Little Known Ways To Create Successful Party Plan Business Systems
Years ago I read Michael Gerber’s “E-Myth” and his view on setting up a strong and successful business using business systems made so much sense I couldn’t understand why it wouldn’t be done.
A business system is simply a way of doing things. It includes the procedures and processes. Now this might sound complicated but it isn’t really.
One example Michael gave was about a hotel that was really good at customer service. When a customer came back for a second stay they found their preferred newspaper ready for them, the right coffee, the bed turned how they liked it etc, all things that made their visit feel personal. How it was done was simply recording their preferences and using them each time they visited. When the visitor arrives at the hotel they fill out a card (form) ticking boxes for preferences such as newspapers, coffee and tea, etc and the card is kept on file and used when they return so it all looks seamless. Also recorded on the card are comments from staff about preferences so it was even stronger.
When I book a party I fill out a form I’ve created in Word capturing the hostess name, party address, postal address, party date and time, where the lead came from, email address and phone number and then what information I’ve sent them as part of my hostess care.
I also use the comments space for notes about what particular pieces of jewelry she liked and commented on. It is useful to know what to make sure I take.
I have a checklist section so I have a physical reminder of what I need to take as part of my kit. I’ve done enough parties now that my kit is second nature for me but this section lets me quickly train others who are working with or helping me and it helps me when I have so much on my plate during the busy times that I just need a little backup.
I also record on this form when I contacted hostesses, if I left voice mails, when the party is confirmed and how many guests are coming. I record on the top right of the form directions to the party so I know how to get there and arrive on time.
I take the booking form with me to the party and write any notes on it for reference.
After the party I send the hostess a thank you card for having me over and put the date I sent the card on the book form.
The form is then filed with the party sales form, competition entry form and guest list for future reference. All of this gives me a comprehensive record of the party and the customers for future parties and communication, such as Christmas cards.
I have a sale form so I can track sales for both my sales analysis purposes but to also show customer how easy it is to get rewards for sales. I give my hostesses a reward for having the party but the bulk is set to sales so the more sales the more free jewelry gift voucher credits they get.
I also run a competition so everyone at the party can go in and find out in the email newsletter about the results. The newsletter also lets me regularly communicate with existing and potential customers about designs, sales, parties, new launches, expos and events. It is a very useful marketing tool that I think every business should have.
When I enter the details into the customer list database I write on the competition form the date so I know it is done.
For new hostesses I send out an information kit that includes a brochure about having a party and the guest list with a stamped self-addressed envelop so they can quickly return the completed guest list. I include a handwritten letter that has the date and time for the party and lets them know they simply need to return the guest list and I’ll look after the rest.
All these forms and ways of doing it all is part of the business system for the party plan side of my business. When I was starting this I simply figured out what was going to be involved in organizing a party. Writing instructions out once, drawing up a form (read a table in a Word document) once makes it much easier for me to get things ready for a series of ongoing parties.
I have three folders for all of this; one for filing completed parties, one in my party kit with the sales form and competition form in it, this also has information to give to hostesses making bookings at the parties and a third folder for all the forms and brochure at home (the business system folder). For me it is just easier to have them in folders and tidy so I can use the valuable information within them for business building.
I use Microsoft Word for my documents and forms and Publisher for the brochure. I have an inexpensive color printer/scanner/photocopier for printing (if you’re going to get a printer get an all in one setup). It is all very simple and inexpensive really. I need business systems to make me money rather than cost me a heap of money.
So take some time to work on your business and create business systems that will make life easier and more profitable.