8 Things All Wedding Planners Go Through In The First 5 Years.
8 things all planners go through in the first 5 years.
The event Planning industry is one rewarding industry to be in, it really is, but one thing for sure, most planners know that the first 5 years is the toughest of them all and will challenge you mentally & emotionally, this shit will have you want to jump off the sidewalk, but with enough hunger and drive, it does get easier. Nobody said it would come easy, we at least not for all, we are not all that lucky! I have personally experienced all of these and so much more!
1. No idea where to start.
So you've planned your own wedding, (whoop whoop) and now you have the planning bug so you decide that you want to be a wedding planner, but you have no idea where to start. You know what goes into the planning, but you don't know what comes next because now you actually have to get yourself ready to serve clients. Spend at least 6 months researching, the event planning industry is not all bows and feathers.
2. Not sure what to name your company.
Ok, ok, I'll admit it. I wasn't Björn & Company until the second year of my business, I called my company Exquisite Event Concepts (imagine typing all that into your browser, quite the mouthful) for an entire year. If you are struggling with find a suitable name for your company, choose one that nobody else has, ones that's unique and describes the services you offer best. Make a list and say it over and over again until it sounds right. Also choose a name that has longevity that when when someone says it, they instantly think of you!
3. Confused about the brand and design.
I know many of you will agree with me on this one. How many logos and website, proposals have you gone through at this point? I remember when I started, I had a different website every week, no joke. Until I hired my dream graphic designer who gave me a brand I was completely happy with. Just know this, no matter how long it takes you to get it right, do it until you are comfortable with what your storefront looks like. Your brand isn't necessarily just your logo or colors or fonts, it's you, you are the brand. Your logo is what identifies your company. Knowing what your brand is takes time and it won't get there until your fourth year, at least.
4. Not sure which services to sell.
Oh damn, here is where so many new planners who struggle with this and get it wrong. You are an event planner, but you do everything. Birthdays, bridal showers, engagement parties, baby showers, graphic designing, fashion shows, weddings, branding, house keeping, car wash, I can go on and on. Never be a jack of all trades and a master of none. Event planners can't do it all. It's best to start out with a certain services and work your way up. I started out a wedding coordinator only doing "day of" which is now wedding management. Specializing in a certain area of events is what's going to book you a lot more clients. Don't be that planner that "does it all", you'll just confuse your potential clients!
5. Get all up in your feelings when a client "goes in another direction".
The amount of times I cried myself to sleep trying to figure out what happened, should be packed away and stored in a museum somewhere. So you had an in person consultation with a client and everything went great. You walk away feeling confident that you booked this job. A week goes by and you still haven't heard from the client. Next thing you know, you get that dreadful email that reads, unfortunately we've gone in a different direction, I know this all too well. You sit there over analyzing every part of that meeting. "What did I do wrong, I thought we had a connection". Just so you know, that client spoke to 5 other planners besides you. So even though you had a great connection, she felt a better connection with someone else. Don't let this get to you. They simply were not meant for you. The right client will come and when they do, just be ready!
6. Not sure what to charge.
Don't be in a rush to go to the bank just yet, because what I am about to say, other planners may put me in a test tube to be studied. Too often I see "planners" charging way more than what they are suppose to with no experience, why? because they join these Facebook groups and ask other planners who are way more experienced for advice and think they can charge the same, those experienced planners put in the work!! I remember my first job didn't pay what I charge now, but that's ok, because I had to work my way up to it. You absolutely have to study your market and know what the going rates are for the services you offer in your area for newbie planners vs experienced. Don't expect to charge the same prices that planners who's been in game much longer than you would charge, you have to work you way up and put in the work! If you have to start low, start low, then raise your prices every year. The more work you put in, the higher your value will become!
This is a very common thing amongst planners, even though many of us won't admit it. The event Planning industry is such a tough business to be in because there are so many planners these days. If you're not booking the clients you start doubting yourself and this can sometimes lead you to jumping off the sidewalk, trust me I have been there! Keep it going, with enough determination and hard work, you will get there, show some dedication and commitment and hit the streets with your business. Potential clients won't know who you are if you sit behind a desk all day "perfecting your brand". Make sure to make friends within the industry, because the road does get bumpy and you will need a shoulder to cry on from time to time.
8. Not making a profit.
This is something a lot of planners won't admit, but don't expect to make a profit in your business within the first 5 years, trust me, I know. You book so many jobs and work yourself to the bone and not seeing anything in return because you priced yourself too low just so you can get the job (sound familiar?) Someone told me that once, I didn't believe them until I experienced it for myself. You are going to spend so much money on Facebook ads, google adwords, graphic designing, web designing, meeting with potential clients, postcards, marketing materials etc, that you will end up broke and being single makes it worse. Be wise about the money decisions you make and only quit your day job when you start seeing clients lined out the door.
As your business grows, things will start falling into place. This is a hard business and it doesn't come easy. The more you push for it, the better your chances of having longevity in this business. If you are starting out and the only experience you have is the fact that you planned your own wedding, take a course online, go do an internship to further your knowledge about the business side, not only to glamorous side of the industry, because once you start booking actual clients, it's a completely different ballgame and if you're not ready to play, you'll get put on the bench. You have to put the work in to get to the next level. The first 5 years are going to be rough, you'll be broke, you won't book the clients you want, you'll make mistakes, you won't make a profit, but these are all stepping stones that will get you where you need to be in order to succeed and you'll appreciate your business so much more down the line.
I hope you enjoyed this read!
Till next time!
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