Although 2010 is off to a very cold start, I believe the wedding industry is going to be warming up.  Many bridal couples postponed weddings last year because of fears about the economy.  But this year,
couples are optimistic and anxious to move ahead.  That said, I do
believe smaller budgets and DIY elements will continue to dominate.


With that in mind, my advice to wedding industry professionals is to be informed, plan ahead and stay in front of the bride in every way possible.  In order to do that you have to do a little research.

Many small business owners don't use a marketing plan, probably because they don't know how.  But a basic plan can be simple and a very valuable tool.  The gist of a marketing plan is to define your target
customer and decide how and when you will market to them.  One of the
most important aspects to a marketing plan is knowing what works for
you and what doesn't.  You have to know how customers found you - so
ask and keep track.   Part of the tracking process should also include
an evaluation of some kind from the client.  Ask for their comments and
referrals.


Essential elements to a successful low-cost marketing plan in 2010:

  • Network, network, network -- it's the best business builder. Advertising budgets have no doubt been shrunken down to bare bones but ask other vendors  what is working for them.
  • Get listed on the numerous free directories online.  Yes, they are crowded with vendors but the more frequently a potential customer sees your name, the more likely they are to call you.
  • Another given, is social media.  As much as we may be tired of hearing about Facebook, Twitter and the like -- they work.
  • Also key is being innovative with your service offerings.  That doesn't mean giving away your services.  But do get creative -- look at what brides are doing and want and find a way to fulfill their needs. 
    If many potential clients can't afford your usual services, find a way
    to pare down your offerings to reduce your cost (without sacrificing
    quality, of course.)
  • PR is free -- many businesses undervalue public relations in the marketing plans.  That may be because they don't know how or what it is exactly but the internet has lots of info on how to write and get press
    releases published.  You only need to invest a little time for a
    possible great return -- getting in front of brides!

Your business' outlook for 2010 can be sunny if you are willing to make an adequate investment of time.  Brides are looking to hire -- will you be the one?

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Thank you for the helpful advice! I am going to put those ideas to work!

Nicole Keesler
Creative Elegance Weddings
This is excellent advice! Thank you! I do have a marketing plan, not just for the wedding/bridal aspect of our business but wholesale and retail as well. However, I do catch myself slacking on it - and just becoming sloppy.

I needed a good kick in the pants - it gets me motivated and makes me want to stay on track.

Thanks!

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