home-office2

Professional client consultations when you work from home

For many wedding professionals working from home has long been normal and accepted.

The Wedding industry is one area where couples value personal, individual service over slickness and a big business vibe. And they also appreciate that home based businesses can keep costs down and prices affordable. So for many services they will not be at all perturbed by suppliers who work from home.

But one issue many home based businesses find problematic is where to hold client consultations. Let’s take a look at the options:

In your home

Holding consultations in your own home is convenient (no travelling time) and practical – everything you need is to hand. But it does pose plenty of challenges. Your working space needs to give the right impression, so be realistic when deciding whether your home is suitable or not.

Creating a studio in a room used solely for that purpose is ideal. You can style it and make it look professional and welcoming.

home-office

If this isn’t possible, try to create a specific area where you can see clients. For example, it’s perfectly acceptable for a cake maker to hold consultations in the kitchen (but make sure you get rid of any non-cake cooking smells).

Wherever you choose, it goes without saying that any room you use – or that your customer might see – must be clutter free and impeccably clean. Keep pets out of the way – not everyone will love your cat. And be prepared for customers to ask to use a bathroom!

Don’t forget the outside too. First impressions count so give your front garden a tidy up and remove any clutter.

Ensure that other members of your family know that your client consultations are important and they, too, must be on their best behaviour. No interruptions, loud music, arguments or other distractions!

In their homes

If your own home isn’t suitable, then going to your customers’ homes is one alternative.

The major drawback is the amount of time you will spend travelling – especially if you cover a large geographical area.

You will need to factor in the time and cost of travelling and make sure you allow for heavy traffic, getting lost and other unforeseen hiccups – the bride won’t be impressed if you are late (will you be on time on the wedding day?).

You will need to be organised too, and ensure you have everything you need with you. Put together a kit of items to take with you:

  • Portfolio
  • Booking forms
  • Samples

Somewhere else

The third option is to hold your consultations somewhere neutral, like a hotel, coffee shop or meeting room.

Take some time to choose the right venue(s) – it needs to be relatively quiet, comfortable and also match your pricing. If you want to work with high end brides, then choose somewhere luxurious and elegant with impeccable service. However, if you are targeting couples on a budget an upmarket venue might well put them off.

You may want to use different venues depending on the time of day. Your local coffee shop may be perfect in the mornings but closed in the evenings.

Ask around other wedding suppliers to see what is available – some may have spare space you can use for a nominal fee.

How wedding planners and other professionals who work from homw can hold professional client consultations

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2 Comments

  1. Your article on working from home really “nailed it”. I run a small wedding rental business from my home as well. I have converted my garage into my office/showroom. I purchased a large piece of carpet for the floor and have heated and cooled the space. I also have nice soft lighting overhead!

    I try to make an improvement each year, this year, the improvement was a brick paver sidewalk for my clients to use showing the pathway to my door. Since I am also a wedding stager or decorator, first impressions are crucial! I try to keep the lawn manicured and fresh plants and decor on my porch. I also have pets! Whenever clients are visiting, the pets are always confined in an out-of-the way room. Just because I love my pets, does not mean my clients will!

    I want my clients to fell welcome and at ease for their consultation. Fresh cut flowers in a vase is always a must!

    Laurie Funderburk, Owner
    Its Personal Wedding Staging and Design

    • Thanks Laurie,

      Great points and I love the fresh flowers suggestion. Just little touches like that make all the difference.

      Alison