You’re starting your new event business and are feeling overwhelmed with all the things you need to do. From navigating your way through marketing to networking, you’ll find you don’t have enough hours in a day to do it all.
How can you streamline your business and carve out time so you can focus on growing your business? Automation! Here are a few insider tips to help get you started.
1. Map out your client processes.
What does your process look like, from your first inquiry through asking for the sale? And then what happens after you close the sale with your client? By mapping out every touch point you have with your client, you’ll leave no room for error. By having all your tasks written down, you'll no longer forget what comes next.
Start by brainstorming your touch points. Then take it a step further and include when you do each step. You may send a new client welcome email within 24 hours of receiving a contract. Or you might mail a thank-you card one week after the event date. Document everything in as much detail as you can as this will become your workflow.
2. Create your scripts.
Once you’ve mapped out your client process, it’s time to pinpoint each time you communicate with them. What’s the first message you send when you get an inquiry? If you follow-up after an inquiry via phone, what do you say? What do you email after a client has booked with you?
You’ll find you send the same messages over and over. So why not create scripts and templates so you’re not reinventing the wheel each time? Don't worry about personalization; this is something you can do afterwards and on a case-by-case basis. By having your templates ready to go, you’re not only saving time, but you’re sending consistent messages.
3. Choose your CRM.
Time is money in the events industry. If you haven't yet invested in a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool, now is the time.
There are a lot of CRM tools on the market. Which one you decide on will be up to you and what your needs are. A few industry favorites include HoneyBook, Aisle Planner, 17Hats and Dubsado.
Before choosing, ask around and get recommendations. What works for a photographer may not work for a planner. Before investing your time into setting up your CRM, do some due diligence to see what might work best for your needs.
4. Piece it all together.
Once you've had a chance to map out your process and create your scripts, you're ready to build your workflows. Many of the CRM options on the market will allow you to send emails automatically based on a date you choose. They also allow you to create task prompts for things you do offline, such as mailing a client gift. Look at your new CRM as your new virtual assistant. If you spend a little upfront time piecing it all together, you'll reap the rewards in the long haul.
5. Sit back and enjoy the ride.
With your new systems in place, you’ll be able to take a step back and let your business run on autopilot. Think of how much easier it will be when you hire your first employee. Or the ease of mind you'll have when you take that much deserved mini-vacation.
Lane’ Richards is the multidisciplinary entrepreneur and creative force behind Something Borrowed Portland in Portland, Ore. In 2017, she launched Wedding Pro Coaching, offering business coaching and educational programs to independent creatives looking to navigate and succeed in the crowded wedding industry.