Want to grow your wedding business? Today, I’m going to share a simple and effective onboarding framework to help you welcome new team members into your wedding business, nurture them, and get them up to speed in their roles. Most wedding businesses have an onboarding process for customers. And if you don’t – make sure to grab my onboarding process here.
Here’s my question for you: do you currently have an onboarding process when bringing new team members into your wedding business? If this is your first hire or you don’t have a big team, you probably don’t but don’t worry – you are in the right place to get this done now! This is a GREAT time to create (or reflect on) your process and ensure it's simple and easy to do. Onboarding new team members does not have to be complicated. An easy framework can save you valuable time in the future as your business grows.
If you are in the Planner’s Playbook – you know how much I love a good framework. And here's the deal about frameworks – they’re essentially repeatable processes. Create it once, tweak it once you put it out into the real world, and then duplicate it over and over again. Frameworks make your life a LOT easier, so creating a framework to onboard your new team members will ensure everyone gets the same process of learning, training, and understanding.
Do You Already Have a Team in Your Wedding Business?
It’s not too late to fine-tune your onboarding process, even if you do have a team you love already! If you're looking to optimize your employee onboarding experience, getting your current team involved in creating the process can have great benefits. Who knows, it might be an opportunity to talk about how your business can do even better!
Asking for their advice, opinions, and what they wished was in place when they joined your team empowers your employees and makes them feel valued. It also creates an open feedback loop to identify gaps and shortfalls, including those that may go unnoticed otherwise.
Additionally, involving them in the process of growing your business increases their investment in the success of the company. They're more likely to feel like an important part of the team and become invested in your team's mission.
Step One: Have a System for Outlining Your Onboarding Tasks and Milestones
To create an onboarding process for adding new team members to your wedding business, I recommend you aim to document a three-part plan for their first 30, 60, and 90 days. Don't just think it; put it down in writing. This can’t just be in your head! Softwares like ProcessStreet, Asana, Basecamp, and ClickUp work great for establishing this system and saving it so you can duplicate it and use it over and over again. I’ve talked a lot about why I love Asana and how I use it in my own business!
If you don’t want to invest in a project management software, Google Docs and spreadsheets work as a free option. You don’t have to buy anything – you just need to get this 90-day framework out of your head.
Step Two: Streamline Access to Share Information Like Files, Folders, Logins, and Passwords
Not everything can exist on your hard drive! Listen, when you welcome new team members into your wedding business you need to WELCOME NEW TEAM MEMBERS INTO YOUR WEDDING BUSINESS. This means they need to have ACCESS to things they may need to do their job and do it well. A disjointed system with everything stored on your personal drive or in a disorganized drive folder does nobody any good and ends up restricting communication and collaboration. It also can lead to major frustration for new hires that were initially really excited to work for you!
Step Three: Share Your Brand Guidelines
Next, you're going to need a system for sharing highlights for your business and your brand. This really should be shared as you onboard new team members.
Your brand guidelines should include things like:
- Font size and style
- Logo Variations
- Specific rules for the brand (ie. how much space should be left around your logo)
- Mission Statement
- Vision Statement
- Purpose Statement
- Core values
- The list could go on and on!
A quick tangent here: your company exists for a reason. You likely want to serve a specific group of people, and you do that in a specific way. Everybody on your team needs to be on board with your company's mission, vision, and purpose as it relates to serving your customers, which means they need to know what it is! Brand guidelines are more than just visuals.
You Also Need to Share Your Services + Products Ladder
As your wedding business grows and you add new team members, it's important to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Even if certain team members won't directly interact with customers, they should still understand the full scope of services and products that you offer.
In fact, it can be valuable to outline everything that your business does to serve your customers, even the things that you might not advertise for. Having a comprehensive view of your business operations can allow new team members to better understand how their role fits into the larger picture, and help them better contribute to the wider success of the company. So take the time to provide thorough onboarding and ensure that everyone is up-to-date and well-informed!
You Should Also Include Your ICA (Ideal Client Avatar)
Every business has a target audience that it aims to serve. Identifying that audience is key to a business's success. Without a clear understanding of who the business is catering to, it's hard to create an effective message that resonates and creates an impact.
In my experience of over a decade in the wedding industry, I've seen countless businesses fail because they didn’t take this step seriously enough. Believe me, it's something you don't want to miss! Taking the time to understand your audience can mean the difference between success and failure, so make sure your team knows who you're talking to.
If you feel like your ideal client feels basic (or you feel a little called out when I say some businesses don’t know who they are talking to), make sure to sign up for the Client Cocktail here.
Step Four: Give Them a Rough Outline of Their Job Description
Listen, this can feel intimidating but it’s so important you don’t skip this step while you onboard new team members. To make sure that new hires have a clear understanding of their role and responsibilities, it's important to provide a detailed job description. Even if it does change over time, having a rough outline of what’s expected of them will help prevent communication breakdowns that might eventually hinder their performance.
To structure this effectively, you can break down the job responsibilities into specific timeframes such as 30, 60, and 90 days. By gradually increasing the level of difficulty, you give new hires the opportunity to learn and grow in a manageable way. This also helps them to grasp the fundamentals before tackling more complex tasks.
Putting on my business hat for a sec – it’s also important to have new hires sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) to safeguard proprietary information. This agreement ensures that the new team member can't disclose or use confidential information that belongs to your company. You can find pre-made NDAs from reputable sources like Legally Set. By protecting your company's interests, you create a safe and secure work environment for everyone.
Let’s Recap This Simple Framework for Onboarding New Team Members Into Your Wedding Business:
- Have a system for outlining your onboarding tasks and milestones. I recommend breaking it up into 30, 60, and 90 days!
- Streamline access to everything your new team members need
- Share your brand guidelines (more than just the visuals!)
- Give them a rough outline of their new job description!
- Celebrate! Did I forget to tell you to celebrate?
Listen, as someone who grew my own wedding business team, I can tell you this: the number one reason why people don't work out is because the job is not communicated to them well or because communication breaks down and they don't know what they're expected to do. Don’t let that happen to you. By following this really simple framework, you can cross your T’s and dot your I’s when it comes to bringing on new team members into your business.
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