Jessica Unfiltered: My Most Commonly Asked Questions
I LOVE getting feedback from all of you on what you’re wanting to learn. The other day, I popped a question sticker in my instagram stories and was so thankful for all the responses I got. There were so many, that I couldn’t get to them all! There were also some questions that I wanted to give a little more time to than just a quick story response.
Keep reading to find out some of my most asked questions and my responses!
You’ve mentioned declining clients. How do you do that in a way that’s not offensive?
This is such an interesting question to me! There are usually two reasons why I decline a client: First, I truly don’t think we’re a good fit. We have different styles, or their personality wouldn’t be a good fit with our planning systems, etc. The second reason is that early in the consultation process, there are some red flags that let us know that we wouldn’t be entering into a healthy vendor-client relationship. For example, I like to set up my weddings without the clients present because I only have so many hours to execute everything. When clients are present during set up, they ask questions like, “Isn’t there supposed to be a table linen here?” And I have to take time to explain that yes there is, but I can’t put the linen down until the arrangement is completed because I don’t want to get the linen dirty. You get the picture! It’s just not efficient. Another example is if a client’s mom has a “a bunch of creative friends who would like to help with set up.” We've all been there. It never goes well. If I can tell early on that this is the type of client I'm dealing with, I know it isn't going to be a good fit! Regardless of the reason, declining to work with someone can be done honestly and respectfully.
First, remember that owning your own business means you have the freedom to choose what work you take on. You have to be intentional and selective about what jobs are “worth it” to you. I know that if I’m going to be spending weekends away from my family, or spending months on a design concept, or devoting hours to meetings with a couple, I want to enjoy the process. You are the gatekeeper to your business and your time. If you aren’t protecting who you work with, who will?
Secondly, there are ways you can sift through inquiring clients so that by the time you’re meeting with them, you already know you’re meeting with clients who are a good budgetary and stylistic match for you. I talk about this more in my course, The Business Behind the Blooms!
Finally, remember that you’re not rejecting someone. If you’re sensing that you might not be a good fit, you’re not only protecting yourself but allowing the inquiring couple to find someone who is perfect for them. If you want the best for every inquiring couple, then that includes recommending they find someone else to work with!
What do you think about creating a “studio” using a she-shed concept in the backyard?
I love this idea! SO many floral designers love to work out of the home. My overarching recommendation is to use whatever studio setup you can afford. I think there’s often pressure to own or rent a studio or retail space so you can feel ‘official’. Don’t buy into the hype!
Paying yourself a salary might not seem as glamorous to outsiders as having a studio space, but trust me, it’s worth it!
Until you can afford an away-from-home studio space, and you’re sure that the expense of renting a space would only increase the amount of money you’re able to bring in, alternate solutions are the way to go.
Does your facebook or instagram advertising work?
In a word, YES! I don’t continue to use marketing solutions that don’t work. You might notice that I do advertise for my business resources, but I don’t advertise for my wedding work. Any kind of advertisement is not one size fits all. What works for our business resources doesn’t necessarily work for our wedding work. With any kind of marketing, you need to keep track of your ROI or return on investment. You need to decide how much work you want each advertising dollar to do. If an advertising strategy isn’t working, then it’s important to find a different strategy that will convert into revenue.
I talk a lot more about how I changed my marketing strategy for wedding work in The Business Behind the Blooms!
I know I need to hire help, but I still can’t wrap my head around what tasks I can give my admin assistant.
First, good for you for knowing that you need help! That’s a huge first step. Secondly, I’d reread our two posts on building your business team (post one is here, and post two is here), and make sure to download the free resource.
If you’ve read those posts, you know that I recommend identifying the tasks you need to delegate, and then hire someone to fill that role. For this specific question, it sounds like you’ve identified a role that you think you need to fill-- admin assistant-- and now you can’t figure out what work to give someone in this role. You need to identify the tasks you need help with first! The title of the role is secondary. Call it a virtual assistant, and admin assistant, whatever you call it, you’re giving someone else responsibility over tasks that you need to delegate. If you're having trouble coming up with tasks for an "admin assistant," then maybe that role shouldn't be your next hire!