You’re starting your new event business and feeling overwhelmed with all the things you need to do. From browsing through marketing to networking, you’ll find that you don’t have enough hours in a day to do it all.
How can you streamline your business and save time to focus on growing your business? Automating! Here are some insider tips to get you started.
1. Map your customer processes.
What does your process look like, from your first inquiry through to the sales enquiry? And what happens next after you close the sale with your client? By mapping every touchpoint you have with your customer, you won’t leave any room for error. By having all your tasks written down, you won’t forget what comes next.
Start by thinking about your touchpoints. Then take it a step further and include when you do each step. You can send a welcome email to a new customer within 24 hours of receiving a contract. Or you can mail a thank you card a week after the event date. Document everything in as much detail as possible, as this will become your workflow.
2. Create your scripts.
Once you’ve mapped your customer process, it’s time to identify every time you communicate with them. What is the first message you send when you receive a request? If you follow up after a phone request, what do you say? What do you email after a guest has booked with you?
You will find that you send the same messages over and over again. So why not create scripts and templates so you don’t reinvent the wheel every time? Don’t worry about customization; it’s something you can do afterwards and on a case-by-case basis. By having your templates ready to go, you not only save time, but send consistent messages.
3. Choose your CRM.
Time is money in events. If you haven’t invested in a customer relationship management (CRM) tool yet, now is the time.
There are many CRM tools on the market. Which one you choose will depend on you and your needs. 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 you invest your time in setting up your CRM, do your due diligence to see what might best suit your needs.
4. Assemble everything.
Once you’ve had a chance to define your process and create your scripts, you’re ready to create your workflows. Many 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 tasks you perform offline, such as sending a gift to a customer. Think of your new CRM as your new virtual assistant. If you spend a little time putting it all together, you’ll reap the rewards in the long run.
5. Sit back and enjoy the ride.
With your new systems in place, you can step back and let your business run on autopilot. Think how much easier it will be when you hire your first employee. Or the peace of mind you’ll have when you take that well-deserved mini-vacation.
Lane’ Richards is the multidisciplinary entrepreneur and creative force behind Something Borrowed Portland in Portland, Oregon. In 2017, she launched Wedding Pro Coaching, providing business coaching and educational programs for freelance creatives looking to navigate and succeed in the crowded wedding industry.