I have completed my cert 4 at last and am in the process of doing my AG application so now I am thinking about the set up of my business. I have no previous experience in this area and wondering where to start really. Should I be sourcing and / or starting to create a website now ( not go live of course!) do I produce business cards etc, basically when and where is a good time to start if you’re not an expert! Considering it can take up to 3 months to hear back could you suggest a timeline please?

I’m sure every person reading this will have other thoughts about a timeline or about where to go for information; share them in the comments, we want to hear them! But this my experience.

I would probably start with some branding (a business name, a logo, colours you might use etc). Once you have that you can create a business card, then get started on putting together some website content, and work with a website person to design a website. You might like to have a look at some of the downloads available for purchase on the CI website to get you started with a booking form, checklist and ceremony builder booklet; you may choose to update them to fit in with the way you want to run your business. 

I’m not sure which state you’re in, but most of the state governments have useful guides to starting a small business on their websites. Here’s one from the Australian Government: https://www.business.gov.au/guide/starting

Your local council may also have some useful information for you.

Here’s the order I did stuff in (from memory):

  1. Talk to lots of other celebrants about what they do and how they do it
  2. Logo / colour scheme
  3. Business card design
  4. Website content
  5. Website design (with an expert designer)
  6. Facebook page (went to a free session on how to do it run by my local council)
  7. Booking form
  8. Ceremony Builder Booklet
  9. Checklist

As soon as my registration came through, I was ready to go because I had all that prep work done. 

It is worth remembering however that just because you’ve received your Cert IV and applied for registration, registration is not automatic; some people’s applications are rejected. So you may prefer to wait until your registration has come through before spending too much time and money. That’s a decision for each person to make independently.