The slow season for wedding businesses, also known as the off-season, varies from company to company and region to region. However, no matter when your slow season is, I bet you are still busy working away on the administrative side of things. From meeting with leads to sending out proposals, it never stops.
Even though the work of running your wedding business never stops, it’s no doubt to say there are busier months and slower seasons. For many, this is their slow season. So why not use this time to focus on the back end of your business so that you are one step ahead when things start to pick up? So, to help you get ahead in your wedding business, I am sharing with you how to navigate the slow season for your business.
10 Ways To Navigate The Slow Season For Your Wedding Business
1. Annual Planning & Reflecting
Your slow season is the best time to sit back and reflect on your previous year. Evaluate what worked, what didn’t and set goals for the coming year.
While reviewing and reflecting on your past year, now is also a great time to reach out to past couples and clients and ask for feedback and reviews. Getting into the habit of asking for reviews will help you gather content later down the road.
2. Organize Systems & Processes
The best time to organize your business is when there is less going on in it. For example, if you want to change any of your systems or processes, do so when you have only one or two clients so that you do not have to go back and update everyone to the new system.
If you are not already using a project management tool, now is the time to start! Project management software is a great way to organize your couples and your to-dos for your team for each event. A few of my favourites include Asana, Trello & Click Up. If you feel comfortable setting your project management tool up yourself, they are very user-friendly and often offer free memberships or trial periods. However, if you feel overwhelmed setting it up yourself, now is a great time to outsource! Hire a virtual assistant (VA) to help set up and streamline your systems on your project management tool.
Another important aspect to focus on in the slow season is your processes. Now is a great time to start creating standard operating procedures (SOPs) for future training of team members or assistants. If you spend time creating these in your slow season, you will have less to worry about training new team members leading up to the busy season. There are many ways to go about creating your SOPs. I recommend filming a Loom video of the task and every step you take to complete it. Then have your VA type it up into an SOP for a training manual.
I also recommend taking a good look at your workflows. You want your clients to have a seamless client experience, so it is important that your workflows reflect this. From sending out contracts and invoicing to booking calls, having a smooth and efficient workflow will make a world’s difference in the end.
3. Start Collecting & Organizing Your Backlog Of Weddings
If you do not already have photos for each wedding or event, I recommend scheduling a reminder in your calendar to reach out to the photographer team requesting these. Be sure to do it with grace, as many photographers are exhausted and are still editing. So, be kind.
Once you receive these photos, organize them and store them in a shared virtual drive such as Dropbox or Google Drive. Never leave them on your desktop, as this slows down the process if you one day want to outsource and need those photos. I also recommend storing the vendor credits in the same virtual folder so that you can easily pull these into social media posts or blog posts and don’t waste time looking around for them.
4. Refresh Your website
Once photos of your past events start to roll in, it is time to refresh your portfolio on your website. It is important to update your portfolio at least once or twice a year to appear relevant and in touch with trends for your audience.
Now is also the time to update any pricing and add/remove any services that you no longer want to do or are launching. By updating your prices and packages in the slow season, you can start quoting couples on these new packages and start making more!
The slow season is also a great time to enhance & strengthen your search engine optimization (SEO). Spend a little extra time doing SEO research and optimizing your website with photos and copy. If you are blogging consistently, I recommend focusing on SEO for your blogs. If you need help with this, we love helping our clients create custom blog strategies that are SEO focused! Check out our blogging services here.
5. Prep For Engagement Season
For many, their slow season aligns with Engagement season, also known as lead season or planning season. As new couples get engaged, you want to ensure you are discoverable, so head into engagement season with a solid marketing strategy!
Now that your website is updated and you are showcasing your weddings on your portfolio, it is time to share them on the blog. Use your blog to educate your audience & show off your work.
I recommend focusing on your long-term marketing with a strong blogging and Pinterest strategy. By doing so, you will help ensure that couples find you months and years down the road through the power of SEO.
For a quicker method of marketing, I recommend spending time on your social media strategy. For some, what you post ( or don’t post) during engagement can make or break your schedule for the following year. So, develop a social media posting strategy focused on newly engaged couples.
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6. Outsource & Ask for help
Sometimes in business, we can’t do it alone, which is okay! So, if you have reached the point where you re needing help, now is the time to ask for it! Whether it is training your team on new tasks or outsourcing, the slow season is the best time to focus your energy on this!
The options are endless when it comes to what you can outsource in your business. From blogging to social media marketing, website updates and even system organization, there is an expert that can help you get ahead! Don’t waste your valuable time in the slow season learning new processes or software when an expert can help you. Learn more about how Details By Dallas can take those time consuming tasks off your to do list here!
7. Educate Yourself
When you are not on-site for 12+ hours per day, it is amazing to see what is happening in the world around you. It’s not a surprise that it’s hard to stay up to date on the trends and new products when you are in the thick of things. So use your slow season to catch up on what’s new and trending.
Now is a great time to attend conferences, take a course, listen to podcasts and read books. Whatever you do to better yourself in the off-season will result in a better team and business in peak season. One of my favourite podcasts to listen to for wedding pros is The Wedding Pro CEO Podcast by Brandee Gaar, check it out on your podcast streaming platform, and I promise you will not be disappointed!
8. Spark Creativity
It is amazing to see how a little rest and resetting can spark some creativity. During your slow season, you may be pulling together proposals or working on unique designs, so sparking fresh creativity is essential!
I recommend planning a styled shoot with new vendors or working on a different type of event to change your perspective. For example, if you are consistently planning weddings, plan or attend a corporate event and see what things they do differently.
You are only as strong as your community, so why not grow it? As a wedding business, you should continuously strive to gain knowledge and connections within the industry to better your clients and their experience.
So, why not work with new vendors on a styled shoot or attend a wedding show to meet those in your community? After all, the more friendors in your little black book, the better!
10. Rest & Relax
Last but not least, be sure to take some time to rest, relax and recharge your batteries during the slow season! You just worked your ASS off for your couples, and most wedding pros reached burnout in 2022, so it’s okay to take time to relax, unwind and rest.
Plan a trip, escape to a cabin or treat yourself to a spa day. Whatever makes you happy, prioritize time for it!
Now that you have a great list of things to focus on during the slow season, I hope you are ready to take charge and navigate your business toward success!! Share below what you plan to do this slow season to help you get ahead later in the year!