Thursday, June 3, 2010

Aspiring Planners: Don't Make These Mistakes

I was recently asked what I thought were the most common mistakes made by aspiring planners when they start their businesses.

Here's what I've come up with:
  1. Aspiring planners don't really take the time to find out if wedding planning is really something they're cut out for.
  2. They don't take the time to learn the proper way to structure their business in a legal sense.
  3. They don't create a marketable and compelling brand or identity for their business...nor do they identify who their ideal client is.
  4. They don't spend enough time on the organizational and operational aspects of their business.
  5. They don't take the time to decide what services they will, consulting, planning and or coordination; how those services will be priced and packaged (hate that word!); and finally whether those services will be profitable based on those prices.
  6. They don't learn the importance of consistent marketing or the "art of the sale".
  7. Finally, but certainly one of the most critical mistakes they make; they don't set up a system to record and monitor the financial transactions in their business.
Many times, these elements are created on the fly...AFTER they've chosen a pretty logo, published a nice website, printed business cards and placed an ad in a wedding magazine.  They do all this and wonder why they aren't getting the phone calls from all the brides that "need" their services.

Now...I didn't come up with these to throw stones...I made some of these same mistakes.  I merely wanted to share with you what I've seen in the 12 months since I've started mentoring aspiring planners.  Maybe this is one of the reasons so many planning businesses start and fail.  I've personally seen many of them come and go.

And it's not for lack of trying.  Not at all.  Many planners I've talked to are passionate and eager to make their businesses successful.  Truthfully?  The "bright, shiny objects"...the diamonds, pretty linens and gorgeous flowers blinded them.  They didn't take the time to look at the hard stuff and learn what they needed to learn in order to be successful.

Or maybe they found out that they just weren't cut out for wedding planning.  Too bad they invested so much money to find that out...when they could have just done the necessary work BEFORE the brides booked their services.

What do you think?  I'd really like your feedback on this.  Thanks.

Until next time...

Aspire to Plan!


La Bella Vision said...

I agree wholeheartedly. Our company is dealing with this right now. Branding and business structure are things that we thought could be taken care of once we had a few clients without realizing those aspects contribute to the success of your business more than you think. Thank you Wendy for offering your knowledge and expertise to aspiring planners.

Coco - Alpha Prosperity Events said...

This is a great post Wendy and I hate to say that I am guilty of most of the listed mistakes. Your post has given me a lot to think on. Most of us have a tendency to put the cart before the horse. Another reason why I believe some of us have not done some of things mentioned is because of fear of saying "I don't know how to.... Keep the info coming.

Anonymous said...

Great post Wendy - this falls back to our conversation we had on Sunday about a few of the struggles I am having. But after we talked, I walked away with new ideas and energy and I can't thank you enough. :)

Jasmine- This Moment Events said...

I agree, and honestly it's something that I'm probably guilty of in the infant stages of my business... I am currently taking the time to educate myself as much as possible. I really appreciate that there are professionals out there who are working to educate the next generation of planners. We need that support! :)

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