Starting a wedding business (or restarting)
I just spoke to a group where one of the attendees paid a ton of money for a logo, and now did not have the money necessary to advertise. This got my mind going on what basic information would I give someone if they came to me and said “Rick, I’m starting a wedding business and have $_________ to spend, how should I spend it” (it can be a wedding venue business or candidly starting any kind of wedding business, the principles apply to all). If you were starting a wedding business, here is my advice:
First step- figure out how you plan on getting leads.
This is a very specific thing- not talking about “exposure” or “getting the word out” – you can “get the word out” by standing out on the side of a highway in a clown outfit and get the word out (will be the wrong word, but you’re getting the word out). Leads are those who are potential clients who are taking a step to connect with you. This is the first part of the clients buying process.
Second step- Figure out how to keep them coming in
By not having a constant stream of leads coming in, it makes it hard to get a constant stream of appointments and a stream of bookings. In the first step, we’ll assume that you spend money on marketing that maybe doesn’t work great, but by this stage you need to have a way to figure that out more than asking brides “how’d you hear about us?”. Google Analytics is one of the best measuring tools online and yet, 95% of the people I speak to do not use it (they may have it on their site, but they simply don’t use it). Measure what works by finding the best methods of measuring.
Third Step- Never take your foot off the gas.
Let’s hope you find great success. Many times I see people who take the pressure off their marketing and they feel it. Don’t be like this. Keep your marketing going- keep trying new methods. Keep testing what works. If you were to look at the best brands in the country, the ones who are most admired and most well known still advertise. Think about Apple or Harley Davidson each of which spends millions each year despite the excellent reputation they have earned.
Please note that I have not said thing one about equipment, training or otherwise. You may be wondering why- simple: you’ll figure that part out really quick. While many want to focus on being the best and having the best which I am not disparaging. I am simply saying that the business side of your business is the most important part if you want to do this professionally and not as a hobby. Case and point- if you had a wedding next week and all of your equipment were stolen or destroyed, would you figure out a solution? What solution do you figure out when your equipment is sitting home on a popular Saturday.
If you were to start your wedding business again, what would you do? Would you focus on your marketing and sales? If you want to make money at the business you are running, marketing matters most.
Starting a wedding business is usually built on a desire or an attraction to the business type you want to start. You are naturally drawn to what you want to do. Make the business soar and you will do it more, make more money and love your life!