For many wedding and event planners, hiring an associate planner is a huge step in the progression of their business. As soon as we start turning business away because we are booked for a date, we automatically think we need to bring on additional help instead of turning away business. This is a natural thought process, and for many planners, this is a logical next step. However, it’s critical that you run the financial numbers before making the decision to hire an associate planner.
Let’s say you hire an associate planner as either a contractor or as an employee (check with your accountant and tax advisor for the laws on proper classification based on their duties). You, as the business owner, will still be in charge of the associate planner’s client payments/contracts, customer service issues with their clients, scheduling assistants and staff for their events, training your associate planner, doing payroll/bookkeeping/taxes for your associate planner, and ensuring your associate planners are doing work in a similar way that represents your business.
To run some simple numbers, if you charge $1500 for event management service and you deduct the event day assistant pay from that (let’s estimate $200 for one assistant in this example), that leaves $1300. If you split that amount with the associate planner and take 50% as the business owner, you get $650 before taxes and expenses. Let’s say taxes and expenses are 40% of that, you will net about $390 per event that the associate planner does. So, if your associate planner does 10 events, you will clear around $3,900. Is the management, promoting, and rest of the work worth that to you? Maybe yes, maybe no – something to think about.
There are advantages to having an associate planner such as expanding your brand to reach more venues and vendors, getting paid a percentage for weddings that you don’t need to plan, and adding more weddings to your business portfolio. Take time to run the financial numbers before making the important decision to bring on an associate. The financial gain has to be worth your time and effort.
Not sure how to price your services and what to offer in your wedding planning packages?
Pricing With Confidence: Secrets to Profitable Pricing & Services for Professional Wedding Planners is a comprehensive guide with templates and worksheets that give you the tools and information needed to confidently offer profitable and sustainable wedding planning packages and pricing.
This guidebook is also perfect for wedding planners who want to save time by having ready-to-use templates for planning packages, examples of website wording, and a professional spreadsheet to rely on for calculating prices for weddings and events.