. I was scared she was going to ask me to justify the price and I wasn’t sure I could.
I gave my bride a quote without knowing how much work her day entailed. She was having her ceremony and reception in two different places and I needed to be in two places at once. I needed to have my assistant with me, and that had not been accounted for that in her quote. I have since learned, very quickly, to wait to hear all of the details before quoting someone. I failed, learned, and made it a stepping stone to bettering my business. Now I have a very comprehensive event details page I look over before sending off a quote.
Fear with no money
Next fear, how do I start with no money? I knew I didn’t want to put a lot of money into my business while I was just starting out. Good News. You do not need a lot of money to start your own wedding planning business. I love that! Let’s talk about how.
Networking, Exchanging Information
The most effective way to start your business is to network. I know, I know! This scares a lot of people, but let’s change that. The definition of networking is to exchange information. Simple. Just start telling everyone you know that you are now a wedding planner. Start there! Tell family, then friends. When you are getting the mail, tell the mail man, tell your neighbor, your child’s daycare provider.
Why not the bagger at the grocery store. You never know who is looking for help with planning their wedding or event. But you will never know, if you don’t offer your service. From there, go to networking meetings, meet ups, happy hours or events. Start talking to other business owners and other vendors in the event industry. Eventually, someone will need your help!
Did someone say Free?
FREEBIES!!! I love them. Even if I don’t need something, if it is free, I will at least give it a second thought. Business cards, websites, advertising are all good things to have in place when starting a business, and there are resources that offer free options for these items. A great place to look for free resources is the Engaged Wedding Planner Academy!
Let’s get Social!
The final way to start without money, which is probably the easiest for most of us, is through social media. You can start a business page on facebook or a business account on Instagram for free. Start posting away! Post updates, behind the scenes, client shoutouts, reviews, photos, anything relevant. Learn the ins and outs of each platform, like who will be able to find you, how you can find your ideal clients, and how a good social media account can actually improve your search engine optimization, or how easily you are found on Goggle. We all know how useful Google is.
Don’t let Fear stop you!
Having fear is a good thing when starting something new. It means you care about what you are going to dive into! But don’t let that stop you from actually going for it! My biggest fears starting out were failure and how to start without any money. Rest assured those are fears that can be addressed and actually help you start a great company! You can do this! Good Luck!
Kim is the owner and lead planner for Good as Gold Weddings based in northern Colorado. She has been in the wedding business for almost ten years, and still is so amazed with the ever changing industry. She loves helping her clients’ dreams come to life with coordination.