The average wedding takes 150 hours to plan, and many couples want help with this often daunting process. If you love organizing, consider diving into the wedding consulting business and helping overwhelmed couples make their big day perfect.
Take Care of Legal Essentials
In some cases, you may need a license to run a business in your municipality. In addition, if you plan to combine your wedding consulting business with other services, such as a brick and mortar floral shop, a catering company, or a rental hall, you may need a permit for those establishments. In your initial planning stages, check out the Canada Business Network’s permit search. This tool lets you put in your location and a few keywords about your service, and it generates information about the permits and licenses you need. As your business grows and you start collecting more than $30,000 in revenue per year, keep in mind you may need to charge a goods and services tax and register for a business number. Your business number is essential when you hire your first employee, but in most cases, you don’t need this number right away.
Create a Portfolio
A portfolio is a must if you want to show clients and colleagues your skills. A quality portfolio should contain lots of photographs, but it should also have ideas on vendors, sample seating charts, and dummy wedding planning schedules, so you can emphasise to potential clients how your services can streamline their wedding plans.
Price Your Services
When honing in on your rates, look at what other wedding planners charge in your area. Also, estimate how long you plan to spend on each wedding, and make sure the rate you choose translates to a comfortable hourly rate. In the beginning, if you want to build up experience or create examples for your portfolio, you may want to offer free or low-cost services to a handful of friends. In exchange, these clients can often become excited advocates for your services on social media and business review sites.
Start Marketing and Networking
As a wedding consultant, you need to make a big marketing push to find clients, which should include a social media presence. Focus on visual sites such as Pinterest and Instagram where you can showcase your ideas and previous work as well as traditional advertising in local wedding magazines. In addition, you also need to network with other professionals in the wedding industry. They can be an invaluable resource, and most importantly, they may send couples your way. Reach out to other professionals on LinkedIn and consider attending bridal shows. In some cases, you may want to exhibit at these events, but in other cases, it can be more cost-effective to go to the show as an attendee and introduce yourself to the vendors. Once you set prices, launch your marketing campaign and pin down the legal elements, it’s time to jump in. Ideally, as is the case with any new company, you should not plan to live on your revenue for at least a few months if not longer. This saves you from hyperfocusing on the financials and instead allows you to refine your offerings and tweak your prices to ensure you’re really meeting the demands of the marketplace. With a finance and marketing plan in place, you can learn the ropes as you go along. And in such a joy-filled industry, you can’t help but to have fun along the way.