Plus, ways to prep your clients for your out of office
Taking time off can be really hard when you run a wedding business, but everyone needs a break every once in a while! And, in an industry where your summer calendar can be packed with events and kiddos in school the rest of the year, the holidays are sometimes the only chance you get to set an out of office. So today, we wanted to not only encourage you to actually take time off this holiday season but share some advice about what not to do if you actually want a break. Read on for three things you shouldn’t do, plus helpful tips to make sure your couples are ready.
Don’t #1: Schedule sales calls right before your break
Your calendar during the fall and winter months might not be filled with events, but it is likely filling up with sales calls with potential clients. That’s great! But, you know that taking a sales call is like opening the floodgates. From answering emails that include follow up questions to preparing a quote for services and sometimes even scheduling an additional phone call to make sure everything is squared away, there are always a lot of things that need to happen after you hang up the phone. So, if you don’t want to watch your email closely over the holidays, prep a proposal or (worse) go MIA on a hot lead, make sure you don’t schedule any sales calls in the days before setting your out of office.
Don’t #2: Have unscheduled marketing tasks and social media
The holiday months are an incredibly important time during booking season (did you know that 40% of all engagements occur between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day?), so while you absolutely deserve time off, you absolutely still need to be marketing your business! Luckily, there are lots of tools out there to make scheduling your social media posts and email newsletters ahead of time easy—the key is to block time before your break to get everything set and ready to go. Do yourself a huge favor and work to get everything prepped for the time you are taking off as well as for the first week you are back in the office so you don’t find yourself buried in emails with your marketing still on hold.
Pro-tip: Have you heard about Wedding Chat Marketing? There are new technologies you can use to automate some of the communication in your marketing and sales funnel. Learn more and see if something like that might help facilitate more time off for you!
Don’t #3: Have tasks that need to be completed soon after your return
We’ll go so far as to guess that part of the reason it can be hard to take time off is because you dread the list of tasks that back up while you are away. And, while no one can keep people from emailing you during your time off, what you can do is make sure that your list of things to do when you return is as under control as it can be. Double check all of your to-do’s to make sure nothing is due soon after your return and, if there is something, see if you can push it out or get it completed beforehand. Keeping your calendar free of immediate deadlines will help you feel less anxious about taking the time off and makes it so you don’t have to hit the ground sprinting when you get back (or feel compelled to get ahead when you should be relaxing).
How to prepare leads and booked clients for your time off
Now that you know what not to do if you want to relax and enjoy some time off during the holiday season, it’s time to talk about what you should do to prepare your potential and booked clients! Here are some quick tips to help you make your plan to unplug:
- Decide on the dates you will be taking off early and communicate them! You can send a personal email to all of your couples, share it on social media, add the dates to your contact page, and include them in your email signature
- Review your to-do list and make adjustments to deadlines when needed—just be sure to communicate any changes to clients and your vendor partners
- Touch base with all of your couples to make sure everyone is up to date on the tasks coming due and that they have what they need to work independently during the holidays
- Delegate the tasks and responsibilities you can to other team members who are either available during the holidays or taking their break at another time
- Don’t forget to set an out of office auto-reply and be sure to include your holiday dates, when they can expect a reply, and information about what to do in the case of an emergency
Can you already taste your time off and want to read more about all things holiday? See how you can shop small with your fellow wedding pros and get our free holiday guide with recipes, tips, and printables!
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