One thing I find ironic in this industry is that we are so good at managing our clients’ affairs but are sometimes not so good at managing our own affairs. Client and project management can be a challenge in the wedding and events industries. There are many details to manage for each client – how and where do we keep track of it all? How do we keep on top of everything and keep our heads above water?
Over these two weeks we are going to be covering Client Management for Wedding Pros. We are going to break this down into a 5 part series. TODAY, we are going to set some boundaries and manage client expectations!
You call the shots
When I talk to a wedding pro who is overwhelmed with a gazillion projects it might be natural to start talking about what systems and project management tools they have in place. But, let’s start from the beginning: ARE YOU MANAGING YOUR CLIENT or ARE THEY MANAGING YOU?
We have to play good defense in addition to offense. What are you doing to set boundaries? How are you managing your client’s expectations?
Last week, we discussed the power of saying no. Have you clearly defined where your job ends and your life begins? If your client doesn’t have an understanding of this, then you haven’t set any boundaries for them. If you don’t manage their expectations in the beginning then you are creating more chaos in the long run.
10 signs that you don’t have business boundaries
1 – You answer phonecalls past 6pm every day not only during “busy times”.
2 – You answer emails on Sunday every week. (You also answer them on vacation.)
3 – You drop everything to address a non-urgent issue for a client.
4 – You schedule appointments around your client’s schedule, not yours.
5 – You rarely say no and when you do you apologize for it.
6 – You often find yourself doing jobs/tasks for which you were not hired to do.
7 – You have not defined “no email”, “no phonecalls”, “no social media” times in your schedule. (In other words, you haven’t specified time for “no interruptions”.)
8 – You have very little personal time and free time.
9 – You don’t have time to work ON your business because you are always working IN your business.
10 – Your client is managing your projects – not you.
Your client is managing your projects – not you. Fix this.
This last item is the most important one. If your client is managing your time, your project(s), then you are not. You are at the mercy of their demands. This will make it impossible to have control of your work. Being strong, confident, and in-charge doesn’t have to have a negative connotation. You will be better respected by your clients and your peers.