Branding Our Life

Starting & Running a Small Business

Wedding Planning Course

Learn how to become a wedding planner

It’s finally here!

How to Start a Wedding Planning Business just launched.

For those of you who don’t know my story, from the time I was 18 years old, I wanted to start a wedding planning business. Events and the bridal industry were a part of my life on and off for the next ten years. Finally, a few months after I got married, I decided to start my own wedding business.

It took months of research for me to finally feel confident enough to set up my LLC, set up my website, and start marketing my services. About a year later, while I was still working my full-time job, I started taking on interns. It was the best decision I ever made.

My interns were/are all college students who hope to either start their own wedding planning businesses, or work in the bridal industry, after they graduate. So, I made it my mission to truly prepare them to start their own businesses when they moved home. I started writing down thoughts, tips and tricks I’d picked up over the years.

Quickly, I discovered I absolutely loved teaching my interns about wedding planning!

The Course

I’ve spent the last year putting together an online course. Now I can share the information I teach my interns with everyone!

Unit 1 focuses specifically on starting a small business. We cover topics like choosing a business name and payment processing options. Then we discuss how to market your new business.

Unit 2 covers the elements of wedding planning, and other important items like creating packages, setting pricing, and contracts.

There are over forty lessons! Each lesson includes a video and downloadable notes. Some lessons also include worksheets, forms, or other printables. I tried to pack in as much practical and easy-to-follow advice as I could. I’ll also be sharing even more tips and tricks in the Facebook community for the course

Promo Code

Who doesn’t like to save a little money? To celebrate the course launch, the first 15 students will get the course for just $299. That’s a $48 savings! To take advantage of this offer visit this page, select the “single payment” option, and use Promo Code: FALLINLOVE

Seven Essentials for Working from Home

Essentials for Your Home Office

More and more people are switching to working from home. I’m so glad I did! Between the blog and a bustling wedding business, there’s never a dull moment around our house. If you’re looking to make the switch to telecommuting or running a home-based business, you’ll need a few essentials.

Here are my must-haves for working from home.

Computer

A computer, laptop, tablet, whatever you have that connects with the internet and runs the programs or apps you need. Your clients will need to hear from you, your website will need updating, and you’ll need to post to social, so a computer of some sort is an absolute necessity!

Whole-Home Wi-Fi

If you’re anything like me, you’ll need the ability to reply to client messages at a moment’s notice. It’s not convenient to run to the home office every time you get an email.

TP Link Deco M5We live in the country. Getting internet was a feat in itself. Getting reliable Wi-Fi that worked throughout the entire house? Impossible. That is until we got the TP-Link Deco M5 Whole-Home Wi-Fi System. Now I can work from any room, any time of day. I can even work from my porch. It’s awesome! No more running to my desktop just to answer an email.

One of my favorite features has to be  the incredibly easy set up with the TP-Link Deco app. I’m not the most technically savvy, so easy-to-use is critical for me. We were up and running within minutes! My husband and I can both be working and streaming music at the same time now, and it’s wonderful.

Schedule

When switching from an 8 to 5 to working from home, you need a game plan for your day. You won’t have the built-in structure you had at the office, so building a framework for your day is vital to staying on track.

I recommend time blocking. It’s exactly like it sounds, setting aside blocks of your day to do particular tasks. If you’re most energetic in the mornings, you may set those aside for communicating with clients and creative projects and block out afternoons for clerical (less-energetic) tasks. For more productivity hacks, check out this post.

Notebook & Pens

Yes, in a mostly digital world, it’s still good to have a few analog tools handy. You never know when inspiration is going to strike. It’s important to write those things down. Actually write them. Don’t believe me? This study actually shows a correlation between writing things down longhand and remembering them.

Working Space

There are distractions aplenty when working from home. By designating a space- no matter how small- helps to stay focused. If you don’t have a spare room to devote to office space, choose a wall, a corner, or just someplace quiet where you can set up a workstation. Of course, you can work from anywhere in the house. The key is just to avoid interruptions while working on projects.

Calendar & Task Management System

You need to know what you have to do and when it’s due by. My Google Calendar and Asana app definitely get a workout! If paper calendars and to-do lists is your thing, go for it! Just make sure you’re consistent with whatever system you choose.

Storage

Both digital and physical storage is necessary. Whether you use a cloud-based storage system or an external hard drive, it’s important to back up your important files. While most of what we do as entrepreneurs these days is online, we still have items like cameras, cords, tablets, and notebooks that need a home. I have a handy little shelf that stores my tangible tools.

 

Essential Elements for Your First Business Website

Essential Website Elements You’ve finally decided to make your entrepreneurial dreams a reality. Congratulations! Now it’s time to build the all-important business website. Of course, you want it to be beautiful, helpful, and most of all a sales magnet. But where do you being?

Whether you’re building your website yourself, or hiring someone to do it, these are a few key elements you should include.

A Clear, Consistent Theme

This goes for both your fonts, colors, imagery as well as your brand messaging, blogging and other written elements. Sites with too many fonts, colors, etc. can be visually jarring. Choosing a few standard fonts — your main text font and one or two accent fonts — keeps your site looking clean and more visually appealing. Keeping your written elements on topic lends to your credibility, and keeps your readers engaged. After all, they wouldn’t have clicked on your website if they weren’t interested in your brand, product, service, niche, etc.

An Engaging “About” Section

What makes you so passionate about what you do? What sets your product/services/company apart from others? How can you/your product solve your clients’ problems? Why should your readers trust you? This is an important opportunity to introduce yourself and your services to potential buyers. Keep it personable, concise, and easy to understand.

An Easy-to-Navigate Menu

People are busy. They don’t want to spend 12 minutes trying to navigate where they want to go on your website. Make your menus easy to find and use. If your menu will have a drop-down list, ensure your category and subcategory groupings make sense.

Your Product or Service Offerings

This one sounds like a no-brainer. However, you’d be surprised at the number of websites that seem to hide their pricing, product, or service information. Again, if someone has clicked on to your business site, it’s pretty safe to assume they may be interested in what you have to offer. Make it obvious them and easy to find. In addition to making it easy to find, make it easy to understand and easy to book or purchase.

A Blog

Why is a blog important to a business website? That’s a great question. My favorite aspect of having a blog for my business is the social sharing element. It gives a continual stream of content to share across my social channels. Regular blog posts also help with Search Engine Optimization (SEO). In simplest terms it  gives search engines something to “search” for on your site. And lastly, blogging gives you an outlet to establish yourself as an authority in your field.

Social Media Follow & Share Buttons

Social media is the easiest way to keep in touch with your current and potential clients. Make it easy for your readers to connect with you and share your content by adding social media follow and share buttons.

 

 

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