Taking a leap of faith to start your wedding planning business is one thing, but having a profitable and sustainable wedding planning business for years to come is another.
Planning and executing weddings can be joyful, exciting and a bit hectic for all parties involved, but amidst those emotions, you also need to keep a steady head and run a profitable business. Between advising on budgets, helping clients select the perfect menu, and crafting seamless timelines, you can’t lose sight of the value YOU bring to the table.
So whether you’re new to the wedding planning scene or a seasoned veteran, here are 3 strategies for setting your wedding planning business up for success in the New Year.
01. Track your time
Tracking the time you spend on each client is imperative to having a profitable and sustainable wedding planning business, yet creative business owners often consider time tracking silly and a waste of, you guessed it, time.
But by having a good understanding of the amount of time you exhaust per client it ultimately allows you to see whether you’re really charging your worth and actually making money.
When you track your time, you may quickly realize that you aren’t charging enough for the amount of effort, experience and knowledge you bring to the table and in turn could give you the boost you need to raise your prices or even save you from overextending yourself beyond your service offerings.
Make time tracking a priority for your business and it will gradually become a habit over time.
Wedding Pro Tip: Consider using apps like Toggl or Harvest that will help you see what’s making you money and what may be holding you back. Or if you already use platforms like Honeybook for client management or Gusto for payroll, they have built in time tracking tools that help you and your team simplify the time tracking process.
At the very least, start with just one client. Jot down the time you spend for any task related to their contract and plan to analyze the total hours spent following the event. You may be amazed at what the outcome could mean for your wedding planning business!
02. Create a Profit/Loss document
Think beyond Quickbooks, Freshbooks, or whichever form of bookkeeping platform you use to track revenue from year to year. I encourage all of my coaching clients to create a profit/loss document that tracks every incoming and outgoing dollar, time spent (aka the time tracking you do from tip #1) and even the mileage you spend per client you work with.
There are obviously more expenses that come in to play than just your time and mileage – client gifts, event assistants, meeting coffees and lunches, and so on. There is sometimes even additional revenue you bring in than initially anticipated as well – rentals, additional hours spent, additional services performed, tips, etc.
You’re already tracking your income and expenses annually, but when you break it down and track these line items per client you are able to really see how much you truly brought in per contract, if you made money off of said client, and if you’re ultimately charging your worth.
- Income and Expenses – from the deposit to the final balance, to rentals, parking fees, consultation food and beverage, client gifts, tips and more.
- Time – record the time you track throughout the planning process for time spent on client onboarding, consultations, prep time, communication with clients and vendors, timeline creation, and of course the actual wedding day or weekend itself.
- Mileage – keep a log of mileage for consultations, site visits, errands run, and the wedding day or weekend as well.
Wedding Pro Tip: Close out every wedding within a week following the event date and implement this into your client workflow. Doing so could allow you to raise your prices mid-year if you see the need to do so, without waiting until year-end before realizing you should have done so sooner.
03. Have systems + workflows in place
If you don’t already have systems in place, now is the time to implement them! Whether you’re a full-service wedding planner and designer or a day of wedding coordinator, having systems and workflows is another key element to a profitable and sustainable wedding planning business.
When you have systems in place, you are more productive. And when you’re more productive you spend less time. And when you spend less time, you have the potential to make more money while setting yourself and your clients up for a successful wedding planning experience.
Wedding Pro Tip: Start with mapping out your client experience – from the first touchpoint a bride has with your brand through the final time she interacts with you. Get as specific as possible in identifying all the important events from her filling out your contact form, to signing on the dotted line to a final thank you gift.
Images by Social Squares
Are you ready to take your wedding planning business to the next level? Maybe you’re struggling to attract your ideal client. Maybe you want to grow your team. Maybe you want to raise your prices. Maybe you just want to go full-time with this big dream of yours. Or maybe it’s all of the above.
Whatever it is, I’d love to help you shift gears to intentionally propel your business forward this year. Send me a note and tell me what your big, bold and beautiful dreams are – I can’t wait to cheer you on!