There’s nothing worse than the Sunday night slump, when you dread going into work on Monday because you know deep down that you hate your job. (Been there!) It’s a feeling HiveTribe member Siobhan Zulch knew well before she asked herself that all important question: WHY NOT? That was the beginning of how this Greater London wedding planner made the leap to owning her own thriving business, and how By Siobhan Louise was born. We chatted to Siobhan about her challenges and successes, her passion for weddings, and how networking has been a key part of what she’s learned so far as an entrepreneur.
How did you get started in the wedding industry?
I started planning events and weddings just over ten years ago, in a variety of different venues and hotels within London. It got to a point where I was dreading going into work and I wasn’t passionate about what I did any more – my job was comprised of corporate and private events, but I also managed the reception and reservations teams. I have always been a planner and what I was doing just wasn’t really doing it for me anymore. I wanted something that I could be passionate about again and that I would love again. Having my own business wasn’t something I had always wanted, but one day I woke up and thought, ‘I can actually do this – so why don’t I?’ And so I did!
From the beginning really, I have always loved weddings – the couples, the guests, the different styles, the different characters, and I love that no two weddings are the same. I love the love stories of how they got together, the proposals and the speeches. Planning someone’s wedding has always been so rewarding for me. Being able to be a part of someone’s special day is priceless, but working alongside like-minded people solidified it for me.
What mistakes have you made, and what did you learn from them?
Definitely a few but the main one was that I didn’t really know how to launch my business and just went and did it. After a while, I realised that there were things that I should have done, that I didn’t, and I got annoyed and upset with myself for not researching this better. After talking to others, I soon realised that this is okay. It’s okay to make mistakes, as everyone does, but you shouldn’t let it get you down. If you haven’t done something you think you should have, you can still do it! I will definitely be looking at re-launching my business in a year’s time. This time, with the knowledge of exactly what I need to do!
What advice would you give someone about to make the leap to being a full-time wedding pro?
Have a plan, do your research and take your time. Making the jump is exciting but definitely scary. Making sure that you have a plan in place and a strategy will definitely help you make the transition.
What support and advice have you discovered, and how has it changed your business?
Know who your ideal client is! This way you can tailor your marketing and ensure that you are attracting the right people!
Do you think women can ‘have it all’ when it comes to running a successful business and having a fulfilling personal life?
Most definitely! Running your own business does have its ups and downs, but it is so rewarding, and you meet some amazing people along the way! I believe that as long as you manage your time properly you can definitely have it all!
How do you find a work/life balance?
Time block and schedule your time! You will always have so much to do, but planning and blocking your time will help you be more productive and use your time wisely.
What’s your definition of success?
Success means so many different things to different people, but mine is being happy, having the perfect life/work balance and being financially able to have it.
What’s your number one tip for new wedding pros?
Get networking! Getting to know people in the industry is key, for business reasons but also for your mindset. You don’t realise, if you have never worked for yourself, how frustrating, how lonely and emotional it can be. Joining The Hive was the best decision I made. Having a network of people that can support you, that you can check in with and that you can just talk to about anything, is priceless!
What’s next for you and your business?
2019 is a very exciting year for me. I will be looking at adding party planning to my list of services and I will be organising a few styled shoots, as well as becoming more visible. I have lots to work on, but am looking forward to developing my business further!
Want to take Siobhan’s advice and get networking? The Hive is the best place to meet like-minded wedding pros and receive all the support, advice and community you need! FIND OUT MORE HERE.
Images: The Brand Studio