Business Series Finale: Putting it all Together
Well friends, this past September we covered some pretty heavy topics.
We discussed how you can build your client base and how to manage those clients to ensure their experience with your company is a pleasant one. We discussed how to get noticed in the industry with a styled event shoot, and finally how to deal with those difficult clients who insist on negotiating with you on pricing.
Of course, those were only a few of the many, many topics event planners need to be aware of. In reality, owning your own event planning business means not only planning amazing parties and weddings but also being an exceptional business person, marketer, accountant, customer service representative, and sometimes therapist!
Yeah… those are a lot of hats.
So we’ll leave you with these final words of advice to wrap up this series.
When all is said and done, when running an event planning business you need to allow your personality to shine through. Are you a little fun & quirky? Make sure your brand reflects it! Maybe you’re a hopeless romantic? Hey, what a great idea for a styled wedding shoot!
Many event and wedding planners try to adopt an alternate personality because they think that’s what their clients want. And although I totally agree you need to be able to adapt to your clients’ tastes… you can’t work with someone if your core values just don’t match!
That said… maybe leave the Fifty Shades of Grey stuff at home.
How can you learn or evolve if you get everything perfect all the time? Take risks, play with the boundaries, and let yourself make a mistake or two. They will help shape you into one of those truly extraordinary planners.
Mistakes are made in every single business everywhere in the world. Granted the stakes are a bit higher in the event & wedding industry, but that just means you have to have a better game plan for dealing with those mistakes.
Still… allow yourself the opportunity to screw up once in a while. By taking chances you’ll discover so much about yourself.
Beware of the Burnout
6:00 AM—Check emails
6:20 AM—quick bagel… check emails
6:45 AM—Gym… while listening to voicemails
7:30 AM—Shower & get dressed. Not that outfit, that one. No, that one. Ugh… the first one.
8:00 AM—At the office. Emails
9:10 AM—Update Social Media
10:00 AM—Client Meeting: Office
11:30 AM—Check emails while driving to vendor meeting
12:30 PM—Client Meeting: Coffee Shop
1:30 PM—Styled Shoot
5:00 PM—Client Meeting: local Church
7:30 PM—Oh right, I forgot to eat today. Maybe I’ll check emails first
7:45 PM—Client Consultation: Office
8:15 PM—Return phone calls
8:30 PM—Head Home. Hug the kids, feed the dog. Emails.
9:00 PM—Check Social Media again. Emails.
Could you do this type of schedule every… single … day? Would you expect any other professional to do so? I hope not.
Unfortunately many event planners who are just starting out in the industry believe this is what’s required in order to make it.
While it’s true you do need dedication and that does come with long hours and sacrifices, it’s SO important to take some time to yourself.
While you can’t always have your weekends free in this job, set aside one day a week where—barring an emergency—your office will be closed. Take a day to run some errands, catch up on your favorite Netflix show or just sit in the tub with a newspaper. Otherwise you’ll burn out, and no one wants to see you go there!
By the way, you should endeavour to block out an hour a day to do the same thing. Unwind at lunch. Set aside the smartphone and just enjoy a well-balanced meal with a friend or your staff (without talking about work!).
And no… that’s not selfish!
“The Customer is Always Right” (no.)
I absolutely despise this saying. Because it’s so not true. Especially not in the service industry. Though it’s absolutely crucial to always be professional and to totally respect your client’s wishes when it comes to taste, etc., you can’t be a scapegoat just because it’s convenient for the client. If a problem arises that isn’t your fault, or a client is completely unreasonable in her demands, you are allowed to stand up for yourself.
The key is to do so in a professional and courteous manner. Never pick a fight with a customer and certainly never stoop to their level! If you get into a tough situation where you’re in over your head, get some help from experts who know best. You’re not in this alone!
And I think that’s the one most important message we can leave you with. You are NOT in this alone. I know it can feel like it sometimes, but you have a support system, whether it’s with your family at home or in the QC Community!