Hi friend! I see you. I see you daydreaming about starting your own wedding venue.
I see you pinning images of beautiful architecture in between meeting with clients to discuss their wedding timeline. I see you daydreaming of a glorious light filled bridal suite while you wait to show your bride how amazing she looked at her bridal session. I see you sitting in your cubicle prison wishing you were your own boss, setting your own definition of success. Every time you sink deeper and deeper into that dream something always pulls you back.
Fear of the unknown. Fear of failure. Or maybe even fear of success because what in the world are you going to do once you’ve achieved the impossible?
You’re going to dream bigger, that’s what you’re going to do.
In the meantime, how about I answer some of the questions floating around in your head feeding that fear of the unknown.
I haven’t even started and I feel overwhelmed, where do I even start?
First, take a deep breath. If you didn’t feel overwhelmed about starting a wedding venue I’d be slightly concerned that you have no idea what you’re getting into. Next, you need a plan, a business plan. If you don’t know how to write one I recommend going to bplans.com. They don’t have one specifically for a wedding venue but they do have over 500 templates for you to choose from and customize. Another option is to look into the Small Business Administration (or SBA). See if they have a branch in your area. If not, inquire about a virtual meeting or phone consult. OR you can sign up to be notified when my Spring 2019 coaching slots open up and we can dominate this dream together. <— shameless plug ????
How do I figure out what I need to save or borrow to make this dream happen?
The first step to take in determining how much capital you need for a wedding venue is to determine your startup costs. Real estate and construction costs are obvious but what about licenses, permits, insurance, attorneys, marketing and advertising, bookkeeping, equipment, inventory, website, utilities, and softwares. Once all of these items are accounted for you’ll have a better idea of how large of a loan you need to apply for. If you don’t qualify for the loan amount you need then you’ll need to start thinking about getting investors.
What mistakes do you see people make when opening a venue and how can I avoid them?
The first mistake I see new venue owners make is not including business expenses in their loan application. If you only account for the “sexy” things like cost of land, construction, and pretty furnishings but completely forget about the “unsexy” things like insurance, attorney fees, utilities, permits, software, a venue consultant, marketing and advertising; then you’re already digging yourself into a hole. You need to account for all costs involved.
The second biggest mistake I see wedding venue owners make is biting the hand that feeds them. Huh? Venue owners and vendors NEED to have a mutual respect for one another. Vendors need to respect the enormous investment that this venue is. On the flip side, venues need to respect the work that vendors do and try their best to not only deliver a good experience to their brides but also to their vendors. Here’s the good news…you’re already a human and know how you like to be treated. In other words, our mommas were right – treat others as you would like to be treated.
What is the best advice you can give to someone who would like to open or purchase a wedding venue?
Remember when you planned your first wedding or when you shot your first event or interviewed for a job you thought you were unqualified for? You had no clue what you were doing but you figured it out. The best gift you gave yourself was courage. Dig deep and find that again. When you find it, use it to do your homework and set yourself up for success by making a business plan, figuring out a finance option that works for your situation, keep your head up, and surround yourself with trustworthy cheerleaders.
Opening a wedding venue is definitely a long game but the greatest success stories come from individuals who are relentless in the pursuit of their dream. Being relentless takes courage; find yours and own it. You’ve got this, my friend!