Plotting out systems—especially when you just want to plan, or bake, or take pictures—can be daunting, I get it. Trust me. I was once in your shoes. When first starting out, I thought that to succeed in this business I only needed to plan and produce GREAT weddings.
But, after learning the hard way, I realized that if I wanted happy clients and wanted to maintain a personal life, I couldn’t just plan weddings. I needed to set systems and processes in place.
Running a wedding business is more than just the gift or talent!
In a digital world full of choices, it takes real courage to grasp them all and be the tech guru, customer service rep, marketing expert, and the social media manager that your business demands.
And that is why I’m sharing the seven most important ways in which wedding professionals can automate and revolutionize their businesses—through streamlining their most important tasks. Keep reading to learn what they are!
1. Systemize Your Workflow
Many tasks are repetitive in the wedding business world. All the tasks—from the prospect’s initial inquiry through contacting, to onboarding—can and should be systemized. Systemized workflows can create consistent customer service, leading to happier customers, repeat business, solid reviews and referrals.
Get started in three simple and easy steps:
Step 1: Break down the tasks into sections. Some sample sections may include, Onboarding, Pre-Wedding, Post-Wedding.
Step 2: List each and every task under the appropriate section header. Consider items like sending out the contract, invoicing, initial meeting, client questionnaire, etc. This step will take the most time, but it’s so worth it.
Step 3: Track your new workflow. Create a checklist in Word that you can quickly print out and use when new inquiries come in or consider an online project management tool like 17Hats.
2. Use A Project Management Tool
Project management tools are amazing because they save you both time and money. 17 Hats is my tool of choice. It’s my favorite because it tames all the chaos that is created by complicated processes such as invoicing, contracts, and client management. I can create and send contracts and invoices, accept payments, send questionnaires and emails, track my clients, the workflow process, and more. Did I tell you how much I LOVE 17Hats?
If you want your clients to see you as the pro you are, you must use a project management tool like 17Hats to organize your projects, files, and communication.
3. Set Up an Inbox System to Organize Emails
Every cluttered inbox needs some organization. Fortunately, some systems can do that for you and make your work a lot easier. According to Fast Company, we only need five email folders—Inbox, Today, This Week, This Month/Quarter and FYI (informational content).
Inbox: The inbox is a holding pen. Emails shouldn’t stay here any longer than it takes for you to file them into another folder. The exception to this rule is when you respond immediately and are waiting for an immediate response.
Today: Everything that requires a response today.
This Week: Everything that requires a response before the end of the week.
This Month/Quarter: – Everything that needs a longer-term response. Depending on your role, you may need a monthly folder. Others can operate on a quarterly basis.
FYI: Most items I receive are informational. If I think I may need to reference an email again, I’ll save it to this folder.
Simplify your inbox, and it will simplify your life.
4. Sort Your Files
Similar to the emails in your Inbox folder, your files need to be sorted out nicely and be accessible. After all, there is no point in searching for a file for hours – on your own computer – right?
Setting aside time once a month or so to organize your files will help you speed up your workflow big-time.
5. Systemize Your Client Onboarding Processes
If you are wondering what client onboarding is, the best way to describe it would be ‘the process of making your impressions last.’ In other words, it is all about developing a concrete relationship with your clients and obtaining a clearer insight into their goals.
The first experience your clients have with you sets the tone for your relationship, and if it’s confusing, overwhelming, or prohibits a successful wedding, you’re in trouble.
Delegation is the assignment of responsibilities or authorities to other people within your organization.
If you want to scale and grow your wedding business, you have to consider outsourcing help, and delegating tasks.
Even if it’s just for a few hours each month, having that extra pair of hands to handle tasks will save you lots of time, energy, and money.
7. Develop A Client Off Boarding Workflow
Client offboarding is equally important to the onboarding process – and refers to processing clients after the wedding—while keeping the efficiency and recordkeeping on a higher level.
To do that, you need to create an offboarding checklist for your clients – and make sure to follow a standard procedure that will include saying goodbye properly and setting up an opportunity to keep in touch.
The first step to creating a business that doesn’t make you want to pull your hair out is understanding what you need to streamline. I hope this blog post has helped you with that!
Now that I have systems and automation in place to help streamline my wedding business, I get everything done in a fraction of the time it used to take me. In fact, I don’t even work five days a week anymore, but I still get more done than before.
Learn how through my FREE email course for wedding entrepreneurs: Sweet Systems to Skyrocket Your Wedding Business. It’s just what you need if you want to crush your wedding business goals, and have more free time for yourself and your family. Five impactful lessons packed with value.
Every day (for five days), you will get a lesson delivered to your inbox. Did I mention that it was FREE? Register below.