In order to reduce your workload (without reducing your contracts and booking) is to keep it your focus that you need to work SMARTER NOT HARDER. Last year I sat down and made a plan to work in a more efficient way — I realized I was spending so much time on potential clients, and it was taking away from either my time with my clients or just having TIME OFF! :) Who doesn’t like free time? First, make a list of all the things that take you the most of your time, and things that are just extra time consuming things that could be either eliminated or done faster. When I was on maternity leave, I realized that there were parts of the floral design planning process that were unnecessarily time consuming. My list included things like: writing & editing proposals and orders (1-5 hours over the course of the planning process), in person initial appointments, writing recipes and changing them multiple times, and other things like emails back and forth with potential clients that don’t end up booking and ultimately takes you away from designing for the clients that are paying you!
How I reduced my workload:
- Emails: Each time I drafted an email for what could be a question in the near future, I setup a new ‘canned response’ in my GMAIL with a corresponding title ‘Inquiry Response, Styled Shoot’. This way, whenever someone sends you an email for something that’s a common question or inquiry, you’ve got something already written up, and you just modify it and personalize it.
- Proposals: I realized that doing an initial phone chat and crafting a proposal with a ‘proposal calculator’ spreadsheet I made that includes inflated budget estimates (in order to cover what could be used later — I never under-guess, which can get you in trouble later!), I have been able to write a proposal in less than 15 minutes and have it to the client right after or even during our 30 minute phone call. This means the client doesn’t wait a week or two, and it also means you don’t have to take another break from the wedding you’re designing to write up a detailed proposal.
- Recipes: I don’t write any recipes until after the client has booked, since my proposals are based on comprehensive estimates. I also don’t even write them until after I’ve had a planning meeting with the client and chosen all the flower types. This means I only write recipes once. It’s rare that I change the recipes, unless I come way over budget.
For a private coaching session with me, followed by a styled shoot, book here!
More images from her styled shoot captured by one of my sweet photographer friends, Hope Taylor!