by Nasreen Faiz, WPICC of Rangeen Weddings & Events
Ah technology- it can be either a nightmare or a life saver.
As an event planner and a small business owner, I’ve found that building quality relationships with others is imperative. After all, its what the foundation of our industry is built on! I love planning weddings, attending networking events, building new relationships, but I absolutely hated it when I accidentally used to drop the ball with a lead or a vendor just because I couldn’t remember the last conversation I had with them.
A few years ago, I went to an initial client meeting with a wonderful couple. They were nice, we connected really well, and I really thought they were going to bring me on as their planner. Three days after the meeting, I called up the bride to follow-up and see if they were ready to sign the contract. I said to her ‘I just wanted to followup with you and Arjun to see if you two would like to meet for coffee later on this week and go over the contract’- and that’t when it happened- she said ‘uhhh his name is Adil’. Awkward…
I lost a lead, but I did gain a very valuable life experience that day. I needed to organize and build a database of my interactions with everyone to make sure this never happened again.
Here are a few list of apps I’ve found to be invaluable to be over the last few years:
Marketcircle Inc. has developed a wonderful CRM solution for small business owners like me. People who want to grow their business and need a platform to organize everything from contacts, to projects (aka Weddings) to opportunities and forms. This app is available only on the mac os platform and carries with it a whole bunch of robust features. Daylite has allowed me to create relationships within the app that tells who is married to who, who is a sibling of the bride, who is the father, who is the fiance (so that another Arjun/Adil mixup never happens again!). This allows for me to send out emails to specific people and ways know who I’m talking to. I’m able to track each call I’ve had with them, each email I’ve sent them, and the best part is that it’s allowed for me to see the relationship I’ve built up with each client over the last four years. Daylite has allowed for me to track how a lead becomes a client, and the stages that each client goes through leading up to the big day. I’m able to save all of my forms, and letter templates within the app. Best of all, Im able to link each client with a vendor record so that I can see who they have hired. The cool thing about their licensing structure is that with one $300 license, I’m able to access all of this information on both my macs, iPad, and iPhone. You can read more about Daylite here: www.marketcircle.com
I have no idea how I was able to organize any of my thoughts prior to Evernote. In fact, I’m writing this blog post up for WPIC on Evernote! You’re able to create countless notebooks, and within each notebook, you can create endless notes. Evernote allows for you to scribble down your ideas and then revisit them when you have more time. Its amazing for creating to-do lists and with its simple interface, it creates a very user-friendly experience. Note taking aside, my absolute favourite thing about Evernote is its syncing capabilities. I’ve got the app downloaded onto my mac which allows for me to work offline, but for times when my laptop isn’t with me, I am simply able to log onto my account using a web interface and continue working where I left off.
Try out a free plan for Evernote here: https://evernote.com/
Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, these are all quintessential to the success of any small business. Social media has morphed the special events industry into something totally new over the last few years. You’re Instagram is now your portfolio, your Facebook page is your resume and Pinterest is your drawing board. For a small business owner, HootSuite is perfect for helping us manage our pages. You have the ability to see what is going on with all of your pages, run reports to see how your doing and all without having to waste too much time! Our time is extremely important to us, and it can get very distracting not to mention time consuming having to log onto each social media site to keep up to date.
Hootsuite lets you stay active in the social media world without having to spend all day tweeting!
Check out their free plan here: https://hootsuite.com/plans
Okay, okay, you caught me! Survey Monkey isn’t actually an app, but it is an online tool that can really help you get feedback from your leads, clients and vendors. Send out a quick survey to each person you interact with to get feedback on their thoughts about you and your business. I’ve integrated Survey Monkey into my workflow over the last few months and it’s helped me grow tremendously as an entrepreneur.
They have loads of helpful templates and articles to help you get started on your survey today!