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Seasonality in Various Markets

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For those of you who don’t know, I am co-owner of Sage Wedding Pros along with Michelle, and also owner of Sweet Pea Events, a Wedding Planning Company with offices in Seattle and Dallas.  I started Sweet Pea Events in Seattle and then 3 1/2 years ago moved to Dallas to open up a new branch here.  Little did I know how drastically different the wedding season would be in Texas vs. Washington State.  Night and day.  In Seattle, busy season is typically late May through early September.  Doing 20 weddings in a row was not unusual because those months were the least rainy and really the only time most people would ever consider getting married in Seattle.  Of course we had the occassional wedding in one of the off-months, but overall the Seattle market had a very compact season.

Now in Texas, our busy season is typically March through early June and then July/August are normally VERY slow.  It’s way too hot for most people to consider even getting married in those months.  However, busy season picks right back up again in September/October/early November so we have two busy seasons throughout the course of the year.

Why is seasonality important to understand in our business?  Two reasons:

1. Cash flow – if the bulk of your cash is coming IN during a few compact months, you’ll want to be sure and monitor your cash flow very closely, saving for the off-months where you won’t be seeing alot of cash inflow but you’ll still need to pay your bills. We have an Excel spreadsheet that you can download here to help you manage your cash flow – if you haven’t done anything like this before, it will be the best $5 you’ve ever spent!  Michelle also wrote some tips on Cash Flow Planning that are really helpful.

2.  Burn out – knowing your busy months will help you mentally and physically prepare for what’s ahead.  If you have a team, it will help you as a leader to be able to know that during your busy season months you REALLY need to watch burn-out and take care of your team. Even if you’re slammed, be sure to take time out for you and/or your team. Treat yourself to a massage, surprise your team with a fun dinner out.  Plan something fun for the end of busy season so that you have something to look forward to at the end of the craziness.  Balance is so important and often forgotten during our busy seasons – for some ideas on how to incorporate balance into your life check out this post.

When is your busy season? Would love to hear from other parts of the country and world, as I know we all are in such different markets!

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June 20, 2012 - 5:18 pm

Kristine Bentz - Thanks for the cash flow planning spreadsheet, Kelly! I’ll use it. In the Sonoran desert, our wedding seasons are pretty distinct, too. (Especially when dealing with primarily outdoor ceremonies.) The busy peaks I observe are in October and April – these months have near perfectly mild temperatures in Tucson. Slow times are usually in the blazing heat of June-August. (Yet here I am, gearing up for my fourth wedding this month!)

June 20, 2012 - 5:57 pm

Craig @ Cutting Edge Entertainment - Managing burnout in myself and my team has always been a challenge. The event industry is likely no more draining than any other, yet I have witnessed some of my most highly creative team members slip into total burnout mode too many times.

It’s a slippery slope, because these are individuals with lives. I encourage my team, reminding them not to let the slam season get them down, as there is always a slower (and often welcome) period of down-time in which they can decompress.

A Wedding or Event DJ needs to be “on”, like any other entertainer, so down-time should either truly be “down”, or something completely unrelated to the job. Ironically, I seldom heed this advice myself.

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