Questions to be asking before taking on new business
Wedding stationers are in high demand, especially when it comes to peak wedding season. It can be easy to take on lots of new business during the busy months, but doing this can make it difficult to manage expectations. Before saying yes to every couple that walks through the door here are five initial questions to ask.
- When are you getting married?
This is the first and most important question to ask any potential new client. After all, you need to ensure you actually have the time. One of the common questions to ask wedding stationers is, “When do I need to send out x, y or z?” and so knowing the date of their marriage will enable you to advise them on delivery dates. Is there time to send out save the dates? When will the invites go out? When should the thank you cards be sent? This will also give you the information needed to ensure you have the time for the work. Check the deadlines you already have and consider if you really do have the time available. Give yourself some buffer space, including time for proofs and ‘worst case scenarios’. As long as you are 100% happy with the timeframes then we can move onto the next question.
- What are your themes and colours?
One of the key questions wedding stationers should ask couples is, “What are your themes and colours?” Knowing what your potential clients envisage for their big day will give you a pretty good idea of what they’re expecting from their stationery. If they’re having a vintage theme with pastels colours then you will already be able to picture the perfect invite. However, not all couples will have a specific theme or colour in mind and that is where your professional advice will be much appreciated. Talk through the different themes and colour schemes your couple have in mind and how they would work with the stationery. Bounce ideas back and forth until everyone has the perfect picture in their mind of what the wedding stationery will look like.
- Bespoke wedding stationery?
This won’t necessarily be found on a list of questions to ask wedding stationers and so it’s important to bring this point up yourself. Do the couple require something bespoke? As a wedding stationer you are likely to have a ton of templates and similar projects you’ve worked on in the past that can be adapted to suit the clients’ needs. However, if the couple are looking for something totally unique to them then extra consideration needs to be taken. Make sure you find out if your couple require something custom, before advising that these designs can take longer and potentially cost more.
- Who else will be making the decisions?
This is something that is nearly always forgotten but is definitely one of the questions wedding stationers should ask couples. Who else is going to be making the decisions on this wedding stationery? If the parents are paying for things such as stationery then chances are they will want a final say in the design. And the budget! Make sure you know who else will be making the decisions when it comes to the design, the budget and the timeframe. It may be that you need to send proofs to these other people too, so ensure you have their contact details.
- What is your budget?
Last, but by no means least, what is their budget? This is one of the most daunting questions wedding stationers should ask couples, but it is vitally important. You should have built up a pretty impressive picture of what the couple want, when they want it by, if they want something bespoke, and who is going to be sent the proofs. One of the questions to ask wedding stationers will always be, “How much does it cost?” and so make sure you manage their expectations by asking their budget. You can then advise on what their chosen design is going to cost and manage their budget expectations.
Ask these questions before taking on new business from couples and don’t be afraid to turn new business down too. If you can’t fit in the work or aren’t able to meet their budget then it is better to say no now, instead of letting them down later. Managing expectations is key for a wedding stationer and these questions will help you do just that.
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