Training Your Staff on New Technology

If you’re looking to take your business to the next level, it can seem easy to bring in the latest technologies you’ve been hearing about through your network. After all, the possibilities that lie in new technology are virtually endless. Streamlined processes, collaborative content creation, and expedited communication are just a few potential benefits.

 Ultimately, the best businesses are those that work smarter, not harder. New technology provides a framework that can keep your team players on the same page, as well as automate many of the processes that take up time unnecessarily. However, it’s important to keep in mind that implementation of new technology requires an adjustment period.

Going from zero to 100 can leave employees feeling confused and overwhelmed. As a leader, it’s up to you to determine what kinds of tech fit into your existing structure and will jive well with your team. Providing the support and training necessary before, during, and after implementation will set you up for success with a well-versed team at peak efficiency.

Pre-launch Preparation

Prior to implementation, set aside some time to sit down with your team and walk through the new platforms they will use. Be clear about why you are making the shift and what impact you expect it will have on their workflow. Explain how the program is used, how it will play a role in their day-to-day responsibilities, and answer any questions that will inevitably come up. Create a place to store login information, customer support information, and other resources that is easily accessible for everyone.

Training Your Team

The training process can look differently between companies and relies heavily on the existing culture. Virtual training is a very convenient solution for larger companies, as it provides employees with the freedom to train on their own time. With virtual training, you still want to make sure employees have a go-to person or resource for questions that come up. On-site classes can also be a great way to train your team, as it fosters discussion about practical usage.

In other cases, training may be more effective on a one-on-one basis. Everybody has different learning needs, so you may have one employee that picks up the new technology within a few days whereas another may need some extra hand-holding. Be attentive to what your team members are struggling with and be prepared to coach them as needed.

Regular Check-ins

Once your staff is all trained up, it doesn’t mean that your job is over. Keep an eye on their progress by tracking metrics, whether that is through sales, social media engagement, time management, or another KPI. Be generous with your praise in the early stages to build confidence and empowerment to embrace the new technology. Check in with each team member individually to see how their experience has been and if there are any ways you can help. The key to ongoing success is to ensure that your employees recognize that the lines of communication are open.

 Bringing new technology to your business can be extremely rewarding when done strategically. Be prudent in your planning and preparation, communicate with your team, and enjoy the benefits of increased efficiency.

With over 20 years of experience in the international events industry, Sandy Hammer is the co-founder and CMO of AllSeated, a collaborative network for planning events that offers tools including floorplans, 3D view, Guest List, RSVP, Seating, Timelines, Mobile Check-In and more.

Comment

Guest Contributor

WeddingIQ welcomes guest posts from wedding professionals and industry experts on all topics relevant to running a wedding business. Please review our guest contributor guidelines and email us with your submissions!


Follow

Your PR To-Dos for 2017

By Meghan Ely, OFD Consulting

If you didn’t quite meet your 2016 resolution of taking your public relations efforts seriously, you’re not alone. However, there’s no reason to shy away from it – especially throughout the off-season.

Here are a few of my best tips for making 2017 your most press-friendly year yet.

Map out the year ahead

At this point, you should have a good idea of the weddings that lie ahead. With the styles in mind, think about which will be the most competitive for editorial submission. Those with unique details, special stories and great couples are typically those that are great, so take some time to plan out your PR approach for each.

Gather what you can in advance for each wedding – a comprehensive vendor list (with website URLs and social media handles!), a submission agreement with the photographer, and anecdotes from the couple about how they met and what influenced their wedding planning. This will make the submission process much smoother when you’re in the throes of peak season!

Create a media list

Think back to when you were a kid and wrote wish lists of everything you wanted for the holidays. Now is your chance to do the same, but for your dream media portfolio. What publications would you just love to feature your work? Where would you like to see your name in lights? Don’t be shy – include any and all outlets that you like, even if they seem like a reach.

Once you’ve compiled a nice list, begin your research on submission guidelines and media contacts to keep on file. Every publication has different requirements for their real weddings, so you’ll need to be discerning with your submissions. A neat Excel spreadsheet or Google Doc can keep all of your research in one place so it’s easy to grab when you’re ready to submit.

Streamline your PR flow

One of the main reasons wedding professionals don’t invest in public relations is because they think it will take up too much of their valuable time. This notion can be easily combatted with apps and programs to streamline your PR push. Does it seem tedious to interview each and every couple for their story? Save time by crafting a Wufoo questionnaire and sending the link to all of your couples. Do you have trouble staying organized in your submissions? Consider signing up for Two Bright Lights, an online platform that keeps your wedding albums in one place and allows you to submit directly to a large number of online and print publications.

Sign up for programs

Looking beyond real wedding submissions, it’s time to start sharing your knowledge. One great way to do this is to be an expert source for journalists – that way, you’ll be included in articles speaking about your specialty. HARO and SourceBottle are two great tools to help you become a source for reporters to reach out. Once you sign up, you’ll begin receiving emails with story topics from journalists – when you see one that interests you, all you have to do is email your thoughts over for consideration.

Whether you start with signing up for HARO or mapping out your upcoming weddings, be sure you’re setting aside some time in the next few weeks to really plan out your PR strategy – your portfolio will thank you! 

Meghan Ely is the owner of OFD Consulting, a wedding PR agency that works with wedding professionals here, there and everywhere. She’s a long-time industry writer, sought after speaker and unapologetic cat lady.

Comment

Guest Contributor

WeddingIQ welcomes guest posts from wedding professionals and industry experts on all topics relevant to running a wedding business. Please review our guest contributor guidelines and email us with your submissions!


Follow

If You Want Your Wedding Business to Succeed, You Have to Let Go Of These Three Things

If You Want Your Wedding Business to Succeed, You Have to Let Go Of These Three Things

Throughout this month, we've written about all kinds of things related to being more productive and effective in your wedding business, from creating systems and workflows to taking baby steps toward outsourcing.

If you truly want your business to be successful, however, there's something important you need to do that doesn't involve taking more on or getting more done. Rather, it's a major mindset shift that absolutely has to take place if you want to grow and thrive. It involves letting go.

Read More

Putting a Wholesale Program to Work in Your Wedding Business

Putting a Wholesale Program to Work in Your Wedding Business

Editor's Note: We're delighted to welcome a new guest contributor to WeddingIQ today, Audrey Isaac of 100Candles.com! Read more about Audrey at the end of the post!)

Creating a relationship with a wholesaler is one of the best things you can do for your business – not only do you get to provide couples with additional products that they’ll need (hello, happy clients!), but you’ll also make an extra buck while you’re at it. Talk about a win-win situation! While it’s not a difficult process, you’ll see the best results if you keep organized and stay on top of what you need to be doing.

Read More

How to Get Things Done When Outsourcing Isn't an Option

How to Get Things Done When Outsourcing Isn't an Option

Outsourcing: it's a wonderful thing. Every business guru, coach and speaker will tell you that the sure path to success is to outsource as much as possible, freeing your time to run your company, plan for the future and create your ideal life by design.

Unfortunately, that's one of those things that's easier said than done. Outsourcing costs money, right? What if you’re just starting out? What if you’ve hit a rough patch? What if you need the money for personal reasons and can’t invest it back into your company at this time? (I discussed this very real possibility in one of my former posts, "Sailing Through Crisis and Taking My Own Advice.") These are all factors that must be considered when deciding what, if anything, should be outsourced in your business. 

Read More