So you receive a client inquiry through email – what’s your next step? Are you going to call or email them back? Are you providing them with any information? Do you setup a consultation immediately or ask a few more questions? When you start working with the client, do you find yourself second guessing if you have completed a task or pinch yourself because you wish you had done one action before another? Do you ever feel like you are forgetting to do something with a client, but can’t quite put your finger on what you did (but you know it would be great because you did it with your last client and they loved it). Yeah, you need a workflow.
Are you finding yourself overwhelmed with just trying to answer these questions?! Well don’t panic. Take a deep breath and go grab a pen and some pretty paper because you are about to do a brain dump.
Before we get started though, you probably want to know… what is a workflow and why do I need one? A workflow is a chronological series of actions you complete to get an action done. Workflows allow you to evaluate how efficient your process is and to identify areas that you can strengthen to create an even greater client experience. Utilizing workflows allows you to save time, stress less, and keep your business running smoothly.
I am sure you are like how is a workflow going to help my business. Have you ever gone through a program that was just seamless. You received everything on time, how you proceed through the program really flowed and they were thorough on the information presented. That is what a workflow does for your business. When I first started (about two years ago), I was flying by the seat of my pants on what tasks I needed to complete with my clients. Let’s be real, using a wedding day timeline as your guide to helping someone else plan their wedding, just doesn’t work. There are lots of back end things that you need to do in order to get your client to the tasks that they have in front of them.
My wedding planning workflow is broken down into 6 sections: Inquiry, Consultation, Proposal, New Client On-boarding, Planning and Services Rendered. Through Heather Crabtree’s Streamline with Systems course I was able to really delve into my client experience and create a thorough workflow from when a client contacts me to when I am archiving their planning notes. In creating workflows, you find areas where you can create responses and/or templates for actions you complete time and time again. Benefit to you is that it allows you to spend more time working on the items you enjoy doing, like working with your client. You don’t have to sit and write the same inquiry email 100 times (template that thing)!! When you constantly use a process this allows you to really evaluate how it is working and if it’s not going all that well. And if you find it’s not quite working for your business, you tweek it or through it out!
So for every process that your company has, WRITE IT DOWN!! On the first round, just write out of what steps you take with every client. When you have time, go back through and thoroughly write out how you complete each step and/or the timeframe associated with each step.
Workflows keep you CONSISTENT! By creating a workflow are able to work with your client more efficiently creating more time for you and a creating a greater experience for your client. At the end of the day, we want to work smarter, not harder. A perk of creating a workflow is if you were ever to expand or weren’t able to complete something for whatever reason, someone else would be able to set in and be able to provide the same level of service that you normally provide.
Reasons to Have a Workflow
- Allows for someone to take over if you are ever sick and need someone to take over.
- If you are every busy and/or overwhelmed, you can check your workflow to ensure you don’t miss important steps.
- Writing your workflow allows you to find holes and flaws in your system
- Using the same process makes your brand more consistent and reliable and customers LOVE that!!
Workflows You Can Write Out
- Blog Post Workflow
- Social Media Scheduling
- Email Checking + Organizing
- Client Onboarding
- Services (what steps you take for each client you work with)
- Product (what do you do/create to create a product)
So in writing this post, I found that I have lots to discuss regarding workflows… so later this month, I will specifically tell you all the tools and systems I use to keep my life and my client’s planning process in order!!