Sunday, February 14, 2010

Become a Top Wedding Planner - 11 Steps to Starting Your Wedding Planning Business

If you want to become a wedding planner and have your own business, you need to do more than learn how to plan weddings. You have to follow the steps it takes to start and run a professional business.

Here are the 11 steps:

1) Write a business plan

This isn't difficult. Just start by writing down answers to basic questions such as: Why do you want to start a wedding planning business? What do you want your business to look like? Who do you want your clients to be? When do you plan to be up and running? Where will you work?

How will you make money - what services, packages and products do you plan to offer? After you have answered these questions, flush out details so it is clear what you business will look like when you start, then one year from now and five years from now. You can revisit and revise your plan at any time.

2) Talk to an accountant, attorney, and insurance agent about setting up your business

These are the business professionals who can help you decide the best structure for your business (sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company, or corporation) and they can make sure you are legally covered and protected.

3) Obtain financing

It doesn't cost a lot of money to start your business. You might finance it yourself, get help from your family or you might approach a financial institution or a non-profit, such as the Small Business Administration, for a loan.

4) Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN)

Instead of using your social security number for your business, you will want to obtain an Employer Identification Number from the Internal Revenue Service so your personal number can be kept private.

5) Determine your niche and services

Do some research and set up your wedding planning business so you target a niche and don't just market to every bride. Find out what your niche wants and create your business selling those services.

6) Select a business name and buy the domain name

Your business name should be one that is easy to spell, understand and say and it should be attractive to your niche. Also the domain name for a website must be available for the business name that you select.

7) Get the proper licenses

Check your local government offices for requirements for running a business in your area. You may need to register your business name, get a license that allows you to do business in your city and you may need to get a sellers permit.

8) Set up bookkeeping and banking

Get bookkeeping software so you can keep track of your income and expenses and easily handle your taxes at the end of the year. Also you must open a business bank account to keep your business finances separate from your personal ones.

9) Set up your office

Make sure you have a space in which you can work quietly, without interruption, that is set up with the furniture and tools you need to run a business. This includes a desk, chair, filing cabinets, computer, printer and phone.

10) Set up your website and blog and order business cards

Hire a designer who can work with you to create a professional logo or image for your website, blog and cards. They may also be able to build your website and blog or you can hire a webmaster to do that for you. Do not invest too much of your budget into these things, new wedding planners often change their images after being in business for about a year.

11) Put together a portfolio

Gather photographs and information from weddings you have planned and assemble them in an album. You can present this to potential clients and vendors so they can see your work.

By : Sharon_Hill

No comments: