Happy New Year! If, like me, today is your first day back in the office after an extended Christmas break then welcome back! I try to plan an easy day for my first day back in the office after a holiday. This helps me manage my workflow; respond to emails, review where I left things and start planning ahead.
This is also always a good time for you to check in with your team, make sure they are mentally and physically rested and ready and raring to go. Share your plans and expectations, listen to their ideas and suggestions and support each other to achieve your goals.
Christmas and New Year continue to be a popular time for couples to become engaged. It’s also when most of us get some kind of break from our usual day-to-day life and when our thoughts turn to planning exciting events for the year ahead. Hopefully with the result that your inbox will be inundated with enquiries over the next few weeks from hopeful couples wanting to find out more about your wedding venue, book a site visit and book their wedding date.
Don’t let yourself become too overwhelmed by all this sudden activity after your break. Here are a few tips to help you manage your workflow and give you some breathing space:
- Make your sure your website is working well.
Your website is a great sales funnel and is perfectly placed to help filter all the serious venue shoppers. It will also help reduce the number of inappropriate enquiries, helping you to manage your workflow. Before any prospective clients will reach out to you, they are highly likely to view your website to find out more information about your venue. Make sure your website is up to date with all the information they will need to know about your venue. Make sure the information is easy to find, clear and concise. The more information they can find out here, the less questions they will need to ask and the quicker they can make a decision to dismiss your venue or move to the next stage and book a viewing. For more information on how to create a wedding venue website that works well take a look here https://charlottewinship.com/create-a-venue-website/
2. Keep an online calendar.
What dates do you still have available? Create an up-to-date calendar on your website which shows your availability. This will enable your clients to check if the date they want to book is available quickly and easily. This will save them time and help you manage your workflow.
3. Publicise your prices.
One of the first questions couples always have is ‘How much?’ or ‘Can I afford you?’ Make it simple for them. List your hire fees and any other costs on your website.
4. Create an online brochure.
A digital brochure that clients can access direct from your website is a much faster way for them to receive information from you and it is also a lot more environmentally friendly. Create a button on your website with a link to your brochure. Make sure your clients can find this quickly and easily and that you have enabled a digital form to capture their contact details so you can contact them afterwards. Your brochure should be an extension of your website. Use lots of colourful images that best showcase your venue and your services. Keep the text short and snappy but include all the relevant information that your clients will need in order to make an informed decision about your venue. Eg. prices, facilities available, special conditions etc.
5. Venue viewing appointments.
Add an appointment calendar to your website that enables clients to book a venue viewing online. You can create appointment slots to fit in around you and your other activities but this saves your clients having to phone or email to book an appointment and makes the process much quicker for you.
6. Virtual venue viewings.
If your viewing appointments are stacking up then don’t risk losing important bookings because you don’t have capacity for any more viewings. Create a virtual tour of your venue. You will need to hire a professional and experienced 360 degree photographer or videographer to capture your venue. Done well, this can create a realistic and immersive experience of your venue for clients to enjoy from the comfort of their own home. This is also really helpful for clients who live too far away to visit your venue.
7. Email templates.
Of course there will be some clients who bypass all of the above and insist on sending an email. Everyone expects a personalised reply. But when you are repeating yourself multiple times a day then genuine enthusiasm can begin to wane. Write a template which is suitable for the majority of your clients. Think about the information that your clients will want to know eg. costs, inclusions, hire terms and conditions etc. You can still personalise the introduction (make sure you spell their name right!) and respond to any unique queries but being able to copy and paste the main information will save you time.
8. Establish a CRM system (Customer Relationship Management).
How are you going to stay on top of all the enquiries? A good CRM system is really helpful to log enquiries including any specific needs and requirements. You can track how your clients heard about your venue and use this data to find out how well your marketing strategy is working. You can book a reminder to make a follow-up call or send a follow-up email. This is also a secure place to hold their contact details and keep information if they decide to book your venue. It is also invaluable if you have a large team so you can share information easily. There is software available to help you but if this is out of scope then a simple excel spreadsheet is also just as useful.
If you need any more help or advice on how to manage your workflow and make your business work better for you then please do get in touch.