The past few years have been an interesting time in the wedding industry. Because, as one of the few forced to a screeching halt in 2020, things have come back just as quickly as they left. It’s made a head spinning experience for many wedding pros, but we’re just getting started with this industry-wide sprint since more than 2.6 million weddings are slated for 2022. That boom is likely to impact your business in ways you might not think—which is why the time to get ahead is now. 

This business checklist is meant to help you get the wheels turning and thinking about what your business might need to do in order to handle growth without the growing pains. But, more than that, it’s here to serve as a reminder that whether you are actively working to grow your wedding business or lucky enough to ride the wave of the wedding boom, long-term success and sustainability take intentionality. So, as we officially kick off booking season and look ahead to the next year, here are some things to consider when it comes to your branding, marketing, and business growth.

 

Business tips for wedding pros

The number of weddings in 2022 will be the most taking place since 1984, but your excitement for the coming year shouldn’t overshadow the need to prepare—especially if you feel like the latter half of this year has kept you busy. So, as you wrap up the last of your weddings in this season, here are some business tips to help you plan for the future.

Set benchmarks – When you run your own business, it can be hard to say “no” to additional income. But when you are anticipating a busy year, one of the best favors you can do for yourself is to set benchmarks around how many weddings you want to book as well as how many weddings you can actually handle. Knowing these numbers can help you know when you are approaching your capacity and need to either raise your rates or start saying no to clients.

Create a plan for growth – It’s exciting to have your business grow but a bigger business requires more of just about everything. From more storage space and inventory to more personnel and administrative responsibilities, you’re more likely to experience growing pains if you haven’t created a plan to help you scale. Figure out what you will need more of if you start booking weddings beyond your typical capacity and figure out where you are going to source things (as well as how you will pay for them).

Pro-tip: What does it look like when growth happens too fast? A loss of business culture, broken processes or a drop in the quality of your service are a few indicators. But feeling burnt out or  like “the wheels are coming off the bus” is a strong sign too. 

 

How to think about your marketing plan

A successful marketing plan is one that helps you create and maintain momentum, and 2022 is certainly not a year you want to take your foot off of the proverbial gas pedal—seeing an increase in leads and bookings right now is not a green light to stop marketing your wedding business. The key thing to ask yourself in preparation for what might be a very busy year is What can I realistically handle? So, if you have been operating without a marketing plan, here is your crash course:

Pro-tip: If your business is growing and you can’t keep up with your marketing tasks, it might be time to outsource part of your plan.

 

Branding tasks to take care of

The brand you’ve worked so hard to build is one of the things that helps you stand out in the industry, and it needs regular time and attention to keep doing that. So, before you find yourself too busy or start handing off projects to someone else, be sure to take care of these essential tasks to keep your branding the asset it is:

  • Do a brand audit to see where things need to be updated or fixed
  • Put together a set of brand guidelines to ensure that everyone working with your brand is doing it based on the same standards
  • Create templates for things like social media, proposals, and the like now to make sure you can work quickly when you need to

 

Don’t get caught with your staff down

One of the biggest challenges you might face during the wedding boom is having enough staff to support you. And this is important to think about now because you can’t handle more weddings if you don’t have more help. So, if you anticipate booking more weddings in 2022 than you ever have, you need to start working on a list of assistants, contractors, etc. who can help you execute multiple weddings in a week. But, in addition to knowing who you are going to call in as reinforcements, you need to understand how this affects your cost of doing business. 

  • What do you need to pay your additional staff?
  • How many people do you need per wedding?
  • Can you hire them as contractors or do you need to bring them on as employees?
  • Do you need to increase your prices in order to cover these costs?

These are all important questions to ask and find answers to because they will help you maintain your profits! 

Pro-tip: Take a look at your pricing strategy and get advice from our WeddingPro Educators to help you price your services.

 

Stay focused on your client experience

How each of your couples feel while working with you is incredibly important to the health of your business (their reviews on your Storefronts do help you attract future clients after all). But, as you’ve maybe started to experience this year, making every couple feel like they are your only couple can be a challenge when you’re in a boom—and your client experience can start to show the cracks in your systems. So, just like you should take a look at what your business needs in order to scale, you should look at what your client experience needs as well.

Take the time to set these systems up in order to make sure you can give each and every one of your couples a flawless experience working with you. But don’t forget to talk to your couples after everything is said and done—you can learn a lot about what works well and what doesn’t when you simply ask for feedback.

 

TL;DR: Here is your business checklist to help you prepare for all of your weddings in 2022!

  1. Decide how many weddings you want to book
  2. Decide how many weddings you can handle
  3. Create a plan for growth
  4. Create a marketing plan
  5. Do a brand audit
  6. Create brand guidelines
  7. Create on-brand templates
  8. Plan for an increased need in staffing
  9. Review and revise your pricing if needed
  10. Create an onboarding process
  11. Create an offboarding process

 

Want to make sure you’re doing everything you can to have a successful wedding season next year? Advertising with The Knot and WeddingWire is the high-impact but low effort marketing tactic that can help you stay in front of all the newly engaged couples (even when you’re busy). Simply fill out this form to get started!

 

Photo Credit: ColorJoy Stock