Wedding Planner Education | When Should You Start Growing a Team?

Are you wondering how to scale your business? Is it the right time to build a team? This post is all about navigating through the growing pains and taking the right actions for you. 

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If you asked me four or five years ago if I wanted to grow a team, or build up my wedding planning business to be double, triple or even quadruple booked in a weekend I would have probably looked at you sideways.  It didn't seem like it was in the realm of possibility for my small word-of-mouth business.  Fast forward to now where we have a team of planners working with several couples in a day and 50 weddings this year.  Now that we have the systems and processes in place to manage clients efficiently, the volume of weddings is sufficient to expand a team and distribute the leads amongst the team.

Would I recommend that you plan 50 weddings in a year..no! I highly recommend that you price your wedding services accordingly and focus on quality not quantity until you have a team who can support this volume.  Invest in education, tools, resources or anything else that you can get your hands on to help you get clear operational systems that you can use to train your leads as they learn the ropes.

Aside from having a few weekends off, what are the pro's of building a team?  I think the biggest benefit is that with so many different styles of weddings and personalities, we are learning who vibes well with certain couples and we can pair up leads accordingly.  Personally I work well with couples who are confident with their decision making and are very type A about their details, while my business partner Delphine prefers to work with couples who are starting from scratch in the process so that she can help them through each of those decisions.  Knowing more about your ideal clients and personality types helps a lot in the long run. 

Are there any downsides to growing a team? Well sure, there is definitely risk in bringing in outside planners and recruiting new talent.  You risk investing your time and energy into new candidates who one minute feel that weddings are their true passion in life and the next minute are realizing that weddings are hard work and they check out after half-way through the season.  Couples want to bond and build trust with their planner, so if your team is a revolving door it is hard to keep that trust factor.   Another factor is that labor and staffing can eat up your profit margin quickly if you aren't accurately estimating/quoting a potential lead.  Consider how many staffing hours you will need before quoting the project. 

Hire for personality not talent.  You can't always spot a rockstar until you see them in action.  Give new assistants an opportunity to see a variety of weddings from rehearsal, set-up, ceremony, reception to breakdown and you will see where their strengths are.  Every wedding they assist with will build up their knowledge base and confidence for the next event. 

~ Happy Planning! ~  

Wedding Planner Education | How to Define Success

We wouldn't be sharing this post if we didn't understand fully what it can feel like to be somewhere in the middle of the road with your business and not know if you are doing it "right." All of the same questions you're asking yourself, we've been there.  Everything from asking "should we be doing more weddings...should we raise our prices..are we successful?" 

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What defines success? Specifically for a service based business you do have a cap of how many events you can realistically take on, what is that capacity for YOU? Are you enjoying a good work to life balance, or a quality of life that you would expect while in business for yourself?  After-all, if you wanted to be a slave to the 8-5 gig then you wouldn't have started a business right?

Take a look at your goals and see if there is a number that jumps out, a dollar figure that means you are not only profitable but "successful." If you find that you could be more efficient in your business so that your workflows save you time and keep you doing the creative side that you enjoy, this education series is for you.  

Recently, I completed the 8 week Wedding Planning Intensive course with Mary Swaffield and I was really happy to have taken the time to look introspectively at our company.  7 years in business and we still have areas that we want to improve.  Client experience is our number one goal, and in my mind if our clients have an amazing experience with us and if we have a reputation for providing excellent service; we're successful.  Baby steps to keep progressing forward. 

Please join us in our Wedding Planner Mastermind Group on Facebook, a community where we discuss everything from workflows, pricing, client management systems such as Honeybook and Aisle Planner, general tips & more.

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