Event Planning: 3 Questions to Ask Before Taking on More Clients
Expanding your business with new clients can be exciting, but it can also be stressful. Knowing how to handle the additional responsibilities can be tricky, so we’ve prepared some guiding questions to help you decide how to proceed.
1. Will you be able to maintain the same standards for quality?
In a speech at a Biz Bash IdeaFest, Cheryl Cecchetto presented a list of 25 questions an event planner should ask themselves to see if they are living up to professional standards (or even in the right business!). Among them were questions such as:
Among them were questions such as:
- “Do you strive to build quality relationships and honest conversation?”
- “Do you make sure that every day of work is meaningful to you and your client?”
- “Do you live up to your commitments and meet deadlines?”
When considering adding new clients to your roster, ask yourself these questions, but change “Do you?” to “Will you be able to?” If you think your customer care will suffer, you may need to think about how you can expand without sacrificing the qualities that keep your current clients happy.
“Just as juggling too many balls can overtax the best juggler, there are a finite number of customers that a single employee can properly handle,” wrote expert Bob Phibbs.
“Once that limit is reached, no one benefits. The customers are unhappy, the employee is stressed and the business suffers.”
2. What kinds of clients do you want to attract?
You may be hoping for more of the same, or you may be expanding from weddings and birthdays to take on corporate events. Knowing who you’re hoping to work with will help you with marketing and to keep your business on track with the kind of work you want to be known for.
If you’re taking on more work based on client referrals, you can expect more of the same. Your wedding clients will refer you to other wedding customers. Which is amazing, and one of the most organic ways to grow your client list.
However, if you’re looking to get into a new space and attract a new type of customer, make sure you don’t lose business in the process. For example, don’t lose wedding customers, while you’re pursuing corporate event customers. It is possible to weaken your strengths while trying to strengthen your weaknesses.
Always talk to your existing clients about your plans to expand. Present it as an exciting time and reinforce the fact that your service to them won’t suffer because of your expansion.
“No matter what kind of business you’re in, you probably have lots and lots of customers who love what you do. So the last thing you want to do is take your products or services in a new direction without giving these loyal users some warning,” wrote leadership expert Jim Belosic.
“If possible, give everyone a little bit of advance notice and really play up how the changes will make their lives easier/better.”
And whatever you do, don’t offer better rates or promotions to your new customers. That’s the quickest way to alienate your existing customer base, in any business. If you’re going to promote a new and exciting introductory offer to clients, make sure you offer something comparable to your existing customers at the same time.
3. What do you need to do to ensure that your business is ready for new clients?
More clients means more work. Is your business ready for the increase in duties, expenses, and relationships to manage? If you don’t think you’ll be able to handle the influx as things are, consider coming up with a plan for hiring more staff and/or increasing your network of suppliers.
Not only will you need to (likely) hire more staff, you’re going to have to build new relationships with new suppliers and vendors. You may have to also reach out to your existing ones and talk to them about your plans.
Make sure you have a reliable fleet of the following professionals, before you take on new clients:
- Caterers/ bakers and bartenders
- Staffing agencies that can handle rush jobs
- Limo/ transportation companies
- Photographer/ Videographers
- DJs, suitable for weddings and other corporate events
You will also want a strong relationship with people at the key venues in your market. That way, you can find a bit more leeway with rates or last minute bookings.
You Plan; We Deliver.
If you’re looking for a reliable, professional limo service to get your clients to the Chicago event you’ve so meticulously planned, trust the experts at Echo Limousine. We ensure you get to each destination; rested, relaxed and ready. We are the best-rated limo service company in Chicago, and for good reason. We have the most competitive rates, high-quality cars and professional drivers to serve you.
Call us at (877) 444-1205, or click here to book the limo of your choice.