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The complete guide to expand your wedding business

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It's only natural for a business to expand after a few years, however expanding is not just a matter of opening more branches, creating new services, or in the case of wedding, serving more cities and countries. In order to expand, you need to create an expansion plan that includes market research, resource planning, and financial capacity. While you may start thinking it is complicated, it really depends on how you handle your expansion.

Considerations before expanding
Before you start planning this and that and go all-out with your expenses, there are a numbers of factors you should analyze and be able to answer confidently. As starters, take a look at these five important things to consider before expanding.

1. The resources
Are you going to need more staff, bigger space and more capital to fund your expansion? How is your current cash flow? These questions are mostly important because it could determine whether you need to take out a loan or not. Managing the finances for an expansion could be depressing as you will be dealing with a large amount of money, so do not hesitate to seek help from a professional.

2. The market
How big is the value of this opportunity? Is your expansion driven by a short-term or a long-term trend? How many similar players are out there? With proper market research, you will be able to come up with strategies to gain new client base, achieve returns on your investment, and sail smoothly.

3. The demand
How long have you been in business? How many clients have you had so far? What motivates you to expand? Will you create conflict of interest by expanding? Every business hopes to gain more in terms of everything after expanding, however it may take a few months or even a few years before this happens. In this case, think about how much you would want to allocate for marketing budget without hurting your own pocket.

4. The clients
How will expansion impact your current client base? Will you be spreading yourself too this? Expansion means having work on your plate which could mean losing focus on certain aspects of your business. Make it a priority to remain consistent in delivering quality instead of chasing quantity and be prepared to hear critics coming through the door.

5. Yourself
Are you micromanaging at the moment? Do you have someone you could trust as a right-hand man? How will expansion impact your personal life? You are only going to get busier as your business gets bigger so make sure you are physically and mentally ready for it.

All of these factor above must be thought wisely because expansion is indeed a big deal! Don't simply ride the hype, avoid making assumptions, and neither should you rush decisions so you don't end up seeing things go down the drain.

Determine your expansion strategy
Before expanding, it is important to determine what kind of expansion you should be doing. Use the following key points as a guide to find out which kind of expansion you are after.

  • New locations
    Also known as physical expansion, one of the most common reasons for an expansion is to venture into a different city or country because there are opportunities to grow there. It could be because there are no businesses like yours opened yet or perhaps, there is room for competition.
  • New target market
    It is a familiar sight to find vendors expand by targeting a different client pool. For example, a vendor that usually handles premium market wants to penetrate the middle market. This means there needs to be adjustment in terms of marketing direction and selling strategies to suit the middle-market taste.
  • New product or service
    Try finding another category that could complement your current service. For instance, an invitation vendor could branch out to the gift and souvenir category and therefore, doing so means the vendor can offer a one-stop solution for potential clients!

If you happen to have a partner for your wedding business, make sure to discuss which kind of expansion is the most feasible. You can ask for advice from a fellow vendor you know that have expanded before so you can minimize potential risks. Ultimately, don't rush and be wise with your decisions.

Preparing for expansion
There are a lot of things that needs to be prepared for an expansion. In addition to the business matter, you yourself need to get ready too.

  • Ready for risks
    We know very well that not everything can go as planned. During expansion, you should be prepared for risks and somehow 'gamble' to achieve things. However, ensure that the risks are indeed worth taking and evaluate every possible outcome when things go right or wrong.
  • Willingness to delegate
    As business owners, there are definitely tendency to want to get things done by yourselves. However, by micromanaging, you are actually denying your team the chance to contribute what could be important advice and not letting them do their own jobs. If you want to expand successfully, be willing to delegate certain tasks to prevent bottlenecks or worse, forgetting more details. To trust others is certainly the utmost important decision when you expand your wedding business.

Expansion requires a lot of work and time. Write down the benefits and disadvantages of expanding, discuss your vision and all possibilities with your partners, and do not hesitate to consult with more experienced vendors or business experts.

If you are thinking about expanding your wedding business or have already branched out in the past, share your stories below!

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