The other week I started this little mini series with a post on wedding planning and what hours and where I work. This post is all about how I divide my time between my clients.
Sorry about all the text by the way. No pretty pictures today, this is all about the words!
Firstly I'll make an obvious point. I do have to take on enough weddings to make a living. Whilst I do love my job I do still have bills to pay so I do have to work on more than one wedding a year say to make it work! Having said that one of the key factors in running your own business is the balancing act between having enough clients vs having the time to dedicate to each one.
So I never take on more work than I know I can do well. In fact one of the hardest things in running my own wedding planning business has been having to turn down a wedding job because as much as I'd want to do it, I just don't have the time.
Different couples hire me for different purposes so some will require more work than others. I offer one off consultations on a variety of wedding related things from wedding styling to managing the budget and so on. So these jobs are time intensive for a short space of time, obviously during the consultation and when I write the follow up report. Then the couples go off and plan their own weddings armed with whatever information and help they needed. This is different to the full planning jobs for instance where I work with some couples up to 18 months before their big day. So with full planning jobs it isn't intensive all the time but an ongoing process.
So how do I divide my time?
When I provide checklists and time lines for couples I also draw them up for myself. So I know what I need to be doing for each client by a certain time. And I know which parts of the wedding planning process are most time consuming. The venue search is always the biggy and when this happens I can guarantee that couple will be getting a lot of my time!
Everybody has different ways of working but I tend to roughly map out my week into sections for each client. So I'm always totally focused on one wedding at a time. I don't search for reception decoration ideas for two weddings at a time for instance.
But as much as we planners like to plan, I do have to be flexible as everything revolves around the couple and their needs. Sometimes brides (and grooms) change their mind about what they want or something new crops up in their lives that affects their wedding. So lists and planning is essential but so is being adaptable to new situations.
Certain clients have more demands or a more challenging wedding to plan (tight budget, large guest list, short time to plan). But by having time blocks for each client I can ensure one client doesn't take up more time than another. Even if that sometimes means working late it's the fairest way to ensure every client gets the attention they deserve.
Having said all this, if Kate and Will decide to hire me as their wedding planner for the royal wedding, I wouldn't need any other jobs at all, so if you're reading this Kate please do get in touch.
Joking obviously. I'd rather have all my couples than one royal one. Plus I imagine it will be very traditional which isn't really my bag ;)