1. How did you get into the industry?
I was living in Florida, and I was working as a set designer and was moving back to RI. When I was looking for jobs, I came across a wedding planner listing and thought, hey, I can do that! Then I applied. I didn’t have specific wedding planning training, but the owner at the time loved my personality, drive and knew I could sell really well, as I just sold myself. She took a chance, hired me, and then trained me to the best of her ability. By the second season, I was taking on my own weddings, and we were working as a team. In 2013/2014, she wanted to start a family and sell the business. With a little back and forth, I purchased the business from her and I escalated it to where it is now. I’ve made it a point to continue learning, grow our business, and learning from our mistakes. Which has helped me build the foundation that IE stands on now.
2. What’s new in the business or in the franchise model?
Nothing at the moment
3. Where do you see opportunities or challenges for the franchise/business moving forward?
Opportunities like this are something I wish I had when first starting out. I have high goals for this business model. My goal is to provide a business where you will do something you love – planning a wedding, with the option to move up if you get burnt out. Options would be training others, oversee operations or be a part of marketing. There will be endless opportunities and options to grow as the franchises take off.
Challenges for the franchise – Growth, during the growth phase there will be challenges I am more than happy to address and find the best solution for all. Since we are an emerging franchise, I know there will be some challenges, but I will work as hard as I can to smooth them out. What they might be are territories and being available always to the franchisees before hiring a team. Growing pains are expected.
Challenges for planners – Dealing with multiple personalities and how to flow with them is a challenge and a must-have to be in the wedding planning business. If you cannot understand others or know how to maneuver their feelings/expectations, this may not be a fit for you.
Challenges for planners – If you can’t sell yourself. This is a must-have before anything is the ability to sell yourself and show your worth. Without this, you will not have a business and therefore won’t grow.
4. What is your goal for the business moving forward?
My goal is to provide a company where planners can come and plan and not start at the bottom. I am giving them the opportunity to start at the middle and to be charging their worth. I also am building a community of like-minded individuals to turn to when things arise. I’ve also been through every wedding scenario and I know the solution. I want to be there for the franchise owners through the entire planning process, give insight, be there to chat things through, and make a brand everyone knows. I’ve built a very esthetically pleasing brand and have multiple reviews that take years to achieve and I am happy to share it with them.
5. Talk to us about training and support and how do you deliver.
The training & support is very hands-on and thorough. I’ve created templates, checklists, how-to’s, etc. one everything I’ve either learned or tried, plus how to run a business, is within our training. Something I wish was available to me when I started. I will be personally available to our franchisee to help with scenarios or planning questions that may arise. I want them to know that we are always there to help and that they have someone to turn to while running their business.
I listed out the recommended training in our ops, but if more is needed, I am happy to help. I think that once they are in the middle of planning, it all starts to connect.
We will go over:
- How to perform inquiry calls and ask the right questions
- How to put a proposal together
- Understanding the needs of your clients, and how to propose/price out the services they need.
- Setting up client folders
- Planning from start to finish
- Running your business
- How to produce a styled shoot
- How to build your vendor network
- Getting clients & setting expectations
- On-the-job training during wedding season
We will deliver this in person, via Zoom, modules and templates. Resources are always available to them in our planner concierge which they will have access to.
6. Your most difficult moment at the business?
Handling unhappy clients and their expectations. We meet expectations when we are thorough about how the planning will go and are clear with our communication to our clients. Understanding what you may have missed and trying to fix it to find a happy medium is key here. Then knowing when to fire a client or what to do when they fire you is difficult, but part of the business. The first few times are rough, but they get easier and you start to see the signs before taking them on.
7. What does your franchisee do in the business every day?
Oh gosh, this changes daily as we are working on multiple clients per day. For in-office days we start with a list of the most important tasks/clients, go through emails, and get their planning situated. On weekends, we are usually executing ceremony rehearsals, rehearsal dinners or delivering welcome bags, and executing the event day.
8. Who is the ideal franchise candidate?
Someone who can sell and has a passion for weddings along with strong organization skills. It’s also important to know how to handle distinct personalities. They also need to have a calm demeanor, a can-do attitude, and the ability to find the solution when something goes wrong. Customer service experience and their strive to help is also a great asset to have in our industry, as we are customer service-based. They also have to be flexible, committed to excellence, and creative.
Here are few keywords from our client reviews that best describe us, and what we look for in a candidate:
- Calming demeanor
- On top of everything
- Perfect recommendations
- An amazing eye for design
- Captured their look
- Strong Connections
- Keep on track
- Worth every penny
9. What goals do you have for the franchise model in the future?
To have numerous locations, provide jobs for the community and give candidates the ability to become a wedding planner. Our industry is fun, special, exciting and I want to share it with you! We will be a company where planners come to plan and we take care of the brand recognition, marketing, and getting their name out there. We will offer a community for the planners/franchise owners to be a part of and for them to not feel like they are going at their business alone. We will provide yearly education and form a company where you can grow and not stay stagnate, all while making clients’ wedding dreams come true and producing memorable events!
For more information on the franchise, visit our website at www.infiniteeevents.com