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.
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! ~