Spring Cleaning for Your Event Planning Business (Part Two)
Before that first event it really is important to clean out and restock your emergency kit. If you are anything like me, your emergency kit gathers all sorts of cast-off items from events gone by. Old table numbers, votive candles, ribbon, expired advil. Take 30-minutes and clean out anything that you don’t need in the box and be sure to restock items that get used often. Some favorites from my personal kit: Advil and tylenol (it’s important to have both on hand), Shout wipes and Tide sticks, white chalk (for covering up stains on wedding dresses), band-aids, blister relief, safety pins, tampons, sewing kit, fashion tape, duct tape, scissors, lighters (more than one, with long handles), mints (no gum because we don’t want anyone walking down the aisle chewing gum!) A good event planner always has the right items on hand at all times. When a client or guest asks if you have something, the answer should always be yes. So be prepared!
You will also want to revisit your daily and weekly schedule. What are your office hours? What nights of the week do you take evening meetings? Be sure to communicate that clearly with clients and vendors. These days it is important to be clear about your boundaries and expectations with clients regarding appropriate forms of communications. Is it ok if they text you? If so, when and how do you track those conversations? How long should clients expect it to take for you to follow up (a good rule is within 24-hours)? One thing that has always been helpful for me is sending an email recap to clients after a meeting, phone conversation or text exchange. The paper trail is so important and it ensures that everyone is on the same page.
While you are at it,clean up all of your documents! Take a close look at your contracts and ensure the language up to date and you are protected as much as possible, look at your business insurance and check if the policy still meets your needs, rework your welcome letter to reflect any new systems or boundaries you have put into place. Get your books in order so that managing your finances is easy and you don’t want to pull your hair out next year when it’s tax season!
I truly believe in the power of networking and Spring is a wonderful time to reconnect with your friendors (vendors who are friends). Make sure they know you are still out there and doing great work. Bring them some treats or coffee and continue to nurture those relationships. These vendor referrals can be the difference between having your books full or not! An added bonus to having relationships with your vendors is the peace of mind it affords your clients. They love to work with a team of vendors that know and trust one another. Building a solid network is a total win-win.
Speaking of referrals, have you checked in with your past clients? They are your number one sales tool so take the time to send them an email, drop a text or make a phone call and see how married life is treating them! Remind them that their wedding planner cares and is available to help their friends and loved ones who are ready to plan their own special event.
Why does it matter if you do all of these things? Because when you take the time to enter busy season with a fresh new outlook, cleaned up spaces and well organized you are going to feel on top of the world! Clients and vendors alike will sense it and have more confidence in you. This is a great opportunity to shake off the cobwebs and start the season off with a bang!