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  • Writer's pictureBrianne Ackerland

Navigating Your Workflow While Dealing With On-going Health Issues

The wedding industry is one that is largely made up of individuals who work by themselves, or may have a small team where they can serve as Lead Wedding Planners.  As the business owner, you handle the day to day operations such as responding to inquiries, setting up and attending consultations, handling bookkeeping, sending out contracts, etc. The list of the responsibilities of an entrepreneur seems never ending. Have you ever considered what would happen to your business if you were suddenly hospitalized? What if you couldn’t drive yourself to meetings? Found yourself physically unable to execute your events because of a broken limb? Business operations would certainly come to a temporary halt.

Unfortunately, there are some life events or health diagnoses that have a more permanent effect on your life, thus causing you to have to reevaluate your daily operations or even the trajectory of your business. For example, a major life-long diagnosis like cancer, muscular dystrophy, or parkinsons. What about a heart attack, or experiencing a sudden cardiac arrest?The top priority will have to shift to you and your health care. Weekday consultations may now have to be replaced with doctor appointments. Basic daily activities may be restricted by your health care team. When you do feel better and ready to get back to work, you may be restricted on how many hours you are allowed to work. The loss of the ability to drive can mean having to rely on someone else to take you to your events. Sadly, there is always that chance of relapse, where you can find yourself back in the hospital.  All of these I personally experienced when I survived a Sudden Cardiac Arrest in June of 2021. To learn more about my story read the CWP Society Blog Post titled “Brianne’s Story of Survival & How To Prepare For Unexpected Circumstances.  You can also listen to the February 2024 episode of “The Wedding Planner Podcast: Wedding Industry News”.

Having ongoing health issues means you listen to your body first. Work has to come second.  Communicate about your ongoing health issues/recovery with your clients. When I found myself back in the hospital in the fall of 2021, it was not a complete surprise to my couple getting married that week, that I would not be able to be with them on the wedding day. I had a list of potential fellow CWP Society Wedding Planners that were “on call” from the summer to fill in.  We did a group call over the phone while I was still in the hospital to make sure everything was in place.  Documents were shared electronically and I followed up with my couple once I was back to work. 

Here are three tips to help keep your business operational if you find yourself in a situation where you are not.

  1. Create a great network of fellow wedding pros that are like minded in your industry, and share the same values so they can assist with stepping in temporarily.   

  2. Set up a meeting with your clients and the wedding pros that will be taking over.  Discuss what the steps will be taken to ensure nothing is forgotten so everyone is comfortable with that hand-off.

  3. Use softwares and tools that are cloud based, where you are able to share and grant access to those who need access to it. Utilize software such as Rock Paper Coin for contracts and invoicing.  You don’t have to worry about sending invoice reminders to your customers. Timeline Genius for your event timelines which allows you to collaborate with your vendors and  clients at the same time. Quickbooks is great for bookkeeping.  I love that it automatically files my quarterly taxes for me.  Google Docs for sharing work files can certainly help keep your events organized and accessible for those that step in to assist in the interim.  

Make a plan for when something life altering happens - not if it happens.  We all work so hard to establish our businesses.  If a major life event happens that changes the trajectory of the business, by implementing some of the tips I shared, such as: creating a network of fellow wedding pros to help keep your business operational; having open communication with your clients; or utilizing one of the web based tools to help streamline things; you can hopefully focus on your health and navigate the challenges of ongoing health concerns.

CWP Society Certified Educator, Lydia Leek

Brianne Ackerland Stress-Free Weddings, Inc. IA

Content provided by Brianne Ackerland, owner of Stress-Free Weddings, Inc. located in IA.

Brianne is a Certified Educator and holds the following certifications from the CWP Society. Certified Wedding Planner, Certified Wedding Design Consultant, Master Certified Wedding Planner.

Awards: 2021 Most Helpful Wedding Planner & 2024 Wedding Planner Of The Year Award.

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