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The Importance of Solid Admin Processes

I’ll be honest I hate admin with a passion, give me a bucket of blooms to play with and I’m in heaven but spreadsheets, fonts and forms leave me cold.

I suspect this is true of many creatives, but something I have learned in the time I have run a business is that solid admin processes are a necessity and have saved my bacon on many occasions.  I have a typical creative brain firing off in all directions at once and that means unless something focuses me, I can forget to ask things, so a good form acts as the best kind of prompt for me.


I run a predominantly wedding business now so for me the first contact from me that my couple receive for a wedding enquiry is an enquiry form and a price list. This serves two purposes

  1. It’s a quick way for me to gather lots of information form the couple in one place.

  2. It weeds out the price shoppers. 


On the form it asks everything I could need to know: the obvious date and time, personal details but also other supplier details and where they heard of me (which helps me direct my marketing).


I control my process with a fervour the military would envy and I guide all my couples through it, herding any who try to break away like a well trained border collie!  It has become almost instinctive, a well rehearsed dance that allows me to glide through a busy wedding season without questioning myself, because I know the process works.  As business owners it is OK for us to lead our clients in the way that we know will work best for them in the long run and set the deadlines that work best for everyone.



I have a form for collaboration that I keep with names, date of wedding and venue and then all the other suppliers’ details.  That way if I want to post on social media a year down the line all of the information is at my fingertips and I don’t make the faux pas of missing a supplier off. 


I also send a feedback form to each couple asking what I did well, what I didn’t do well, what were their favourite bits of working with me and what I could improve.  Flowers are ALWAYS mentioned but also many times my admin processes are mentioned as being easy to follow and give my couple confidence in my professionalism and ability to pull their wedding dreams out of the hat.


So I still hate admin but I have a deep appreciation of the need for it to run my business efficiently and effectively.  So put that peony down and embrace those fonts and spreadsheets, go and create those forms that will make your business run seamlessly and give your clients an appreciation of all of your business acumen, not just your beautiful flowers.  Trust me when I say you will be so glad you did it.


 

Viv Bradford

Viv Bradford trained in West Germany in the late 1980s before returning to the UK, where she has pursued many roles in the industry from running retail premises, teaching floristry, working in wholesale, business coaching florists and running an award-winning studio florist specialising in weddings.


Viv also created and runs Facebook groups Flowerphiles for experienced florists and The Floristry Geek for students and those new to the industry which concentrates on educational content.

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