As we are heading into a (hopefully) slower season, now is the time to organize your systems and get things done that you normally don’t have time to do in your business. Things that will pay off in the long run! The next little while we’ll be focusing on these tips in our newsletter so you can know where to start.
A few weeks ago we talked about contracts and how important they are + *finally!!* put ours up for sale! If you’ve ever been to one of our in person workshops you know we’ve been talking abut that forever and are so excited about helping you guys protect your business. It will be available for purchase next week!
ANYWAY back to emails: I don’t know about you, but answering emails and being proactive about your businesses administrative work was NOT why we got into this line of work. But over the years we’ve developed some ways that help us stay on track, organized and help no emails fall by the wayside.
Here are our best tips:
1. Organize Once a month: Once every two weeks or so, we take 3 hours (if needed) to go through our inbox and make sure everything is responded to and in the right folders. This helps us from missing anything any previous attempts overlooked + keep it easier to not miss things in the future. It’s so hard to keep things organized when there are 500 emails in your inbox!
2. Folders: Everything has a place that comes into our inbox and if it doesn’t we immediately create one. New inquiry? That goes into our 2020 weddings category, sub folder with their name and date! Styled shoot? Collabs folder. Flower order? Flower receipts 2020! You get the picture. We keep most emails, even if we can’t participate or use whatever is in them at the moment because they might be useful later on!
3. Unread at the top: We have our inbox set up so that the unread emails stay at the top, no matter when they were sent. This helps us not forget about certain important emails that we have to reply to. Most of the time we will read them and answer late, but sometimes we will mark them as unread again if we feel like it could fall under the radar in a busy time. We also keep older emails for our “when I have time” time periods so they are fresh in our mind. Discount code for a new client gift? Leave that unread in your inbox so when you have time/need them you can order them!
4. Keep Unreplied: Even the emails we do open, we leave in our inbox until we reply to them or take care of them. We WILL forget about them otherwise. Even moving them into a “need to reply” folder is hard for us to keep track of. We’ve found it’s easiest if we just leave them be until they get answered.
5. First thing/Last thing 30: Time blocking is essential if you want to not drown in emails. We set aside the first 30 minutes and the last 30 minutes of our day for them. Some people like to only answer emails on certain working days, but We’ve found that we can’t concentrate when we know there is a pressing email to be answered. So we give ourselves those 30 minutes at the beginning of our day and end of our day to get them out of the way so that we can focus on what we need to.
6. Templates! This is our favorite email tip! We have email templates for EVERYTHING. Full wedding inquiry, A la Carte inquiry, Checking in, Checking in after proposal and quote sent, Styled shoot decline, Wedding inquiry decline…you name it. If it’s an email we send even once, we make a template for it. We event have different email templates for each person on our team for some of them. It makes things SO much faster- it saves hours of time. Even if it doesn’t seem like it takes that much time to send an “I’m sorry we’re busy” email, I promise. It adds up. We use HoneyBook for ours, but if you just have a regular email inbox, you can write up drafts and copy/paste them! For certain emails, we add in specific things to each one (like the inquiry) to make them more personal, but having a base even makes a big difference.
** also just a heads up!! we will be offering a special on our email templates for all things wedding floral, from start to finish, next week! just for you guys, we will have a special deal**
7. Let it go: Have all the grace on yourself. You’re GOING to miss an email every once in a while. It’s just going to happen! So have the systems in place to minimize that as much as you can and let go of the expectation to be perfect with your emails.