Three Roles You Can Outsource to Elevate Your Wedding Business

Three Roles You Can Outsource to Elevate Your Wedding Business

Today, I’m peeling back the onion.

There’s a lot of people that tell me “Wait, so you have this mysterious person who works behind the scenes in your company. But what do they actually do for your company?” Which is my lovely integrator Tamara.

Outsourcing is a hot topic on Clubhouse, and you might have no idea what type of support you even need. So I want to talk you through the options you have available to you.

We’ll be talking about three terms: A Virtual Assistant, an Online Business Manager, and an Integrator. Then we’ll describe what each one is and the type of support they can offer you in your wedding planning business. Let’s go!

There’s a lot of people that tell me “Wait, so you have this mysterious person who works behind the scenes in your company. But what do they actually do for your company?” Which is my lovely integrator Tamara.

Outsourcing is a hot topic on Clubhouse, and you might have no idea what type of support you even need. So I want to talk you through the options you have available to you.

We’ll be talking about three terms: A Virtual Assistant, an Online Business Manager, and an Integrator. Then we’ll describe what each one is and the type of support they can offer you in your wedding planning business. Let’s go!

What Does a Virtual Assistant Do?

Virtual Assistants, or VA’s, come in as your taskers. They will take things off your plate such as:

  • Email Management
  • Calendar Management
  • Responding to Inquiries

You can have the VA’s that specialize in general administrative stuff. And those would be like your general VAs. They’re usually priced a little lower. Then you get into your specialized VAs, and you’ll see a lot of them will be social media VA. But there are even wedding VA’s who can create timelines for clients.

The beautiful thing about a VA is that it isn’t like a very specific niche for anyone. So if you have a specific need, you can find a VA who does it.

Price Range

So General VA’s outside of an agency are usually priced anywhere from  $18 an hour to $25-$35/hour. That depends on their experience, their packages. Some work on a retainer hour while others work at an hourly rate.

Then your specialized VA’s run anywhere from $25-$50/hour. That’s because they specialize and price themselves premium rates.

Many people assume VA’s are just extra hands who run your inbox or calendar. But a specialized VA, you get higher quality work at a pretty reasonable price. So if you have a one off project or if you know you’re constantly doing graphic design, those can be people you bring onto your team for a small pee because you only pay for the hours they were working.

Sure, you can pay someone on your team to figure it out or you can do it yourself. It will cost more to bring in a specialized VA but they can knock out that work at a fraction of the time. So long-term, it makes sense financially and you will save more resources and time.

What Does An Online Business Manager Do?

In the wedding industry, VA’s are very common. When people hear VA they’re like “YES, I NEED THIS!” But then you bring on somebody and you don’t even know what to give them.

So an OBM is the next step up from VA’s. They are pricier but they will command that higher dollar figure 

An OBM comes into your business  as a hybrid of high level administrative support, project management, and team management. Like virtual assistants, there is a broad spectrum of OBMs. Some of them do project management. Some do team management and delegation. Some focus on building out funnels for launches, you know, for a course launched for educators. So there’s a broad spectrum.

Pricing

Specialized OBMs will come at a price point anywhere from $40 to $70/hour, sometimes $80, depending on their specialty.

Even though most OBMs don’t know anything about planning a wedding, they do know what your clients need from a business standpoint.

What Would They Do for a Wedding Pro

They won’t need the hand holding and the training that a virtual assistant might need. Instead, they can come in with an eagle eye for the details and the gaps in your business. Things like:

Lead Generation Management

So thinking about your email list, which we all know we need, an OBM can set up this system for you. They can make sure all your prospective clients end up in a software like MailChimp or Active Campaign. They can set up the op in page so leads know exactly where to go.

Onboarding

Think about what it takes for a client to go from point A to point B. From when a client comes in as a lead to when they get married. An OBM can also streamline this process on the backend. 

They can help you with your onboarding process, your client experience, the delivery of things, the off boarding process, and elevate the experience. Especially as wedding professionals, we know couples expect a lot. An OBM can elevate everything so your couples are always satisfied.

Showing Initiative in Your Business

The biggest difference  between the VA and the OBM role specifically for the wedding industry is the initiative and the know how. So for example, an OBM would be able to come in and spot a gap, and not necessarily have to be told. They can look at your schedule and let you know you’re overbooked, spot the gaps, and show you how to figure it out. A VA, a wouldn’t even be really looking for these kinds of things or have the authority to problem solve.

You can bring an OBM long term to manage or day to day. Or bring them on for three to six months to clean up your business and streamline processes for you.

From there, they would leave you all the SOPs to hand off to someone else (most likely a Virtual Assistant) so they can manage tasks in a way that’s true to your brand.

It’s not just the tasks, but the visuals, aesthetics, and cohesiveness of your brand.

A couple expects us to make their dreams come true on wedding day, so they expect us to have our brand on point from start to finish.

What Does an Integrator Do? (Aka What Blush Has!)

The line between an OBM and an integrator is a little blurred because integrators do a lot of what OBM’s do in terms of project management. The main difference is that an integrator takes ownership of your team.

So for example, my Integrator considers my Blush team as part of her team. Part of her job is emailing the team, touching base, making sure they’re moving the needle forward, not only for the company but for my team member’s personal goals with the company as well. 

So an OBM wouldn’t necessarily be in that team development and team coaching role. And with an integrator, it’s more of a CIO to the CEO. There’s a lot more business acumen involved looking at financials and analytics as well.

They would monitor sales, keep track of trends, notice where leads are coming in. Finding those tiny gaps that make a big difference.

More Direct Team Management

Let’s pause for a second. You might be reading this and think “wait, so you don’t manage your team?” And the answer is no, I don’t! My integrator does. When we brought Tamara on, my team had no idea what this would look like. But Tamara was able to come in with fresh eyes, see how we operate, and make a collaborative effort with my team.

An integrator will  not only manage your team, but they will build a strong relationship with your team. Day-to-day conversations that don’t require you will be the responsibility of your integrator.

The most astounding part is that you won’t even know that projects are getting done right under your nose!

Creating Expert Roles In Your Wedding Planning Business So You Can Be a True CEO

Not only does an integrator have heavy communication with their team, but they coach them for career growth. My integrator guides my team on how to become better wedding planners. How to understand growth in their career. Walking alongside them and encouraging them and giving advice.

This allows my team to have defined roles within my business. Each team member has ownership for a piece of the business and is an expert in that piece. That way, we avoid miscommunication and work toward  common goal

This frees up SO much time to free up your brain so you can vision cast. You can think of what is possible, ways to process different things. Things you wouldn’t have had the time or energy to think about before!

When we all work in our zones of genius (including you as the CEO) your business runs as a well-oiled machine.

Are You Ready to Hire Out?

If there was one thing in my business in the last 14 years that I’ve done that has completely changed the way we run our business, it’s having an integrator on our team. There really is no way to describe the exact dollar amount of the return on investment. I don’t know how we would run our company without this position at this point. I hope that this is helpful and that everyone finds the unicorn VA OBM integrator, whatever position you need to fill!

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