It is a great time to be in the industry in Goa as it has been fast-growing over the years and the need for professional wedding planners being always in demand. If you are gifted with the skills of being organised, self driven, creative and have people skills, this could be one industry that could be the perfect fit for you.
Here are a few pointers if you plan to start a business of your own in the field of wedding planning and event management.
- The cost of starting up
Setting up a wedding planning agency does not involve a huge initial investment. If you plan to work independently you may not even require an office space as a makeshift space from home can suffice. This is a huge bonus as you can allocate more resources towards marketing, branding and networking to spread the word about your business and start getting clients. Speak to a lawyer for basic legal paperwork that will protect you from liabilities and also contracts that you would need to use with your clients before they sign you up.
- Setting up business goals
According to BLS in 2010, the medium pay that wedding planners have reached was $ 45,260. Being your own boss you would have to set out goals which you can track and improve. In the initial phases you will have to meet with several local vendors and also network with your immediate circle of friends and family informing them on how you can assist brides in planning their weddings. It is also critical that you are ahead of industry trends, pricing, styles and fashions. This involves plenty of research and study constantly.
- Building a portfolio
What most clients in Goa would ask you for is some of your previous work or the names of a few references that you have worked with in the past. If you have smaller event portfolio that is indirectly related to wedding planning such as birthday parties or corporate events, include them when you are just about getting started.
Getting a basic photo shoot done of a mockup wedding that includes reception tables, decor and style samples, wedding stationery and centrepieces is a great way to show how familiar you are with what is trending in the industry and your attention to detail, this will also give you the opportunity to work with local vendors. You can also discuss opportunity of providing them with reference for their mockup designs.
Get testimonials and pictures from your friends and relatives of the weddings that you have contributed in.
- Getting your first clients
Having a few clients that are friends and family or that have been referred to by them is an excellent opportunity to build a small client base and group together a professional portfolio. You could also be a part of charity events or social causes that involves organising and producing as this is a great way to get noticed for your work and also network with people. Ensure that you enroll yourself to professional memberships and associations that can also help establish credibility for your business as well.
- Branding your business
This is where most businesses fail, when they are unable to direct the right efforts in creating a brand for themselves. The easiest medium is social media, and being actively involved on these platforms is a perfect way to interact and build authority for yourself as an expert in the trade. Websites such as Pinterest is a medium commonly used by wedding planners to create inspiration boards, the right use of hashtags on Twitter will also help your business spread on the Internet, not forgetting Facebook, where you have to constantly interact and provide your audiences with engaging content.
- Certifications from the industry
Planning for short-term and long-term courses should be on the cards if you plan to expand your business and eventually work with a team under you. You would need to get certified as professional event planner or even have a degree in hospitality. Many institutes also offer short-term certifications from organisations such as the International Special Events Society that you could consider.