Aileen Dockerty is a certified celebrant & wedding officiant. she designs and writes ceremonies which incorporate the wishes of couples getting married and bereaved families. Celebrancy is a cultural phenomenon in many other English (and French) speaking countries, including the place it all started, Australia. Cookie cutter ceremony or template scripts can now be tossed aside.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN YOUR BUSINESS?
After a very long corporate legal career, I wanted a change. Choosing to become a celebrant was something new, distinctive and very important to me. I want to offer a better and more modern alternative to a traditional ceremony. Simply, celebrancy was a perfect fit for me and enabled me to turn the writing skills I had achieved over the years into something meaningful, emotional and sometimes even fun.
HOW DID THE HELP YOU GOT FROM BACD IMPACT YOU AND YOUR BUSINESS?
The assistance I have received from BACD has been priceless. Having an interested and knowledgeable person to talk to, provide suggestions and a great deal of assistance has been a wonderful opportunity for me. I feel like I have someone by my side and in my corner at all times. Starting a new business as opposed to working in a large law firm can be a lonely experience in many ways. Having BACD’s input has been a huge step forward for me and in growing my business.
HOW DO YOU MARKET YOUR BUSINESS?
Having tried various advertising options including trade shows, paid advertising such as Facebook and various wedding websites, I find that organic Google searches are where I obtain the most business. That is the least costly option and works the best. A great website plus listings on certain wedding and event related websites are also important and don’t cost too much. I also receive personal referrals from past clients and people that have observed my ceremonies. Those are of course the best ways of marketing – seeing is believing.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE WHO WANTS TO START THEIR OWN BUSINESS?
Do your research on the need for the service or product in your area. Have some savings to call upon to start up the business – probably more than you imagine. As well as training in the field of your business, general education in running a business, marketing, sales and accounting is an absolute must. Ongoing mentoring and coaching as provided by BACD is crucial after the initial start-up of your business to keep things fresh and as an avenue to grow your business.