This week I encountered several things that inspired this post. Each time I always went back asking to myself - why would you risk so much to only be good at something instead of really focusing on what you know and be great at it instead?
After discussing this with some of my trusted friends (and shall I even say advisers) it basically comes down to two things. First, the temptation to earn money doing many things is too great to resist. Second, they do not really have a firm grasp or strong understanding of what is really involved in the "secondary or add on services" they are/want to offer. The secondary/add services being defined as any services outside of the core function of the business or organization.
In an industry like the the wedding industry, we see this happening all the time. I'm not sure why, but the trend we commonly see is either DJ's offering planning services, venues offering planning/coordination services and bridal salons offering planning services. I'm really curious to better understand why these other entities feel that adding planning services is so easy? I know that when we are fully engulfed in our wedding seasons there is absolutely no time to focus on anything else but planning/executing the event(s) at hand. I would never think of offering to bake the clients wedding cake for them because I can bake a cake or bring my ipod for my assistant to play dj. That's just ridiculous!
I think it's fair to mention that also, these vendors who offer "planning" services should know that the professional planners in the area will probably not refer clients to you for several reasons. One "poaching" as one of my colleagues call it, is much too common place. Also, you entice unsuspecting and uneducated clients, that the services included in your $300 fee is comparable to our $1500+ fee for the same package/service. I can guarantee you it is not. There is a big difference between the services we professional planners provide and what the wanna-bes provide plain and simple. I highly doubt the wanna-be/add on planners spend thousands of dollars per year bettering themselves in education, conferences and networking with other planners to ensure they are on the top of their game and not just playing one. Pricing is a whole other post that I won't go into here.
So, my advice to any bride/groom reading this out there is this: Be very careful in who you choose as your wedding planner. Don't be fooled by the "add on" planning services you see offered by vendors who's primary focus is NOT in wedding planning and coordination. Do you want someone who thought they did a super awesome job planning their own wedding and now works for a dj/venue/bridal salon planning your wedding? I think not. There are true professionals out there for a reason.