Here’s a nugget of truth for you: There is no “quick start” in the wedding industry.
Though there are definitely exceptions to the rule, most wedding professionals will tell you that it takes at minimum 3 years before you start to see steady business and feel the momentum really take off.
Most wedding businesses never make it that long – because it can feel at times like nothing you are doing is working, and you start to think “maybe I’m not cut out for this”.
You might not be. But not in the way you think. It probably has nothing to do with your level of talent, skill, or even passion.
It has more to do with lack of patience and lack of perseverance.
In this day and age, we have become programmed to want – if not expect – instant gratification. When we put something out into the universe, we expect an (almost) immediate return. Unfortunately, in most businesses – and specifically in the wedding industry, this is not realistic.
When you consider that most wedding professionals get hired a year or so out from the wedding date, this means that from the moment you hang out your proverbial shingle, it could be a year or longer before you actually have a real wedding under your belt. And when you think about the criteria that most couples search for when making their hiring decisions for their wedding – experience, expertise, trust, to name a few – assuming you manage to book 2-3 weddings in your first year, it can be several years before you have established enough experience for potential clients to even consider hiring you.
Sobering thought, isn’t it? There are, of course, exceptions – those who excel at marketing and getting the word out, who position themselves perfectly in their markets, and manage to book themselves solid in their first year. I know many of these people, and let me tell you – they HUSTLE. But they are in fact the exception to the rule.
Here’s what I want to say to you today: Be patient. Be persistent. Success in this industry takes time, and a hell of a lot of hard work. Make a plan, and work the plan. Use the time you have to learn as much as possible – not just about your craft, but about owning and running a business. Invest money into your company – specifically into your branding and marketing.
Stay the course. I’m going to say this part again because it’s a HUGE part of running any successful business: Make a plan, and work the plan. Don’t sit back and wait for the inquiries to come pouring in – be proactive, and know that success comes from the sum of all parts, not just the parts alone. If you don’t know how to make a plan, find a mentor that can teach you. When is the last time you saw a professional athlete who didn’t have a coach? You don’t have to go it alone – there are many experienced mentors and business coaches in this industry. We tell our clients that they should hire a professional to guide them through the process of planning their weddings, and yet very few of us see the parallel between this and hiring a business mentor to guide us through starting or growing our businesses. I offer a limited number of mentorships to wedding professionals throughout the year. Click here for more information.
Whatever you do, if you are truly passionate about this and really want your business to succeed, don’t give up. Yes, it can be very challenging and often deflating to stay focused and passionate about your business when you aren’t seeing immediate results, but keep working the plan. Use the time you have to develop the foundation for your business, and keep your eye on your long term goals.
It’s such a cliche, but truly, this industry is a marathon, not a sprint. Those who have the tenacity and stamina to push through fear, self-doubt, and KEEP WORKING THE PLAN are the ones who always succeed.
And have faith – you are not alone in your journey. If you aren’t already a member, consider this your personal invitation to join our very supportive community of wedding professionals, The Wedpreneur Community. We’ll help you every step of the way, and be the first to cheer for each milestone you achieve in your business.