Late last year I was delighted to be part of the expert speaker programme at the UK Wedding Conference organised by the team at Guides for Brides. Through the wedding surgeries I ran, in speaking to around a dozen venues, certain questions cropped up time and again. I thought I would share some of these on the blog over time.  Today’s question is:

How do we best expand our team to accommodate a growing wedding venue business?

People making up the word 'Teamwork' with bodies | Kelly Chandler Consulting

Particularly for the owner-led private property that has started with a very small team running perhaps a barn, farm site, manor house or similar, this post is for you – to give you some fresh options for boosting your team and reducing your own personal workload to best effect.

The first thing to state is that I know how hard it is to relinquish control when your business is your baby, particularly when that baby is also your personal home or land.  Nobody can do it like you and that fact will possibly always remain but, whilst most owners and founding team members recognise they will always have the best success rate in certain areas of their business (such as showrounds perhaps), there are areas to think of outsourcing.  

Wedding planner checking a tablescape | Kelly Chandler Consulting

I also know that for many small but ambitious businesses, the option of recruiting a full-time team member for what is a seasonal business is not a viable option.

So have you considered these THREE options?

Outsource the Social – almost all businesses are spending an increasing amount of time on their social media handles and content; this is vital and the quality and quantity that is needed is only going to increase. Can you seriously look at some external support in helping you with this? There are some fabulous social media experts out there, some focusing almost entirely on the wedding industry. It is key to work with an individual who absolutely gets you, your property, spends time really getting under the skin of it and is knowledgeable about the wedding market and your target customer; I have seen it go wrong but my personal experience is that it can go very well too. Whilst you might need to still generate copy and provide images, having support to plan, schedule, post and hashtag your content to death could save you hours of precious time!

Do email me on kelly@kellychandlerconsulting.co.uk if you would like some recommendations for social media experts.

Social media screenshots | Kelly Chandler Consulting

Hire the Planning Experts – most likely if the number of weddings you are hosting is increasing, it’s the day to day admin, co-ordination, communication and running of your weddings you might be struggling with, particularly over the peak summer months and in the months running up to the summer. Did you know that quite a few independent (and therefore self employed) wedding planners offer their services to venues in their area for exactly this, often coming on board either to run specific wedding days just for the day or to take over the final weeks of planning on behalf of a venue. The benefit to you? You get a high level of experienced support, your clients undoubtedly get above and beyond in terms of access to contacts, advice and more and you only pay for the dates/service you actually need. You would probably need to give those planners a minimum number of dates and plenty of notice so that they can fit in with their privateclients but it could be well worth looking at building relationships with one or two local planners if this seems like an option that might work for you.

Kelly Chandler meeting with suppliers | Kelly Chandler Consulting

Wedding planners setting tables | Kelly Chandler Consulting

Add to the catering – I’ve worked with a huge variety of catering companies over the years and they vary greatly. Some caterers want to provide food & drink almost on a delivery basis, most provide food & drink and take care of service and waiting staff but there are a large number of caterers who are also event managers and are keen and have the team size to support a far greater role in co-ordination and client management. Could your caterer or caterers support your clients in greater detail of planning their wedding with you? Of course, this is more likely if you work with one sole caterer at your location.

Bar tenders and waitresses serving drinks | Kelly Chandler Consulting

Waitrons setting tables | Kelly Chandler Consulting

In summary, as you grow, don’t forget to add to your team in order for you to be able to thrive both professionally and personally. This is vital and something I’m passionate about.  I hope this blog has given you some inspiration.

If you’d like to review your wedding business in more detail, particularly if you’re looking at growing your level of enquiries, or looking to enter new markets in 2018, take a look at my ‘Work with Me’ pages here to find information on my consulting and training programmes.

Get ahead in 2018! Here’s what’s on this year:

In 2018, book the volume and quality of weddings your venue deserves with my 3-month REFINE & SHINE programme.

Are you starting your own wedding venue business in 2018? My GET READY TO SHINE programme is insightful, clear and gives you practical advice that’s ready-to-implement.

GROUP TRAINING for Ambitious Wedding Venues – check out my SHINE programme.

Image credits:  Image 1 – Lifeway  // Image 5 – Surrey Lane Wedding Photography // Image 6 – London Bride // Image 7 – Nubride //  Image 8 – ABCR News  // Image 9 – Exclusive Italy Weddings // Image 10 – Glassdoor // Image 11 – Kalm Kitchen // Image 12 – Global Training // Images 13 & 14 – Gorgeous Film