You know when you are driving somewhere, and maybe you're running a few minutes late, and you hit EVERY. SINGLE. RED. LIGHT.
Annoying and frustrating right? If you had the power to change all those lights green you'd do it right?
You may be causing red lights in your own business and not even knowing it.
Have you ever had the red light experience in your business life? You're trying to get something done and boom, you get an email from a client asking questions or needing clarification on pricing. You're frustrated because you have already sent them your pricing PDF, why didn't they just read it? Or you have a great idea for mini sessions, and you get everything planned and put it on facebook and then you only get 1 person to sign up (I've been there!). These things, and many many others, can stop your workflow and slow down your day. But they don't have to. Here's how to prevent some of them.
COMMUNICATION. It's KEY to running a successful business. You can't just send along a pdf in an attachment, or link to your pricing on your website and expect every lead or client to read through it carefully and understand it all. You can't expect every lead who emails you to know your pricing even though you "put it all clearly on your website". And you can't be mad at a client for asking you do to something that's against your policies if you haven't gone over those policies thoroughly with them. Pick up the phone and call that lead. Talk to your client after they book, or when they book, and go over the contract with them. Go over your process with them. You are a business, a service, and they can easily go to someone else next time if their experience isn't as amazing as you can make it. Let them know they are important and COMMUNICATE with them every step of the way.
HAVE A WORKFLOW. Before I used a workflow software, I would rely on my own brain to remember when to do things for my clients. That was probably the biggest mistake I've made in my business. Rely on MY brain? Crazy. I have 2 crazy boys, and a family, and a house to run, and loads of clients to manage, and I was relying on MY brain?! I can't even remember what day of the week it is unless Siri tells me. And now, thankfully I don't have to rely on it. I have a workflow system that is amazing. I also have a really extensive calendar and reminder system. I know myself well enough to know I need reminders. A LOT of reminders. So I have them in place. And I don't forget things (as often) anymore. I don't have to stop what I'm doing for one client to check and see if I did that for my last client.
KNOW YOUR NUMBERS. This is probably THE most important part of being a business owner. If you do not know your numbers, you are doing yourself a HUGE disservice! Know what you want to net in a year. Know how many hours you spend working. Know your overhead and BE HONEST with the numbers. Know what you should charge for a session fee and a digital file. Do the work. If you don't know your numbers, and you are arbitrarily picking them out of the air or just pricing yourself to be competitive with the photographer next door, you are not going to be confident with your numbers, you might change them all the time, and then lose credibility as a business owner.
Running a business, as you already know, takes a TON of work, time, and energy. Make sure you are spending that energy in the right places. Get your business streamlined, and you'll be able to do more, make more, and offer a better client experience!