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Where to Start Wedding Management

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    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.


    It’s not rocket science it a price quote!

    Gwen Helbush, Where To Start, Wedding Management

    Weddings are a team business none of us can create wonderful weddings for our clients alone.  The greatest benefit of working in our wedding community is we have each other’s backs.  Lately, I have not been feeling the love, and I’m puzzled, so asked some friends and apparently I’m not alone.  We do everything possible to provide as much information as we have available when requesting a quote or proposal but lately, what we have been getting in return is well to put it nicely rubbish.

    It is 2016; there are smartphones, IPads, laptops, desktops and who knows what other electronic devices available.  So can you tell me why I keep getting proposals, quotes and contracts that look like a kindergartener did them just before nap time?  Also, why does it take two weeks to get anything?

    I’m not asking for the great American novel just a price quote or proposal for services; you know a price for the things you do for a living!  Why has it become so difficult to get a clear, complete and reasonability legible proposal?

    When asked this question directly the most common answer, wait for it, “I don’t have time.”  Be honest you knew that was going to be the answer didn't you.  Seriously the “I don’t have time” excuse.  Well, if you don’t have time, and you don't have anyone else who can do a simple price quote I guess you don’t have time to do the actual work either, so let me find someone who DOSE have time.  UGH!

    The next most common answer “I don’t understand what you mean, what’s wrong with it?”  Well, my friend let’s start with you didn’t put your company name, address, phone number or any way for me to contact you.  Then let’s look at the math that doesn’t add up correctly and end with, I asked for a line item quote not just a lump sum with no explanation of what it included in the price.   For example.

    Finally, my favorite “The “girl” in my office was supposed to send it to you.  She is off until Friday I’ll have her do it then.”  No, I’m not kidding that happened yesterday and not for the first time lately.  Ok, they were not all “girls” but passing the buck that seems big now.

    I understand being busy if you are that busy congratulation I’m happy for you!  Just tell me you have too much work, and I’ll move on.  I think most of us would be okay with that.  Ignoring us or sending incomplete and poor quality information to present to our clients. That is simply unacceptable. 

    Giving us poor quality quotes and proposals is not having our backs.  There are so many ways to streamline and automate the proposal process available. Yes, some cost money but most don’t.  I’ll cover those next time.

    I would love to hear your thoughts on how to improve the proposal process. Send me an email at; I’ll include as many as possible in the next post.

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