By Megan Miranda
1. Keep Your Startup Costs Low
Fortunately, starting a wedding planning business isn’t as expensive as opening a store or restaurant. You won’t have the cost of renting a large office space (at least at first) or purchasing expensive tools. However, there are some startup costs that you need to consider before you begin.
As a business owner, it’s important to have impressive, high-quality business cards. Head straight to an online printing company like Vistaprint if you already have a logo and design in mind. Or, if you need help creating your brand, check out 99designs.
Before you make any purchases like business cards, website development or a business phone line, consider opening a business credit card. This is an easy way to separate your personal purchases from those you make for your new business. Plus, you’ll build credit for your business, which can be helpful in the future.
One important expense that should not be spared is getting some basic legal work done. A lawyer can help you set your company up as an LLC and draw up some basic contracts to use with clients. Find out if there is a legal clinic associated with a law school in your area that offers discounted — or free! — legal work for small businesses.
2. Utilize Free (or Inexpensive) Marketing Options
Although you may still want to consider traditional marketing avenues, such as in-print ads or mailers, most brides are looking online for wedding professionals, so make sure your website is polished and accessible.
Explore one of these 5 do-it-yourself platforms to build your website. Wordpress, Blogger and Wix are free, easy-to-use website builders. If you want your website’s URL to be a top-level domain — appearing as www.yourwebsite.com — purchase a domain name from a company such as EasyDNS or GoDaddy.
Create a Twitter account and Facebook page for your business to engage more brides. Choose a photo that represents you and your company well and write a bio that succinctly explains everything you offer. Be sure to include a URL to direct followers and fans to your website.
After you have created a Twitter account and Facebook page, your next goal is to gain followers and fans. Twitter offers paid advertising, so you can direct brides to your website and increase tweet engagements. With Facebook, you can also target your ads to reach certain audiences and increase your bridal fanbase.
Blog often to keep brides-to-be engaged with you on social media. These days, wedding marketing is a two-way conversation between you and your couples. Don’t forget to take photos of your work and post them on Instagram or Pinterest!
3. Highlight Your Experience (Even Though You’re New!)
Although you’re just starting out, you don’t necessarily want to let potential clients know just how new you are. Of course, you shouldn’t lie when asked about how long you’ve been in the business; however, you can be creative about your answer. Practice what you’re going to say so you sound comfortable and confident.
Have you helped with a friend or family member’s wedding? Ask for a testimonial!
You can also have past co-workers act as references by asking them to write about your professionalism, character and strength of your work when it also applies to weddings.
Megan Miranda is a Portland, Oregon-based blogger, writer and business owner. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her baking bread and planning her own wedding.