The calm before the storm (for wedding planners, that is)
These days, every month seems to be a good month for a wedding. Indeed, many surveys show that, although there are more weddings during the spring and summer months, weddings are spread pretty evenly throughout the year. However, this time of year, everything gets put on hold for the holidays, and weddings are no exception. Most venues probably make a pretty penny on holiday parties, so they probably don't see a drop in activity. However, wedding planners may be a little lighter on work as you prepare for the rush of engagements that happen between the December holidays and Valentine's Day (it's no coincidence that Kay's, Zales and Shane Co. all pummel the airwaves for three solid months from Nov. through Jan). I've run my own business going on 10 years now, and if I've learned one thing, it's not to freak out when things slow down (although early 2009 I was starting to sweat bullets ... thank goodness the economy picked up a bit later this past year). My wife always tells me to take it easy and reminds me that these down cycles always last 2-3 weeks and then things always pick up again afterward. And then she tells me I should enjoy the down time, take a few days off, read a few books that have been collecting dust on my nightstand. In other words, relax. Now, I don't know about you, but as a business owner I have a hard time relaxing. When things slow down, I feel the need to start calling around to drum up business, to stop by former clients to see if they need help again, basically to do something other than sit on my hands. But, after 10 years, I think I have finally learned to take a deep breath and try and enjoy the down time. So, if you have a few weeks here to gather your thoughts and take a few days for yourself, I encourage you to do it. Wedding planners have demanding and time-consuming jobs (making people happy and helping them realize their dreams is certainly not easy work, and it's not always glamorous or even pretty), and like anyone else who doesn't really work a 9-5 job (sometimes it's more like 9-midnight), you need to recharge your batteries every once in a while. Plus, there's about to be another bumper crop of newly engaged brides about to come calling and looking for the perfect wedding consultant to help them plan their big days (that's you, of course). So don't sweat the dip in business and give yourself a pause, because it's about to get busy very soon.