Sunday, November 29, 2009

First Seven Steps to Start Your Planning Business

Over the last few months, as I've been building my coaching practice, I've spoken to many aspiring wedding planners as they begin to build their wedding planning businesses. Many of them are very talented and passionate about their ventures and it's been very fulfilling for me to help them realize their dreams.

While passion and drive is essential in any business, I've learned that many aspiring planners are starting their companies without doing some basic, much needed legwork. You can't just create a fancy name for your business, print up some business cards, create a website and then call yourself a wedding planner.

First and foremost, you are a business owner. Have you ever run a business before? If so, you are off to a great start. Even so, keep reading...

Secondly, you are a marketer. You have to sell your services in order to make money, right? And in order to sell your services, you have to know who you are selling to. If you try to sell to everyone, no one will hear your message. It will be too general and will be drowned out by all of the planners who have niched and branded themselves.

Lastly? You are a wedding planner. Once you've figured out what it takes to start and own a business and then how to market that business...I mean REALLY market it, then you'll need to learn how to be a wedding planner.

Here are the seven steps I take my private clients through when they hire me to coach them on how to start their wedding planning business. You must take some time to figure out what these things are for you and your business before you take on that first bride. Without these things, you more than likely, will not be successful:

1. Educate Yourself

2. Decide what types of services you'll provide

3. Determine if you will niche yourself and/or offer a specialty

4. Determine what your start up costs will be

5. Determine what your pricing and service structure will be; Will it support your business expenses and income goals?

6. Determine how you will market your business and then create a marketing schedule

7. Determine how you will operate your business

All of this needs to be figured out BEFORE you take on that first bride. Without these things and a solid plan to implement it all, you're just "playing house". Don't learn all of this at the expense of someones wedding day.

Over the next few days I'll spend some time getting into the details of these steps. I'm going to share lots of great information so until next time...

Aspire to Plan!


Paige Deaner said...

I am relieved that I am doing as I should....

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