How to Start a Wedding Decorating Business

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Starting a wedding decoration business can be easy. But, like any other business, it is important to do your research and work hard to help you save money in the beginning and make money once the business gets off the ground. Time management will be critical to your success, as will surrounding yourself with help you can afford and customers who are worthy of your efforts. It is helpful if you have experience working in the decorating industry before starting your own business, but experience is not necessary if you have the passion and skills needed to start and operate your own successful wedding decorating company.

Things You'll Need

  • Website and web hosting service
  • Photos and testimonials of any previous work you have done (if available)
  • Office or home office space
  • Email and phone number for clients to contact you
  • Computer to store financial information, client contracts and details, and all business-related materials
  • Define the scope of your business: Wedding Cake Decorator, Wedding Florist, or a more general Wedding Decorator. This will help establish your services as well as target your customers and help you figure out what supplies and resources will be necessary.

  • Register your business and obtain a tax ID number. This can be done using several online sites or legal services, such as http://www.business.gov/register/incorporation or www.legalzoom.com, or through your state's government website.

  • Create a website. This will be one of the most important tools for marketing for your business. The website should contain all your contact information (name, number, address, email, business hours). Spend extra time to make sure your website represents your work and your tastes; you want the site to be welcoming representative of your work and your business model. Show some samples of your past work on the site, if possible.

  • Put together a portfolio to display your past work. If you do not have good photos of past work, volunteer to do some events for your family or friends, or offer to do a couple of free or reduced-fee gigs to build your portfolio. This is an important step to landing potential clients, so make sure you have the right pictures that show off your work, as well as testimonials from previous clients that promote your work. Your portfolio should be in digital format on your website as well as printed in hard copy in a portfolio notebook to show potential clients in person. Perhaps you can make arrangements with a wedding photographer to use some of her images on your website in return for promotional credits and a link to her site.

  • Establish a location to host meetings with potential clients. This can be at a home office, a rented office, or an appropriate restaurant. Make sure the location is welcoming and it enables you to show your work effectively. Many clients like to preview the decor that will be displayed at their wedding, so choose your meeting space carefully and pick something that will give you the most flexibility in terms of demonstrating your work.

  • Find efficient and affordable marketing tools. Get your service out by printing fliers or coupons, advertise on line on wedding sites and social media sites, and encourage your previous clients to spread the word to their friends, family, and coworkers. It is important to establish a reliable reputation.

  • Research all the potential decoration supplies you will need. The decoration possibilities are endless, so plan ahead by drawing some designs out and making a list of all the supplies you will need for your vision, style, and versatility. Set your budget appropriately; supplies can be very costly and expenses can be wasteful if the research and planning is not done carefully. It helps to start small and expand your offerings only when you can afford to.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you have a college degree or have taken designing or hospitality classes in college, be sure to indicate that experience on your business resume and website. There are classes offered on line to help you learn more about wedding designing and starting a business in general.
  • Budget your business carefully. If money is mismanaged, then the business will fail.

References

  • Photo Credit wedding decor image by Andrius Grigaliunas from Fotolia.com
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