Monday, February 22, 2010

Wedding 101: Are You Making The Best Choices With Your Wedding Bucks?

Every once in a while an article for wedding vendors comes along that is just as valuable for brides as professionals. Rick Brewer is an amazing writer for the Wedding Industry. His blog, Marketing to Brides, is a must read for me, and I hope you will benefit from this, too.

Brides, as you read what goes into being a "Genuine" Professional, think about the people you have interviewed with so far. Do they really have the qualifications to keep you happy, safe and protected?

Where are the Brides going?

In each city around the country that I speak, there is a certain amount of business that can go to any given wedding category. For example in a bigger city, there may be 20,000 weddings that are in the service area, and perhaps 50-60% of them will spend money with a florist (you can insert your service here). When I ask how many real genuine wedding florists there are in that given city, what I generally see happen is that there are more than enough weddings for every genuine vendor out there.

Naturally I ask the following question; “Where are the Brides going?”

Most times, the Brides are either going to a less than genuine vendor (I will define what a “genuine” wedding vendor is in just a moment) or they are going without in that category.

Think about it; Brides are going without or they are choosing the vendors who are less than what they deserve. Why is that? I will answer that question in hopes that you will be able to use this as a way to bring more brides to your business

What qualifies as a “genuine” wedding vendor? They have the following three attributes:

1.       They are trained professionals. This as opposed to the person who just bought some equipment or bought an online course and now says they are a “professional”. The Genuine professional may have started that way, but it was by lugging someone else’s equipment, by working for some other professional that they learned so when they set forward on their own, they were prepared and ready. When I first started DJ’ing back in 1992, the guy that trained me made me go with him, carry his equipment and watch him DJ for 10 gigs. I didn’t get paid for those 10 gigs. The next 10 gigs, I still carried all the equipment, but I got to DJ with his supervision. I made ½ the regular pay (which wasn’t much) during those 10 gigs. For the next 20 gigs, I got the “apprentice level pay as long as I did not have any incidents or complaints, I would rise up to the next level. This was my training. Further, he gave me homework where I had to memorize song lists and the proper announcements. If you did not start with this kind of training but you now are experienced and have learned the ropes, that’s ok. (if you decide to do another type of wedding business, you can go through this training next time J )

2.       They are real businesses. They have the licensing, the insurance and all the proper regulated and government imposed approvals. In other words, they are not making cakes out of their garages without the proper health codes/certificates, they are not bringing their equipment into a venue without carrying the proper insurance (if something were to fall onto a guest and hurt them, they would go after the venue, who most times  already have that covered in their contracts that the liability goes back onto the Bride, so who does the guest sue-you guessed it).

3.       They are associated. The genuine Wedding vendor is not an island. They rely on friends, associations and other wedding businesses to help them go forward. This “rising tide” philosophy is crucial to their success as well as their ability to do their job better. I often say Associations make better Wedding Vendors. This could not be more true. Last week I spent out at Las Vegas at the Mobile Beat Mobile Disc Jockey Convention. Besides seeing a lot of friends in the business,  those in attendance were “paying their dues” to be successful. In other words, because they paid both time and money to be there, they would naturally pay more attention, seek to learn more and in general strive to get a return on their investment.  Believe it or not, though, out of 200,000 estimated mobile DJ’s in the U.S., less than 1000 were in attendance. I met people from Canada, England and Australia, yet there were many local DJ’s right there in Las Vegas who did not attend. Think about it- if there is a chance for education and bettering your vocation and yourself does a genuine business take advantage of it or do they blow it off.

I challenge you to educate your next Bride that walks in and compares you the genuine Wedding vendor with some new person who is not near genuine as you to bring up these three points. Special reward to anyone who reports back their success stories

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