Long before I began planning weddings, I was planning and organizing everything else. I love having the ability to set things up for efficiency and continue to change the systems so it makes the most sense for me at that time. My bookshelf has been arranged by author name, book size, and subject matter through the years. My closet has been organized by color, at other times by seasonal items, and I've even set up systems to see which clothes go a whole year without being worn so I know what to donate.
While many wedding planners approach weddings from a creative, design perspective, I start with the systems and workflows. And let me tell you, I geek out over my workflows. Having this organized mindset as the foundation for working with couples is, I believe, one of my greatest assets as a business owner because I am totally crazy about creating and updating my workflows, processes, planned emails and more to enhance the client experience.
When I started my business, I knew I needed to keep everything organized so I didn't lose or forget any information a couple shared with me during any stage of the planning process, so I started with a paper calendar and a simple Google Drive system. Which then evolved into folder within folder within folder. By the time I had 10 active clients at one time, I knew I was getting in over my head and needed to find a solution that would work.
And boy oh boy, did I find a solution that WORKS for me. Enter Dubsado.
I knew a customer relationship manager (CRM) was the route to take, and there were a few top options available, but Dubsado caught my eye pretty quickly. Of course, there was the initial fear of "OMG I have to spend a good chunk of money," but it has by far been the best investment I've made. Now, I can't even imagine running my business without this phenomenal tool, and I love how much I can customize everything so it perfectly fits my needs. Dubsado has so many great features, but I want to share my top 5 favorite features, and how they benefit my clients.
1. Lead Processing
Before a couple even books us, they are already benefiting from the systems I've set up in Dubsado. That lead contact form on my website? Yup, I created it in Dubsado, so when a couple submits it, a profile is automatically created for them. With the help of some of the other amazing features, we know exactly what steps we need to take to provide information, set up a consultation, create and share a custom proposal, and even send the contract and invoice. Then, the couple can digitally sign the contract and pay through Paypal, directly from the invoice. From inquiry to booking, I don't even have to leave Dubsado, and I love how streamlined that is!
2. Task List
I'm Type A with an admittedly bad memory and can barely function without a daily to-do list, so for the last year, I've started every day looking at my Dubsado task list. Lemme tell you why this kicks ass over your run of the mill to-do list. Every project/client profile has its own unique task list, so I'm able to leave client-specific tasks with assigned dates (e.g. create wedding day timeline). The master task list brings together every task across all my projects, as well as tasks that don't apply to a client, like weekly bookkeeping. Client tasks never get missed, all due dates are clearly listed, and I never have to wonder what I need to work on next. I can directly access the client profile from the task list, update deadlines, assign tasks to team members, and click that all so satisfying check to archive completed tasks.
3. Appointment Scheduler
Have you ever had someone ask to set up a meeting and then proceed to email back and forth for days to pick a time, date, location? Yeah, we don't play that game. Whether it's for your initial consultation, a monthly meeting, or even your venue walk through, we send a pre-designed appointment scheduler that allows you to see our available times and dates - you pick your meeting time, write in where you want to meet, and once you hit submit, I get a notification that I have a meeting scheduled with you. Easy peasy.
Dubsado has some seriously easy to build form options, and forms are pretty much our planning lifeline. The form functions allow us to build contracts, proposals, questionnaires and whatever else our heart desires. Just in terms of collecting responses from clients, I can include short-answer text boxes, drop down menus, file uploaders, yes/no questions, check boxes, and more.
We use forms all over the place, but my favorite forms we've created are the Vendor Contact Form and DreamBoard, where couples answer questions about every part of their wedding, from wedding party members and timeline details to decor plans and logistics. Through these forms, we collect everything we need to know to make sure wedding day runs smoothly and beautifully for each couple.
Workflows are the biggest ways that Dubsado works for me. By applying a workflow to a client's profile, I don't have to waste time thinking about what comes next, or hoping I remember every step. I just get to give every couple the same high level of service and have extra time and mental capacity to personalize the experience for them. I've been able to create separate workflows for each service I offer, so I can easily see every step, task, appointment scheduler and scheduled email that relates to that client.
Does Dubsado sound like your business's missing piece? The tool you didn't even know you needed? We've got you! Click this link to get 20% off your first month or year of Dubsado. Worried that you won't know how to make Dubsado work for you? They have an awesome customer service team, but I believe in this CRM so much that I'm happy to answer any questions you have and even help you set up your workflows!