The biggest challenge I see new (and even experienced) Wedding Planners facing, is a lack of time to deliver a consistent client experience. This is especially true when juggling 2-3 clients or more. But juggling a number of clients itself isn’t the cause of this challenge. The real reason this becomes challenging is an absence of Workflows (wedding planning checklists only better). But here’s the good news. Wedding Planning Workflows are simple to implement and when they’re up and running they help us to work more efficiently. And importantly they bring consistency to the level of service we’re offering as Wedding Planners.
Oh and a quick side note. You can use workflows as a Wedding Planner, Wedding Stylist and Wedding Designer. Photographers and other wedding professionals use them too.
What is a Workflow?
Workflows are how you get work done. More specifically, a workflow is a series of repeatable tasks you need to complete in order to reach a goal. An example is what you do with an enquiry when it lands in your inbox.
The key word here is repeatable.
Don’t confuse a workflow with a task. And it’s not a series of tasks either – that’s a project. Instead a workflow is a series of steps that happen in a sequence to complete something that you do on a regular basis. Book Vendors for your couple for example.
I use Wedding Workflows to organise everything I need to do as a Wedding Planner including running my business. Here are some of the Workflows I’m currently using:
- Social Media Scheduling
- Email Checking + Organising
- Client Onboarding/Offboarding
- Services (what steps you take for each client you work with)
- Sourcing Venues & Vendors
Here’s How I got Started with Workflows
Like so many of my wedding planning course students, I was drawn to wedding planning because of a love of creativity and a desire to help others in a creative way. But it wasn’t the only reason – in fact it wasn’t even the main reason.
My wedding planning career began because I wanted to work for myself. This was my primary goal when I discovered wedding planning and determined that it would make a great business for me. And I know that this is what motivates so many others who want to work in the wedding industry too.
I craved being able to set my own schedule and be responsible for my own path. But in the early days of my business, it wasn’t the match made in heaven I’d imagined.
Whilst long days and nights can be expected when you’re just starting out in business and of course, on wedding days, the more my business grew, the longer those days and nights became. I soon realised that I wasn’t setting my own schedule at all. My business was running me, not the other way round.
And then I discovered workflows…
As the bookings rolled in, I ploughed on. But over time it became clear to me that something was lacking in my business.
Having spent 11 years working in the corporate banking sector, I started to reflect on how efficiently the Bank ran. You have to admire a business that can go on when computers fail, and staff get sick or take holidays. This led me to consider the way processes and workflows guided every role and every function within the Bank. It was then that it hit me. Every business, regardless of size, needs structure and mine, had none. There were no processes or workflows for the activities I engaged in every day. And there was absolutely nothing but my enquiry form dropping into my inbox that was automated. And I knew that if my business was to continue to grow this had to change.
It was then that I set about researching how other creative industries manage projects. Because, when you strip wedding planning back, what you get is a project, with a start date and finish date. And after years of experimenting and implementing, I now have a robust structure for my business. And, workflows that guide the functions within it.
To give you a better idea of how this works, let’s cover a practical example: client onboarding.
Workflow Example – Client Onboarding
Whenever a couple becomes a new client, you need to explain how the process of working together will work. As Wedding Planners we explain this process with an Onboarding Workflow.
Here’s mine – triggered by the couple signing my agreement and paying their deposit.
- Welcome email is sent. This email outlines how we will work together. I also include a copy of our Getting Started Document + the couple’s tailored Wedding Planning Schedule (shared with students in Wedding Planner School).
- The couple is given access to their online planning portal + instructions for how to use it.
- New client gift is sent to the couple.
- A date is set for our next meeting and a meeting agenda is sent.
This Onboarding Workflow is a series of repeatable steps which lead to the goal of onboarding the couple. We don’t have to think about what needs to be done, we just follow each of these steps each time.
It’s efficient and it ensures the couple have a good experience of working with us from the very start.
Getting Started with Workflows
It’s a happy day!
You’ve just received a wedding enquiry via email.
Now what do you do?
Are you going to call or email them back? Are you providing them with any information? Do you set up a consultation immediately or ask a few more questions? How quickly do you respond?
The answers to these questions are the beginning of your workflow. And to help you design the perfect workflow for all the repeatable activities in your business I’ve created – you guessed it – a workflow. Download your FREE Workflow for Creating Workflows.