#WeddingPreneurs: Money-making ideas during the off-season
Last week I shared some ideas on how to get organized during the low season (you can read the post HERE). Today we’ll look at ways you can make money during the off- season.
The wedding industry is seasonal in many geographical areas, and we have a big challenge: how can we make money and keep a steady income when we are not working? We still need to pay our bills!
I noticed that a lot of small business owners (including several of my coaching clients) have a hard time with money management if their business is seasonal. When they see money coming in during the high season they tend to spend more than they should instead of saving for the slower months. So, one solution would be charging your clients in multiple installments. For instance, if you are a planner and you charge $6,000 for a full-service assistance, you can ask for monthly payments of $1,000 for 6 months. Maybe some of these payments will fall during your slow months and they will be useful to keep your bills on track.
This method can work very well if you have a good amount of weddings and events during the high season therefore, you make enough money for the entire year. If your average is 20 weddings a year with 15 of them during the high season, then you can collect payments with monthly installments if you prefer. However, if you only do 6 weddings a year and they are all during the high season, then you need all that money you make to pay your bills during the summer. Therefore, the alternative method I suggested won’t be a practical one. In this case, you will need to find other sources of income to cover your expenses during those slower months.
Here are a few tips.
Add complementary services or products
Is there an area or a market you could explore? Is there any potential audience that you’d like to connect with? Think about your strengths, services and / or products that you are already offering and maybe you could extend to a different target audience. If you are a planner, one option could be corporate clients and help with their company events (holiday parties).
Another good choice would be marriage proposals. These usually happen during the holiday season and it’s when your busy wedding season slows down. This is the time to help guys – and girls – put together their proposal by suggesting a theme, by providing a location, the setting, the décor, and a great photographer who can capture all the special moments. Plus, these can be an excellent way to start a relationship with the couple: once she or he says yes, they might hire you to plan their wedding!
I found different ways to stay busy during the slow season by adding marriage proposals, then dessert table styling for social events, and most recently coaching. I really wanted to add something big to my business experience, I was already offering different services in addition to design and planning, and I was trying to find something that was truly different from my local “competition”. I had the opportunity of mentoring a lot of young wedding planners while I served on the board of the Association of Bridal Consultants a few years ago. During that time, I realized that I loved to teach, I loved to share my expertise and knowledge with aspiring wedding professionals. That’s how I decided to start coaching them. And it was the best decision I made in many years!
If you are a photographer, you could focus on family portraits during the off-season. Those families might need your help for their holiday cards. And, who knows, maybe a relative or a friend of theirs just got engaged and they’re looking for a photographer…
Teach classes and workshops
This is something that I used to do a few years ago and it worked amazing. It’s all about exposure and workshops are the best way to show who you are, how good you are, and reach a lot of people in your community.
You could offer classes to teach wedding couples different things to consider when they plan their wedding. It could be a series of classes over a period of a month, for instance (4 classes a week). I used to join forces with other professionals so that we could provide different information for a more comprehensive approach. One time I had an invitation designer, a floral designer, and a baker in my team creating a 4-week workshop where we taught how to create a consistent look for a wedding. We would talk about vision boards, best color pairings, how to incorporate elements into the invitations, the centerpieces, on the cake, etc. This class was all about the visual aspect of the wedding. It was extremely popular because couples usually don’t have this ability: they have ideas and they know what they want but they don’t know how to put everything together so that it pleases the eye and it flows seamlessly.
If you are a florist, you could offer holiday décor classes: One of my floral designers is promoting a hands-on, 4-week workshop series right now where you can learn the art of flower arranging and go home with your creation. Week 1 is about Thanksgiving centerpieces, week 2 and 3 are about holiday wreaths, then week 4 will be about Holiday Centerpieces. She charges a flat fee of $95 per person and that includes all the supplies and tools to create the arrangements. Let’s do some math: $95 x 20 people = $1,900. Her costs are usually $300 for floral supplies and about $200 for snacks and refreshments. That leaves her with an income of $1,400 per class which takes 2 hours of her time in a day. Not bad…
The classes you teach don’t have to be necessarily related to weddings, you are a florist so you can help clients to decorate their homes. And, while you have them in your studio, you can mention “By the way, we offer floral design for all types of events and weddings, and this is what we love to do: …….” You could have your portfolio on display so people can take a look at it. My florists always get wedding clients while teaching floral classes just by mentioning what they do.
Expand your area of activity / operations
This is not always feasible but, if it can be done in your area, take advantage of it!
A colleague of mine here in San Diego used to plan weddings in town during the spring, summer, and fall. Then, she would move to Mammoth Mountain (which is located north of San Francisco, about 10-hour drive from Southern California) for the winter season (her family used to live there). She used to plan 6-8 weddings there in just a 3-month period! That way, she was always busy year-round.
~~~ TAKE ACTION ~~~ Take a sheet of paper and divide it in three sections. In the first section make a list of the services and / or products you already offer. In the second section, write down your skills and talents. Then, think about everything you could provide / sell / make / teach for your clients with your skills and experience. Remember, these extra services or products don’t necessarily have to be related to weddings
~~~ LEAVE A COMMENT ~~~ Do you have other ideas to make more money during the off-season? Share with us!
Need ideas on how to be more profitable in your business? Let’s connect with a FREE (yes, it’s complimentary! No charge) Clarity Call today. Schedules yours today HERE
Holistic Precision Life Coach, Brain Wellness Coach, and Life-Work Balance Strategist for busy professionals. I blend well-being principles with epigenetics, neuroscience, positive psychology, and mindfulness techniques to implement effective behavior changes.