How to Protect and Empower My Event Business during Uncertainty with Goodshuffle Pro
COVID-19 has rocked the event industry in countless ways. While we aren’t able to bring back live events the way they were immediately, we are able to give you the tools and flexibility to do what’s best for your business right now. We’ve listed out the top 7 ways to protect and empower your event business with Goodshuffle Pro.
1. Get All Contracts and Changes Signed by the Client
While you have the ability to manually mark a contract as signed, we highly encourage you to always have this done by the client. Once a client signs their contract, the project will automatically update with this change. Any changes you make to a contract update in real time, meaning that any digital copy the client has will update. No more creating new PDFs each time there’s a change!
On top of this, the action is tracked in the activity log, and a copy is saved in the files tab of the project. This is important, especially when money is involved, so you are protected from any legal issues or disputes. Any time a contract is changed, you should hit “send to client” again so that they can sign off on these changes.
There have been many success stories with this feature, but one in particular stands out. One of our users was working a large gala, and the client had originally wanted 500 chairs. However, it looked like there were going to be far fewer guests, so the client changed the number of chairs to 300. Our user made those changes for her in Goodshuffle Pro and then sent her the updated contract so she could re-sign. She did, it was recorded in the activity log, and everything was good to go.
Come event day, our user is unloading the chairs, and the client comes over and worriedly asks where all 500 are. Our user was able to pull up the log on his phone for her so she could see that she had, in fact, re-signed. The client thanked him for the attention to detail and decided she did indeed want all 500. So, our user was able to charge for both the extra 200 chairs, as well as the unforeseen time and labor for his team. The event ended up going smoothly, the client got what she wanted, and our user was able to manage his team and receive his rightfully-deserved extra money. You can empower your event business in the same way!
2. Monitor and Track All Client Communication
Clients are frazzled right now. Some are having their most exciting day cancelled. Ensure you’re tracking all your conversations so you don’t add stress (to them or you!) by forgetting where you landed in your last meeting. You can send and receive any client communication directly from within Goodshuffle Pro. All messages show up in your inbox as well as your client’s, and will also appear within the chat feature in Goodshuffle Pro. This is perfect for keeping track of all communication, especially if you have a team working for you, too.
While all email communication is automatically saved in chat, you can also easily drag and drop screenshots of text message communication into the chat if your clients prefer to communicate that way. We always recommend keeping track of all communication so you and your business are both protected.
3. Incentivize Clients to Pay Early
COVID-19 has obviously impacted businesses’ bottom line, but getting upfront deposits for future events helps keep cash flowing. One of our users’ favorite benefits is the ability to incentivize clients to pay early. To identify who still needs to sign, simply sort by “Quote Sent” at the top of the Projects List so you can see which clients have yet to sign a contract. Then, decide who you’d like to reach out to encourage them to get their deposits in early.
For example, you can create a custom discount called “early payment” and add it to contracts for clients who agree to pay early. This discount can refer to either the entire payment, or simply the deposit. You can also easily toggle to a different payment policy, so if you only give this discount for a full payment upfront, you can then switch to 100% due now.
4. Reschedule a Postponed Event
On top of unsigned changes, many clients are canceling and postponing events. It’s important to be able to report on any lost revenue due to COVID-19 cancellations, which you can track within Goodshuffle Pro. First, mark any cancelled projects as lost. If some are going to be rescheduled, you’ll want to then duplicate these cancelled projects. This is important because you can report on the lost revenue when applying for loans and government assistance, while still having any rescheduled events on your radar.
If an event is going to be rescheduled, follow these steps to put some of the client’s payment towards the future event:
- Mark the project as lost.
- Write in either internal or external notes that this cancellation occurred due to COVID-19.
- Authorize an offline refund that you will then apply to their future project (ex: $600 to the future project). Record this as “Other” credit and write a description that this is a refund for a future event.
- Duplicate the project and set the new version for the future date (be sure to mark that this is rescheduled in the project name). If you don’t know the future date but the client has a rough idea, you can set the date range that they’ve chosen in the project. This is so the inventory in the project is set to be pending for those dates. If they have no idea, then simply pick a date in the future so that you can see it on your horizon.
- Go into “Billing” on the new project and choose to record a payment with a payment method of “Other.” Add the previous offline refund (ex: $600) and record a note that explains that it’s a credit from a rescheduled event due to COVID-19.
5. Update Your Terms and Conditions
Review and update your cancellation policies, as well as your terms and conditions, to protect yourself and empower your event business during this time. In your account settings, you can have multiple versions of your terms and conditions. You may decide to set a COVID-19 terms and conditions policy to add to any current projects. You’ll also want to consider adding a force majeure clause. Don’t forget to set a reminder to audit these policies in the future so they’re always up to date.
You can choose policies to be refundable or non-refundable, and also select the time window in which cancellations are acceptable. Explore the different options so your business is protected to the fullest extent.
6. Ask Top Clients for Support
So many people want to support their local businesses and favorite partners right now. Make this easy for them with the data Goodshuffle Pro provides. On your dashboard, you have access to the leaderboard, which is full of insightful data. You can see which inventory, clients, venues, and events bring in the most revenue for your business. Empower your event business with these insights, which are important for when you make requests to your customers.
With this leaderboard, you as a vendor are able to go to your top clients and say, “Thank you so much for your business in the past— we did 13 spectacular events together last year! Any chance we can start booking next year for more fun? I’m counting on you to help me through these times. What can we work out so that you can help me through the next couple of months?” Your top clients want to help, and we provide the data so that you can make these important requests.
7. Protect Your Event Inventory
Be transparent on contracts with the costs of inventory items so clients know how much they need to pay if inventory is damaged or broken. You can create a custom attribute called “Replacement Cost” and assign values to this property for each piece of inventory in your collection. With this attribute on the contract, you have an extra layer of protection because you’re being transparent about the costs associated with your pieces.
Going Forward in the Event Industry amidst COVID-19
While COVID-19 has heavily impacted the event industry, #eventprofs are some of the strongest and most resilient individuals out there. Events will ultimately come back— when they do, you want to be ready to hit the ground running. Empower your event business today with the right software for you.