If you’re a solo wedding / event planner or have a thumbnail staff, you already know how difficult it is to get everything done on your ever-growing to-do list.
There’s all the planning, coordination and client relationship building, and on top of that you have the daily duties of running a business, which include bookkeeping / billing, sales, marketing and the dozens of other administrative details staring you in the face.
If you’re like me, sometimes it feels like you need to clone two or even three of you to get everything accomplished. Well, you’re not alone in feeling this way. And you’re also not alone in the fact that you don’t have quite enough revenues to hire additional staff to help you with all these tasks and projects. Service-based businesses like professional wedding and event planning can be the most difficult to scale upward, and for two reasons:
- You need a pretty constant and consistent flow of work coming through your doors to be able to afford full-time employees without always worrying about how you are going to make your next payroll.
- It can be fairly difficult and take a long time to find the right people with the right skill set, attitude and energy to meet the needs of your business and your customers.
With that said, there are affordable ways in which you can find outside help to assist you with some of the tasks you need to accomplish … here area few tactics and tools you can try:
1. Use an online freelancing / outsourcing service
The Internet has innovated many industries in many ways, and one innovation that has taken off in recent years is the online freelancing / outsourcing Web portal. These sites allow you to post tasks or jobs and reach out to prospective freelancers and contractors to see if they are the right fit for your needs.
A few of the most reputable sites include:
- TaskRabbit – especially interesting because it links you with local freelancers and contractors
- Task Army
- Fiverr – every task costs $5, so it’s great for small tasks or projects
- Craig’s List – the granddaddy in the industry
What I would recommend is to search for those freelancers and contractors with experience in your industry and high ratings from previous employers and then use someone for a small, test project to see if they will work out. If it doesn’t, you’re not out much money and can find someone else. If it does, you’ve just found an inexpensive, affordable contractor you can call on when you need help.
2. Bring on an intern
There are lots of aspiring wedding and event consultants out there, and a great way to find inexpensive help is to take on an intern who is interested in the industry.
There are a few ways you can look for interns:
- Post internships at job sites like Internships.com http://www.internships.com/ or even on Craig’s List.
- Post internships on industry portals like Wedding Industry Jobs or Wedding Bee.
- Call the placement offices at local community colleges and universities to see how you can connect with interested students.
- Reach out to your networking contacts to see if they know of anyone who might be interested.
The drawbacks of hiring an intern is that they aren’t very experienced and that you could be training a future competitor. However, they will bring immense amounts on energy and eagerness to the job, and if you pay them a small stipend or hourly wage, you are more likely to keep them on longer.
3. Trade services with other professionals
If you have certain tasks that could be done faster and better by another professional (say an accountant or graphic designer), you could trade services with them. This is probably the most difficult of the three options here, mainly because it’s time consuming to find a fitting relationship and then negotiate an equitable trade in services. However, if you can find such a partner, you can offload some major tasks that aren’t exactly in your bailiwick.
Give these a shot and see if they can help you accomplish more and grow your business faster.
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