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Where to Start Wedding Management

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    Credit Card Surcharges – Are you doing it right?

    Gwen Helbush, Where To Start, Wedding Management

    Basic business practices seem to be getting lost in our wedding community lately; first, it was quoted and now it is credit card surcharges.  In the past few weeks, I have found incorrect uses of surcharges in contracts, and I was asked to pay a 5% upcharge to use my credit card to pay for a booth at a wedding fare. 

    Ladies and Gentleman of the wedding community pay attention! If you own and run a business, you need to run that business by the law of the land; if you don't know the law that applies it is the time you FIND OUT!

    If you are doing business in California you should be aware this  State of California

    For the record this is NOT my area of expertise; I have included a post I found on Can my business add a surcharge for card-paying customers?  I think it covers the topic well.  I also strongly recommend you carefully read the agreement with your credit card processing company to ensure your surcharge policies do not violate your agreement with them. 

    The cost of doing business in the Bay area is high; it is legitimate and necessary to cover all your expenses in your fees to clients, however, be sure that you are doing it properly not just easily.

    I hope to see everyone on April 21st for BAWN's Wedding Community Conversations our next event in our 17-year history of great conversations with wedding professionals in the Bay area


    Time is Money

    Gwen Helbush, Where To Start, Wedding Management

    In It's not rocketed science it a price quote! I asked for feedback; I hoped to get suggestions, solutions maybe even a little gripping, but alas nothing.  Now you must endure only my thoughts on the subject.  

    My philosophy on quotes is pretty basic, simple is best.  Simple does not mean lacking detail.  A quote should include all possible costs to provide the goods or services quoted.   Line item quotes are best; lump sums will do if explained well.  Quotes are not art projects they should be attractive and reflect your brand, more than anything they need to clean, clear and complete.

    Creative quotes should include whenever possible examples, inspiration photos and samples. There are tools available that make this easier.  Some are free like Pinterest or AllSeated; others have fees SocialTables, Aisle Planner and Honeybook to name just a few.

    If you are not comfortable being that high tech, set up correctly a simple spreadsheet can do the job.  The key to a memorable quote is preparation.  Having a system for writing quotes will reduce errors.  Don’t be boring, do be consistent.

    Everyone on your team must understand your pricing.  They shouldn’t have to run to you every time a quote is needed.  Think through your pricing, find the best way for your business to simplify pricing allowing quotes to be done quickly without losing money.  

    The biggest mistakes I see are too little or too much information.  Too little, leaving out delivery charges, not putting a total or my favorite no contact details.  Too much, including things they don’t need to know.  Like, you don’t need to say how you will hang a chandelier just that you will hang it and the cost.

    Here is a case for why providing quotes quickly matters; On a Monday afternoon calls were placed to four caterers (not telling who) to verify if they were available for a client's wedding date, they all were.  Then each was sent an email with all the details needed for a quote and when it was due, by 5 pm on Thursday of that week.  2 hours later the first quote arrived, on Thursday at 4:59 pm the second quote came, the next on the following Wednesday, still waiting on the fourth. That was six weeks ago, all things being equal in the quotes can you guess who go the job?

    I am the first person to defend the members of our wedding community; I understand the demands on you.  More than anything I want to be of service, if you struggle to turn quotes around in 48 hours or less, lets talk.  It would be my pleasure to review your current process, give suggestions to improve your existing system or help create one.

    In today's crowded and fast paced market a system for writing great quotes is a competitive advantage, you can't afford neglect.

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