How Systems Saved My Event Planning Business

how systems saved my event planning business


Rigid. Buttoned Up. Stickler for Details. Check, check and check…present and accounted for!


Event Planners can often get a bad rap when it comes to the level of organization that we employ while working with our clients and employees. “Do you really need to do all of that to run your business?” Uh, YES!! Now, if you have not ever heard any of these monikers before, you may want to take a step back and think, hmm, do I really have it all together? Are my business operations really running like a well-oiled machine? Well my friends and fellow Savvies, here are the top 3 systems that have saved my business:


Creating a heightened client experience is one of the cornerstones of my business. With clients spanning both the social and corporate spectrum, it was imperative to find management software to house all of our projects, sometimes as many as 15, in one place. It is important to compartmentalize your projects as much as possible without killing your inbox space and quite frankly, losing your mind keeping up with the number of to-dos, conversations, files, etc.


Jillian CTT

Why we rock with Basecamp: Client Happiness to Investment Value is high. There are mobile friendly apps that keep us connected across all our equipment. It’s pretty enough for our wedding clients and not-so-foo-foo for our business clients.



Being in tune to your company’s finances is key when it comes to ensuring that you are paid on time by your clients, taking the manual work of sending out invoices on the contracted dates can become very cumbersome, even with your cute calendar reminders. In walks Freshbooks into our business operations. Yes, there are a ton of invoicing systems out there and you should absolutely choose what’s right for YOUR business and Freshbooks was it for us. It offers automated invoicing, expense categories (both pre-loaded and customizable), reporting as well as integrations with other systems such as each bank account and payroll processing (see our next system below). Both my accountant and I were very happy that tax season is becoming less of a chore since we started using this software.


Why we rock with Freshbooks: Keeping your books right and tight is key to know what’s flowing INTO your business and what’s flowing OUT. Our clients like that you have the option of paying directly to PayPal vs. sending another separate invoice and they are able to also see their historical payments as well.

Gusto (Formerly known as Zenpayroll)


At some point, you will start paying not only yourself, but also contractors and employees. Another automated gem we have incorporated in our business is Gusto payroll process, formerly known as Zenpayroll. With Gusto, we’ve added our contractors and employees to a legitimate payroll system that automatically accounts for all Federal, State and Local taxes in addition to filing the necessary paperwork for quarterly tax payments and annual W2s and 1099s. If none of these sound familiar to you…run to your nearest tax accountant so that you are compliant with what makes the most sense legally for your company. The last thing you want is the Feds watching you.


Why we rock with Gusto: After going full-time with OneTouch Events, I did not find joy in trying to manually calculate my quarterly tax payments. Also, it was easier to have payments to our contractors sent direct deposit vs. having to remember to write a physical check.


I could go on for days about the other systems and apps that we’ve put in place to help streamline the OneTouch Events business operations. Notable apps such as Dropbox and Evernote have been essential for quick reference of notes from meetings as well as storage for documents and photos. Other apps for keeping tabs on business have been MileIQ for documenting travel time/miles as well as the time tracking component in Freshbooks when you are working on a pure hourly rate engagement.


In short, with these and other systems in place, we are able to focus on the client experience from Hello to Goodbye, lower the stress of contractor/employee relations, as well as provide for that much needed creative and strategic juice back into building & improving our company overall.


Get right with your systems, or get left behind!



Jillian Smith is the Owner and Principal Wedding & Event Planner of OneTouch Events LLC based in Atlanta, GA. Jillian’s “Keep It Simple Suga” method for assisting her couples with planning & design is enhanced by the implementation of key organization systems and elite partnerships with wedding professionals that make the execution of the most elaborate events look easy-peasy.

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  1. Senica Evans on 06/28/2016 at 11:25 am

    Yesssss! I love, love, love systems. But I might also be slightly OCD. Just a little. If you want your business to run like a well oiled machine while you summer vacay with the kids them you must have systems! Great post!

  2. […] that creative mind of yours feel like that of a corporate drone. You want to throw out all those set techniques and frameworks and go back to what flows, […]

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