At Mavinhouse, we're all about systematizing the planning process. Over the years we have learned that smart robust systems create the foundational structure to allow us the space and freedom to get creative, with our design plans, yes, but also with our client management practices. Every client and project is so different in terms of personality and players. Having a tried and true system to take each client through the process allows us to rest easy that the details are all covered, whether we are working with a type-A list maker or a head in the clouds dreamer. As a sisterhood of businesses - 42 North and Mavinhouse - our team has been using Aisle Planner since 2016 to manage our client projects, and we have learned a lot about customizing the process along the way to best suit our needs. The best and easiest way to deploy the systems we have created is by using the Aisle Planner Checklist Tool.
The Checklist Tool and the ways we've been able to systemize it over the years have been transformational for our business and I’d love to walk you through the benefits of using the Checklist Tool to systemize your process, too! One thing to note, it takes time and experience to create systems within your business, but that time invested turns into time gained if the system you build is robust.
Here’s what a comprehensive checklist system customized to your process can do:
- Save time
- Breeds confidence
- Helps train new team members
- Enhances the client experience
Now let’s dive into each of these benefits, and see if I can convince you to invest the time in this off-season to customize your checklist!
Saves Us Time
I won’t lie to you, building the checklist our team uses now took a long time . . . I mean, a really long time. Over a year, and no fewer than six lead planners’ brains on the project. This time investment upfront is to be expected when building any really good (and really large, in this case) system. But, now, we have a tool that makes the planning process and access to a huge list of resources for both planner and client a total breeze.
Having a checklist formatted to match your exact process allows you to dive right into planning with each of your new clients, and the client experience is more intuitive. With a strong system within your checklist, you can say goodbye to hours spent scanning the checklist for unneeded items, or duplicates in multiple categories. You’ll have a place to direct clients with their questions about how or when to do something, and most importantly, the supporting documents you may need access to throughout the planning process will be at your fingertips.
All of our team members have access to the same information, so whether a planner has been with us since day one or this is their first client project, the process will look and feel the same to the client. This ensures that no stone will be unturned because our process follows the exact timeline that our planners take clients through. This has enabled our staff to feel confident about never missing a detail.
Helps Train New Team Members
Our secret weapon is a checklist of items that a client cannot see, those designated as ‘Mavinhouse Team View Only’. Since we have a large team, and each planner works independently, we needed to democratize the process and make sure everyone has access to the same information. These ‘hidden’ checklist items provide guidance and tools to the planners, both new and old, to teach them the Mavinhouse way of planning a wedding. Our suite of resources about why we do each step a certain way includes links to Loom videos, Google Docs, and internal webinars that provide a self-led, experiential, step-by-step guide for planning a wedding. This helps save mine and Britt’s time during the initial onboarding process and reserves our time with those planners for questions and guidance that are specific to the individual.
Enhances the Client Experience
The resources I listed in the last section that we use as internal operations don’t stop there. We also use a set of videos and documents to provide more information to our clients. We build out a great level of detail into each checklist item to make the planning process more instinctual for our clients. Our goal through building this system is to never leave a client wondering how or why they need to complete a step. Writing our directives into the notes box in each checklist item, or providing links so that a template for instance is only a click away, saves the client time and makes planning easier and more efficient.