As a previous virtual assistant for wedding professionals, I cannot stress the importance of having your wedding systems in place. By having clear systems you will find a sense of peace with your work flows and be less stressed. You will find yourself organized and with more time so that you can focus on your clients when you are on site. You deserve not to worry about the back end of your business when you are in the thick of wedding season!
I know you will love this interview with Julie Painter, as systems strategist who knows all about setting up clear systems in yoru wedding business.
For over a decade, Dallas Girl Friday served brides and for the past eight years has worked directly with weddings pros as a systems strategist. Julie lives in Dallas, Texas with her husband and just recently planned her own wedding!
Julie loves recommending tv and books and is obsessed with iced coffee, yellow legal pads, elephants, carnations, musical theater, and Taylor Swift.
Wedding Systems Strategist Interview
1. What is the most valuable system for a wedding professional to have in their business?
Oh man, this is like asking me to pick my favorite child! But….onboarding. If you don’t share the important stuff with your couples upfront and answer their barrage of questions before they even have a chance to ask everything (remember, they haven’t done this before!), then you aren’t setting them or yourself up for success.
2. What is the one thing you recommend doing every day to help get your wedding business a step ahead?
I can’t stress the value of inbox zero enough. Even if it’s just touching base on a ton of client and vendor emails, and letting them feel seen and heard. “I got your email and I’m working on it!” can go a long way. If you don’t have the capacity for this, outsource!
3. What are the three easiest areas of a business to address for business owners who are short on time?
- Inquiry form – is that workflow seamless? Is your form weeding out red flag clients?
- Add pertinent business details to your email signature – let people know your office hours and how to schedule a call with you.
- Utilize canned emails – if you’ve sent the same email three times, you need a template.
4. What is the biggest time suck you see for wedding professionals, and your solution to this?
Probably social media. It’s necessary, don’t get me wrong, but look into outsourcing with real experts instead of just wading through it all mindlessly and getting stuck.
5. When is the best time to run a wedding systems audit for your business and make updates?
Mini wedding system audits should be done quarterly. Refresh your onboarding packet if you have a new link for meetings, etc. But the big wedding systems audit can be done yearly – is everything still on brand, are all your links working, have you updated your workflows, do you need to refresh your photos, etc.
6. How do clear systems in your business help you save time and enhance your client’s experience?
People often believe that systems will take too much time to create. This couldn’t be further from the truth. While it may take a bit more time on the front end, it will save you endless amounts of time later on when your inbox isn’t flooded with “circling back” and “just following up on my previous email” and you’re not asking your clients the same questions over and over instead of capturing everything you need with a flawless questionnaire.
7. What system do you recommend for wedding pros to collect testimonials at the end of their services?
Integrating it into your current CRM via a questionnaire is definitely the easiest way!
8. What are your favourite applications to use to get your wedding business organized and why?
9. What is your advice to wedding businesses for creating SOPs?
They aren’t optional, please start carving out time now. Whether you’re prepping for another crazy year of weddings, maternity leave, or you just need to take a well earned vacation, there will be times when you are away from your business. And this is just the planned stuff. 2020 has taught us that a literal global pandemic (and, yes, I have to say it, extreme sickness or even death) can take you away from your business. But if you have smart systems and operating procedures in place, you can not only keep your business running, but still provide an excellent client experience even in your absence.
10. What are the top systems in your business that you can not live without?
For me personally – will I be banned from the systems world if I say I love nothing more than a giant yellow legal pad? Tech wise though, everyday I touch GSuite, Canva, Dubsado, Asana, and Toggl!
How Can Julie Help You?
As a systems strategist, Julie wants to help you get organized and stay organized! Her signature workflow management program for wedding professionals, The Systems Of Weddings, will help you save time and improve your client experience! In just six weeks, she will set up your customized wedding systems to work for you and transform your client experience! If you have more questions for Julie Painter, leave them in the comments below and we’ll get them answered for you!
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