New wedding planners sometime struggle, not because they are not good at what they do but because they don’t work like a professional business person. Here are 3 mistakes they make and information on how you can avoid doing the same things.
Mistake #1: They Give Free One-Hour Phone Consultations Thinking Everyone Will Become a Client
Many wedding planners offer free one-hour phone consultations hoping to entice brides to become their clients. Although it can happen, more often these sessions are frustrating for either the planner or the bride or both. The planner is trying to find out more about the bride and her plans to see if she would be a good client. On the other hand, the bride may be trying to get f*r*e*e professional help with planning her wedding.
When a bride calls or emails you and begins asking for advice, gently take control. Ask her to give you some information about her wedding. If she says she hasn’t made any plans yet, doesn’t know her budget, or just needs some vendor names, suggest that she meet with you for a consultation in which you can give her the advice she needs. Then quote your hourly rate. If she says she is not ready to meet, be very professional and end the conversation by telling her you would be happy to meet when she is ready. If a bride isn’t ready to give you any information, she isn’t ready to give you any money.
Mistake #2: They Don’t Use Contracts When They Work for Friends
If you are charging your friend for your work, you need a written contract because they are a client. Take your business seriously and give friends the same professional service you give to all of your clients. A contract makes it clear exactly what you will do for the bride and exactly how much the bride will pay you for your work. If something unforeseen happens and the wedding is canceled or, for some reason, you cannot carry out all of your duties, the terms of the contract will spell out everyone’s responsibilities and, hopefully, keep your friendship intact.
Mistake #3 : They Don’t Worry About Marketing When They Have Clients
Business is already thriving, they have one client after another and think things are going so great, they think they don’t need to worry anymore about marketing their business. Wrong! Even famous wedding planners continue marketing. They send out e-newsletters, make appearances on television talk shows, write columns in magazines, and write books on event planning that not only bring them money but put their names in front of the people who can afford to hire them. No successful business person stops marketing.
You must take the time to market and build your business no matter how busy you are. When you are busy, hire assistants to take care of some of the errands or administrative tasks that you usually handle and spend time everyday doing some marketing activity. That could mean networking, working on a website or blog or finding new vendors to add to your network.
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