Today’s guest contributor is Kellie Daab of iDo Collective and a Wedding Business Architect. Kellie helps wedding businesses identify what’s not working in their business and works beside them to fix it! Kellie is the creator of The Living Blueprint for Wedding Business Success, the flagship program that associates areas of wedding businesses to the living, breathing human form. She is the host of the rapidly growing FB group for wedding professionals called Wedding Industry Opportunities and Collaborations.
We’re creative! We’re often eccentric! We think in colors, shapes, and light! Spreadsheets are boring and the least interesting way to think. We want to create! Right? But here’s the small problem with that mindset, we still have to pay our bills!
Regardless of whether or not you agreed with the above statement, you know that your business needs to make consistent revenue. In order to do that it needs consistent inquiries. But in order to have consistent inquiries you need a solid marketing plan. In order to have a solid marketing plan you need tools. In order to use tools, you need systems!
So what is a system exactly?
Systems basically help you automate things you do on a regular basis. Any task you repeat daily can be added to a system. Once added to a defined system, and used on a regular basis, your business will begin to reap the benefits of the time and energy you’ve invested. This way you’re creating an auto-pilot approach to the operations of your business. Therefore, releasing you to have more time to create!
How do systems work?
For the next 2 days, every time you do a business task — write down what you just did. For example; responded to an email, sent a contract, sent an invoice, set up an appointment, called a client, scheduled a session, or any other menial task. By tracking those tasks you’ll begin to see very clear patterns in your work. Are you spending the majority of your day replying to email? Then systemizing email is going to be your top priority. You’ll then create platforms that hold all of the information you need to duplicate these repeated actions. Most systems are online cloud based tools that you can use anywhere you go! You can respond to client inquiries from the train or send an invoice while taking an Uber. Systems are the engine of your business and you are the driver!
What systems should I use?
Using that task list you created through tracking your habits, determine what tasks you do the most often and begin looking for tools that help you automate those specific things! Are you spending a lot of time creating contracts? Are you repeating the same responses in your emails over and over again? Are you answering the same questions from your clients everytime? Begin creating a streamline process for the areas in which you struggle most. Create an online contract with auto fill selections that allow your clients to sign online. Design and create copy for templates to use in your email responses. Create guides and content online you can send to clients at the onset of the relationship that answers those frequently asked questions. Make life easier for you, the business owner, by creating it once and only tweaking it if needed.
What impact does systemizing my wedding business have on my bottom line?
It’s really all about how you’re going to make more money, right? You’re wondering why you should pay to use a system or spend time and energy setting up the system! An efficient business is a profitable business. Because many of us wedding professionals are soloprenuers, we often forget that our time is our biggest asset. We give value to our products and services and forget about our time. Every hour that you spend above and beyond actually serving your clients are billable hours you are deducting from your revenue.
What if responding to 50 emails only took you 30 minutes instead of 2 hours? What if sending the requested contract and invoice was a 10 minute process? What additional revenue could you create with additional hours in your day?
While time is the most important reason we also can’t deny the importance of the appearance of professionalism to your clients. What if your response to an email inquiry was answered in 5 minutes? What if you were able to send a simple link to answer an entire email? What if your email simple referred them to their onboarding packet?
These systems not only allow for more time, they also create an excellent client care standard and clearly allow for more responsive and satisfied clients.
With the Millennial generation outspending previous generations in 2017, it’s going to become increasingly important that your business takes systemizing seriously! Your future clients want information at the ready and systemizing is the only way that wedding businesses are going to be able to meet their needs without chaining themselves to their laptops.
Where do I start?
Begin setting intentions for streamlining your day to day tasks. Find solutions for problems that require more than one or two steps. Don’t do anything twice. Once you’ve found the correct system, create something once and save it in the system you choose. Tweak the plan as needed but never go backwards. Only customize actions that are unique in nature! Ask yourself with each new task, “How can I make this easier for myself?”! Then begin to seek out the tools to solve that specific problem.
Trust me. Your future self will thank you for the time and energy you invested in systemizing! If you find yourself at a crossroads reach out for help! Ask a friend who uses that system, watch a tutorial, read a blog post, or hire a wedding business architect to assist you with system set up! Just don’t stop! Keep trying until you find the perfect fit. Then sit back and watch it reap rewards for you and your business!
Thanks for the insight Kellie!