Here, we give some step-by-step advice on preparing for your wedding business.
So, you want to be in the wedding industry!
You’ll no doubt hear about how hard it is, how competitive it is, how saturated the market is. It’s true for almost every industry, though, and it doesn’t mean you can’t bring something to the wedding market through quality and effective business preparation.
The wedding business is unique; you’re asking someone to trust you with what they may deem to be the biggest day of their lives, but every wedding business has to start somewhere, so we’ve put together a plan to cover before starting a business in the wedding sector. First though, you should decide what you kind of business you want to be. Are you:
1. A whole new idea in the wedding industry?
2. Buying an existing wedding business?
3. Franchising an existing wedding business?
4. Distributing an existing wedding-oriented product not currently in the UK market?
The point of asking these questions is to make you think about whether there’s a way to become self-employed in the wedding industry without accepting all the liability and risk of starting a new company. Here’s a simple step-by-step plan of how to get started.
Define your business in a concise pitch
You’ll be spending a lot of time giving brief, concise and effective explanations to potential business partners and clients, and ‘We’re in weddings’ isn’t good enough when someone asks what your business does; you need an explanation which doubles as a pitch. ‘We provide bespoke tipi hire for weddings and special events in Cheshire’ is a very different statement than: ‘We do wedding hire’.
Do your research
Extensive research is required for any business to succeed, no less so than in a space so crowded as the wedding industry. Research your market and learn:
Who, if anyone, is already doing what your business will do?
Will they compete with you in your market (and is your market clearly defined)?
This will allow you to work out what your unique selling points are, and what will allow your business to stand out and compete.
Find potential partners – get networking!
Which complementary businesses can you align with to maximise early growth and form pathways into new clients?
The wedding industry is a word of mouth business, so building a network early on will be a huge advantage to you. There’s no shortage of conventions, expos and networking events to get into, and everyone getting married or knows of someone who might get married is a potential avenue of business for you. Go out and find them!
Write a business plan
There are numerous places to find a guide on writing a business plan, and it forms a vital part of you clearly understanding more about your own business and its path, not to mention securing stakeholders, and potentially, investors.
Cover your bases.
Investigate all the taxes, insurance, liability, VAT, patents, and more that you’ll need to be aware of in order to ensure your business is legally compliant.
Get started – and test, refine, test, refine!
Once you’ve planned, you can focus the bit you’re really in this for: Delivering quality wedding services.