I’m delighted to welcome back Kellie Daab of iDo Collective with some more great tips for organising your wedding business – and a special freebie for you. Over to Kellie……..
But first let me take a selfie!
Oh, and then I’m going to upload it to Google Drive, post it on social media, email it to my sweetheart, and text it to my mom.
All of this from the computer I’m carrying in my hand.
This is the mindset of your millennial client! Your modern client can literally handle all of the details of planning their wedding from their smart phone. Their thumb can type faster than you can with two full hands.
Your current clients have completely adapted their style and habits to our hyper-connected world. Paperless is the new hot style.
What does this mean for your wedding business?
It means that staying up to date with the expectations of your modern clients is going to be essential! Better yet, it’s going to be critical for the continuing to delight your clients.
An average office worker uses 10,000 pieces of paper per year, of those 6,800 are wasted. This means that each person disposes of 13.6 reams of paper each year! An unbelievable amount of paper is wasted in a daily office space.
Having worked for a catering company who remained firmly in the 70’s, I understand how this is completely possible. Every single thing we did was on paper! And if it was originally electronic, it was then printed and turned into paper. Our event orders were printed and handled by several people before the orders left the loading dock. Each order being printed 3 times and copied. Maps were printed for delivery and emails were connected from the client. The on premise venue was booked using a binder with a calendar. You wrote in pencil until the date was confirmed. Accounting was still being handled on old fashioned ledgers. Our orders were printed with a dot matrix machine.
My concern continued to grow soon after there was a water main leak that busted through the ceiling of our office. My immediate thought was save the reservation book! A multi-million-dollar catering powerhouse depended on that single binder for the bulk of its bookings.
Modern technology has allowed businesses to completely modernize their approach to business systems and customer touchpoints.
You see, there is absolutely NO reason you should be printing out contracts and putting them in the mail to your clients. Or sending invoices. Or printing orders. Or surveys. Or layouts. Or anything that can be offered electronically!
Here’s a few reasons why:
Imagine if you could reduce the amount of time you spend gathering the documents a client needs. Imagine if you can quickly update and send a contract, get paid, and collaborate on the wedding planning process from your laptop or smart phone? You literally shave off the barriers between the sale and the purchase. Electronic sharing reduces the life cycle of a sale by 4 days. This means that clients make faster and more efficient decisions when faced with an electronic option for booking.
It’s More Organized
By using online cloud based storage and shared folders clients, coworkers, and vendor partners can work together from various locations, at any time of the day, and in a way that allows for efficient access to required materials. Imagine never having to carry a folder of paperwork to your next appointment. Or having to create a paper file for each client. Imagine if you never lost that napkin you wrote on while meeting the clients at Panera. All of your receipts, documents, and photos can be stored in email folders or in shared drives.
It’s Less Expensive
Considering that 50% of printed paper goes straight to the trash, saving the cost of buying paper, toner, printer ink, and other essentials will immediately begin to affect your bottom line expenses. You’ll never need to store printed documents again. This means you’ll be saving on paper, storage, and ink.
Now that you’re armed with all of this information you’re wondering… What Now? How do I move forward!? How do I start the process of going paperless?
Don’t Go Backwards
Whatever you do, don’t try to go backwards to move forward. The clients that have already started in your paper processes can continue to use the paper. But moving forward don’t bring on a new client and use the old ways. With these new clients try to create a new paperless system. Even if it means setting up a new system or program.
App It Up
There is literally no shortage of options that will help you to streamline and systemize your business. Start with very simple apps like DocuSign for contracts, Google Drive, and Expensify. Then begin looking into tools like Aisle Planner, Dubasado, and Trello. Try out systems specific to your vendor category like Caterease, Shoot Q, or All Seated. Use your onboarding process with clients to educate them on what’s expected and what tools you’ll be using to collaborate with them.
Not sure what the onboarding process should look like? Grab your free guide to creating a seamless onboarding process here: www.idocollective.com/onboarding
Create A Plan
Unifying how and where you’ll store and backup your information is important. Everyone on your team needs to be able to access documents and organize in the same efficient manner. So survey results, client intake, orders, changes to orders, and contracts. What will you do with them? Where are they stored? And what is the experience your paperless client will receive? Break that down into a plan and train your entire staff to use this process.
Starting with your next client begin using these tools. Explain to your clients that you’re creating a paperless planning process. Before reverting to any of your old paperless ways, research a new method or tool. Know that the first time you create this system it will take a little longer. But after you’ve created the system that’s fitting for you and your business everything you do will be faster, easier, and more efficient for your clients.
Your modern clients are already using these tools. They are expecting that they can sign that contract just shortly after texting that selfie to mom. Right from their phone.
Don’t be the vendor still rolling your jeans in 2017. Be ready to meet the ever-demanding style need of the modern millennial client. Paperless is the new black!
Kellie Daab, is the owner of iDo Collective and a Wedding Business Architect. She is the creator of The Living Blueprint for Wedding Business Success, an author, and thought leader on client experience for wedding industry professionals. After serving 12 years in the wedding industry, owning a boutique wedding planning and consulting firm, managing high end hospitality, and producing events for a multi-million dollar catering company, Kellie uses her skills to help other wedding professionals identify what’s not working in their business and works together with them to help fix it.
Paper products are her obsession and coffee is her spirit animal.