DISCLAIMER before y’all start reading…This post is LONG overdue, and probably not going to be the most helpful post of the bunch…simply because it’s my way of organization that works for me. There’s probably some of y’all out there that may think my methods are a little too ancient or there could be other methods, and you’re probably right! However, today I’m going to show y’all how I keep organized and how it works for me.
Since I haven’t posted a Business Friday in a while, I thought I’d get back to the basics of business with this post. Since it is my strategy to help others with their own business ventures with these Business Fridays, I thought it’d be nice to share a little method that I’ve been using to help me stay organized when it comes to keeping up with my Wedding Clients.
The past year my life and career has meant being full-time with Emma Loo, so it’s been really important for me to stay ultra organized when it comes to Client and studio management (sounds so fancy, doesn’t it?!) So, with that being said…I’ve developed a little folder organization method, where each Wedding Couple has their own folder and inside that folder, I keep up with ALL of the exchanges between us. If it’s signed copies of their Wedding Agreements, Invoices, Receipts, E-Mails, and some note-taking throughout their engagement and wedding planning…I keep it all together and all neatly confined into their personal folder.
Throughout the year, I’ve also gotten a bit more fancier and purchased a label maker (I know, right?!) and on each folder tab is their names and their wedding date. On the front of each folder, I’ve stapled my favorite little list I’ve made…my “Client Workflow” sheet. It’s where I’ll fill out all of the basic information about the couple, their date, their wedding details, and my process for creating a personal Client Wedding Experience with each couple. The workflow sheet will also be a quick reference guide for me when I need to quickly see what still needs to be done for each Client….perhaps I still need to email them a list of possible shooting locations, send them a welcome gift, or email their other vendors! Whatever it is, I can quickly reference it on my Client Workflow Sheet.
My advice: definitely make one of these Workflow Checklists…it’s amazing how keeping everything written down makes you WAY more productive and able to handle a lot more! (Spoken like a true-to-do-lister!) All of my Client folders are in front of me every single day, and within reach where I can easily get them out when I need them throughout the day or work week. Keeping them in order and all neatly arranged helps tremendously!
To help me out visually inside the Emma Loo Office, I also have a Client Workflow framed with ALL of my Clients listed in order by wedding date. Throughout their Wedding Experience, I simply check off what I’ve done and what needs to be done using a dry erase marker. Keeping these frames beside my desk where I can easily see them everyday makes me keep up with what I need to do for each Wedding Couple.
When I first created the framed Client Workflow system, I went to IKEA and only purchased one 11×14 frame thinking I’d hardly fill up one frame. Feeling SO blessed because right now I’m on my THIRD frame and it’s ALMOST full! Speaking of which, this year is going to be quite a doozy for me! I have 30 weddings on the books for 2016! And currently 15 scheduled (& 2 awaiting Agreements!) on the books for 2017! WHOA! Holy Moly y’all! That’s a lot of weddings, but its SO EXCITING!
Like I told y’all earlier, I found this system just works for me…so I have that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it mentality…” BUUTTT…I do know that my studio will eventually shift and I’ll have to take on more Clients and more shoots, and my studio will have to keep up with the pace! I’m aware that this “old school” method might not make the cut in the future! In fact, yesterday, I stumbled upon the website called Shootproof and I felt as if the Angels started singing to me from Heaven! How did I NOT know about this before?! I started the free 30-day trial and hopefully I’ll be learning new methods and new organizational skills soon! That’s what I absolutely love about being a Creative as well as a self-employed business owner…I’m always constantly changing it up and learning new things and finding inspiration everywhere I look! LOVE IT!
Happy Friday! XO!
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