This article is just for our friends in the wedding venue and location business, by very special request. Of course, ALL wedding business people can use these tips, so keep on reading!
The first step to attracting more wedding clients is to step into the bride and groom’s shoes and start brainstorming.
Where do they go when planning the wedding? How can you meet them there?
When it comes to attracting more weddings at your venue, you need to be found as soon as they start planning the wedding, since the location is one of the first things that gets booked.
Creative Ways to Book More Weddings
1. Partner with other businesses the couple visits just BEFORE you.
Now if your business is a wedding venue, you’re one of the first stops on the wedding planning checklist. But there are a few businesses the bride gets to know before you…
Jewelry Stores – The engagement ring usually gets purchased before the question is popped and the date is set. Partner with a local jewelry store and make the soon-to-be engaged couple an enticing offer that puts your location top of their list.
Bridal Shops – Brides are notorious for shopping for a dress…even before he pops the question! This is a great place to introduce your venue to brides before any of your competitors.
Give your partners a voucher coupon to present to newly engaged couples that makes a special introduction to your venue as soon as the engagement is official.
- A free romantic brunch or lunch at your venue.
- An exclusive invitation to a wine tasting.
- A wedding planning workshop hosted at your location.
If you target wedding businesses like these who work with similar clients in your budget range, you’ll get extremely warm leads delivered right to your door. Win them over, and you’ll book up your calendar.
2. Meet them online.
One of the biggest challenges a couple faces when planning a wedding is finding the right location. Consequently, it’s the #1 question asked in the chat rooms and the #1 search done online. They’re simply rabid for wedding venue ideas and reviews.
Be there online when they start the hunt for the perfect wedding venue.
Step 1 – Type the name of your local area followed by the word “weddings” or “wedding locations” into Google.
Example: Little Rock wedding locations, Dunedin weddings, Portland wedding venues
Step 2 – Make a note of the websites that come up on Page 1. Is your on the list? If not…
Step 3 – Get listed on as many of those websites as possible.
- Advertise or list yourself on every site on Page 1.
- Partner with those websites and businesses to get your venue listed there.
- Write a guest blog post for them in exchange for a link to your website.
Step 4 – Get your location reviewed on these free local business directories.
Promote your wedding venues in Greenville SC on every local online hot spot and you’ll book more weddings.
3. Feature your Real Weddings everywhere.
Brides are addicted to real weddings, and they’re especially interested in seeing photos and reading reviews. Partner with a photographer to submit yours to wedding websites and blogs such as Style Me Pretty and the Knot. Try out this list of top wedding blogs for starters.
4. Run a Facebook or Google PPC Ad campaign.
Facebook Ads – These are much simpler to set up and run, so they’re a good place to start for pay per click beginners. Target demographics by Relationship Status (Engaged or In a Relationship), Interests (My Fiance), Age, Sex, even affluent zip codes in your area so that ONLY your prospective clients see your ads.
Google PPC – This is another way to get onto Page 1 of Google when brides and grooms are searching for locations in your area. WARNING: This is much more complicated and more difficult to do well than Facebook Ads, so pleaseinvest in PPC training or hire someone to help you. You’ll end up wasting time and money otherwise.
3 Simple Steps to More $$$
The key to getting your location in front of couples who are searching for a venue right NOW is to:
- Think like a bride/groom.
- Find out where they’re searching.
- Meet them there.
Use your creative genius to come up with even more ways to meet and wow those couples right from the start.
Opening a flower shop, like any new business, requires lots of hard work, love, and dedication. And some good information. But flower delivery in Greenville SC IS an excellent business model.
What do you wish you knew when you decided to open a flower shop? Here are some things we have learned. Let us know your tips also!
- Online reputation is critical – Stay on top of Yelp, Google Places, and other review websites. Customers are turning to online outlets to express their praise / frustration – stay in control.
- Low cost/No cost marketing – if often the best – community activity gets free marketing.
- Email marketing – send out coupons and discounts at least every month. Make sure your florist website supports this.
Florist Wire Services
- Avoid Wire Service Lock-In – Don’t get stuck with long-term commitments for florist POS and florist websites. Flexibility is key for any small business.
- Wire Services Ads – your money is going to fund ads running against your business in your local area.
- Statements – Review you statements with an accountant or bookkeeper to see if you’re actually making money.
- Codified Products / Containers – Know your options. Sometimes the minimum purchase of these expensive containers far outweigh the earning potential. Many florists team up to split a box or you can choose to not buy the codified container and instead purchase something similar from your trusted vendor. In that case you can still fill wire-in orders that allow for a keepsake substitution without breaking the bank.
Florist Credit Card Processing
- Big Costs – Credit card processing is an unexciting but critical part of your business. You can save hundreds of dollars a year by choosing the right merchant account. Compare processors.
- Statements – Compare your statements to be sure you’re getting a good deal.
- Contracts – Contracts can be okay, but avoid early termination fees and similar lock-ins.
- Floral POS pays for itself – Good floral software increases productivity and has built-in marketing – you will save on time, labor and get more orders.
- Independent solutions – think independent for your floral software – you will get lower prices and more flexibility.
- Florist websites – Make sure your website looks unique – it’s a critical part of your brand.
Flower Shop Operations
- Delivery Confirmations – are practically expected by customers these days as a part of basic customer service.
- Check your work – Have a checker on all designs that leave the store.
- Handling complaints – create an action plan for your staff so everyone feels empowered to help that occasional sour customer with a smile and grace.
Holidays (Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day)
- Record keeping – it’s essential to predict future years – keep notes on sales, prices, weather.
- Planning – Make a game plan weeks before any holiday for staffing, buying, and marketing.
- Be aware of your competition – See what the wire services and other florists in your area are offering and offer up something unique and/or comparable.
- Keep buckets clean – change water and recut any flowers that haven’t sold within 3 days of arriving.
- Do not over staff – use part timers for flexibility.
- Staff smart – Experienced designers will require a higher wage than a General Shop worker. Schedule designers enough hours to fill orders and create some designs for the display case then let the general help take it from there.
Working with Vendors
- Share information – don’t be afraid to ask other florists who they get their supplies from.
- Check invoices – to be sure you are paying a reasonable price for your supplies and check each delivery to be sure you have received everything you paid for. Mistakes happen!
- Know what you are paying – and what you need to charge with your mark-up . Be sure your staff knows this too!
- Communication – with vendors is key. Let them know when you receive unsatisfactory product or when they deliver in a timely manner. These relationships will help you stand out against other shops.
- Florist Advice – Lean on other florists for advice with free Facebook florist communities. Some are invite-only, so be in touch with other florists to find the most popular communities.