Today we have a very special guest on the blog. Krista of Kita Events Northwest is sharing with us some really great tips all new wedding planners should take to heart. Krista’s education is in recreational therapy and prior to opening her business, a family member of one of her past patients suggested she start the business due to her amazing creativity with events within the nursing community.
Wedding Planner Business Practices
I started my business 8 years ago and have done everything it takes to grow a business by trial and error. I never knew that at this stage in business, I would not only be an event planner, but my skill set would also include DJ, MC, janitor, server, bartender, relationship & emotional supporter, social media manager, graphic designer….. and the list goes on. Here are three wedding planner business practices that can make you fail and a few things that I wish someone would have told me when I started my business.
#1. Print Marketing
Print marketing does not work for the new wedding/event planner. You don’t need to be in everything when you start out. I have spent thousands of wasted dollars and minutes on falling for all the wrong type of marketing because I thought that I had to be on everything. I have found that the best sources of business comes from online directory sites specifically for event planning and of course… the million-dollar referral, AKA word of mouth!
#2. Not Finding Your Niche
If you love event design, then market yourself as a designer. If you love weddings only or specifically Day-of Coordinating, I say stick with it. I personally love the logistics, budgeting, and design, so most of my clients know that I will be their expert in all things leading up to the day and my team will master the setup of the event space. I work best under pressure and so I am the one they hire to filter the stressful times. I know too many small business owners that end up doing a little bit of everything and never really get anywhere. They spend hours just doing the tiny projects as they accept every client that comes their way. Trust me, I know from personal experience. When I started my business it was a fight to capture every single client that I could and at the end of the day, my profits were very minimal.
#3. Isolating Yourself
Be the planner that other planners call for help. I learned the hard way that this industry has some really nasty competitors in it. I have found that when I remained stubborn and wound tight, I never got asked to join collaborations or partnerships. Now, I don’t mean to say that you must be friends with everyone on the playground, but make sure you present yourself as supportive and willing to help fairly. Some of my best work has been collaborating on a photoshoot for new venues. I got to highlight a bunch of amazing vendors giving them the creative space to show off their stuff, and when it was all combined together in one event, the production and partnerships were rock solid. Now I get a good amount of business that is passed to me from other event professionals. I also get to do the same when I am not available to a client, pass on the business to professionals that I know, love, and trust!
Last Words on Wedding Planner Business Practices
I love to talk about my event planning business journey and would love to mentor anyone who is interested. I don’t believe in competition; I believe in collaboration.
Krista Larrison, the owner and event director of Kita Events NW, has been in business for 9 years. She has a great passion for celebrating all of life’s accomplishments and bringing friends and family together. She is certified in both event & floral design and wedding and event planning.