Monday, July 30, 2012

How to Work With Leads

Let’s talk about Leads today!
There are few ways you can work with leads via Inspherio:
As a part of your Inspherio subscription you can have your own website. You can use the “Contact Me” form to collect leads from visitors that come to your website, those leads will then appear in the Incoming Leads section of your Inspherio account.
You can Embed the HTML code, to enable your existing website to accept leads and to directly import them into your Inspherio account.
You can also create a “Contact Me” link to your Inspherio account from your existing website.
If you want to transfer a number of leads from another program you can do that by uploading a .CSV file; just follow the program prompts. Voila! All your Leads are now in your Inspherioaccount with just a few clicks.

For more ways to organize your business visit our website and our blog. 
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Friday, July 27, 2012

How to Organize Your Home Office

Is your business growing? 
But is it still not big enough to rent a space in an office building? Then you are, probably, working from home. 
As a part of our “Improve yourself –Improve your Business Friday” we have researched these tips for Event Professionals that work from home.
Just like in any other office, you must plan your day. Your day must not include house tasks; working hours should be for work only.
Dress for the job, just as if you were going to work at a traditional office. Get up at a certain time, shower, and get dressed. You have to feel professional to be professional.
Create a work space that is used for work exclusively. Preferably, isolated from other areas of the house, such as a separate room or a part of the room sectioned off with a divider of some sort.  As a self-employed individual, you are entitled to a tax write-off for a home office as long as it is exclusively used for your business.  Working near a stove in the kitchen, is usually not a good idea, you will have hard time concentrating.
Know your business budget and arrange your office accordingly. To save money, it’s better to buy used furniture or re-purpose items that are already in the house. Buy supplies at warehouse stores in bulk to always have plenty at hand. Decide how much time you spend in the office. If you spend very little time in the office, pay less money for office equipment, such as desktop computer and office chair, invest, instead, into mobile assistance: cloud-based software such as Inspherio, a tablet, and car office organizer.
Not having a traditional office space does not mean that you would not have traditional business etiquette. Keep in touch with your clients just like you would in a regular office; return their calls and e-mails promptly.  To stay on top of your clientele needs and to schedule your appointments on the go more efficiently, click here.
Structure your family and personal time; get a baby sitter, house help, etc. if needed to concentrate on working during working hours. On the same note, devote ample family time during non-working hours, since working from home can sometime erase the boundaries of a work day there is a risk of working from home around the clock.
Just as we mentioned in our Efficiency blog plan ahead and set your goals, challenge yourself to achieve and surpass them.
Reward yourself for the job well done. You have to remember if you do not have a conventional boss to pat you in a back and give you a bonus at the end of the month, you have to do it for yourself. Well…, bonus, depends on your direct earnings, but reward yourself with a purchase, new fancy camera lens, for example, trip with your family or other things that inspire you to do more.
Remember to network, find vendors and clients and keep in touch. The unique "Marketplace" feature within Inspherio can make this process very easy for you.
To network, get tasks done, and stay on top of your business with ease, get Inspherio now! See what great features we have to offer, click here.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Green Trends in the Event Industry | Catering

Today we will continue our conversation about Green Trends in the Event Industry.

This time let’s talk about Catering.

First of all, Catering is about serving food and/or beverages, so it’s important that serving surfaces are made of environmentally friendly materials. Buy or build your tables, bar stations, chairs, etc. from Earth friendly material, such as reclaimed wood, bamboo, and recycled plastic. Also, tables that can be used without linen are great to reduce costs.
Use vegetable based ink to print menus, seat placements, signs and invitations.
Low wattage light fixtures will not only save you money by using less electricity, but also by emitting less heat, this will lower air conditioning costs.
For your menu, you could use natural, locally grown, preferably organic foods. Sometimes national producers of organic foods may raise prices, because the cost of organic food is much higher. So, instead of using well-known brands, visit your local farmers market, speak to vendors there, and check if they can cut you a deal with a long term contact. You may also check if a farmer would grow organic produce for you, in exchange for a promise/contact. Some catering businesses start to grow produce themselves, “in house” as we call it. This may be a great selling point for your business; if you would know exactly where the food comes from and how it was grown.
While serving, opt for glass bottles instead of plastic, they can be easily recycled. The same goes for dishes, stemware and silverware, use the ones that can be washed and used for the next function. Using, paper and plastic serving tools add to waste and increase cleanup effort.
Use pitchers instead of single serve bottles, rarely a customer would finish the entire bottle of water or soda during a meal. By offering a pitcher, you will reduce waste and save the cost of bottles that were thrown out half full. Also, ask guests whether they want water, instead of automatically bringing the water to them, by doing so, you will save gallons of water, plus you will have fewer glasses to wash at the end.
Try to use Energy Star Certified appliances in your business; they reduce energy cost and usually are more efficient.
If your catering business has a delivery car, opt for a vehicle that is fuel efficient and is the right size for the job.
We would like to mention that being Green is extremely popular today, if you adhere to environmentally friendly standards, you can use them to promote your business. Rest assured some clients will choose you over another caterer just because you use Earth friendly techniques.
Inspherio can also help your Catering business to be more environmentally friendly. Inspherio can optimize your schedule; send contracts to your clients, so you will have fewer trips to take every day. Our unique KYE form with customizable questions for your clients can build exclusive menu for your client, you would know exactly how many people to prepare for, what foods to stay away from and what foods/ beverages guests liked the most at the previous event. You can easily prepare for your event and wow your client, all without leaving your office. So, what are you waiting for? Check out what Inspherio can do for YOU now by clicking here!

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Monday, July 23, 2012

How to Create Great Invoices

Picture yourself after you have completed a big wedding, Birthday Party, Bar Mitzvah, etc. You have worked hard at the Event, the customer is satisfied and you go home to get some rest.
But, you’ve forgot one thing…
The invoice!

It is very important that the invoice is submitted to the customer in a timely manner. First of all, because you want to get paid sooner, second, it’s a vital part of Customer Service routine.
A rule of thumb for invoicing is that it should be in the customer’s inbox 72 hours after the event. However, depending on your business size and the arrangement with your customer it may happen sooner. We don’t recommend waiting longer than that, unless there are circumstances that are known and agreed upon by both parties.
To prepare a good invoice it is advised to use a professional program. That makes it more automated and looks more legitimate; see this video to learn how to create a quick and accurate invoice with Inspherio.

Your invoice has to have a unique Identifier: number or name, or both. That way, you can easily find a record of it anytime.
Look through all your expenses, add them up. Was there any extra money spent, overtime? Did you have any last minute additions and/or cancellations?
Check with all your vendors that have billed you for the event, then double check that those charges are correct.
Make sure that the Invoice is easy to read and to understand for your customer.
Is the information on your Invoice clear (amount, due date, acceptable methods of payment)? With Inspherio, your customer can pay you directly from the Invoice page by using PayPal, Google CheckOut or
Double check mailing address/e-mail address before sending it over (you don’t have to worry about this step with Inspherio, the program will use the information from your Address Book.
We hope that this tip will help you along the way to grow your Event business. For more tips and trends in the Event Industry visit our website and our blog.
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Friday, July 20, 2012

How to Become More Efficient in Your Business

Although Productivity and Efficiency are often used synonymously, they are not entirely same. Productivity is more about getting things done, efficiency is about the Way those things get done.  

If you are reading this blog, you probably have a business and that business is successful or at least becoming successful. So that means that you must be getting things done. Well, the tips below will help you make it more Efficient.
Always plan ahead. It’s best to pick the end of your workweek for this stage. (We don’t want to call it Friday, because we know that most people in the Event Industry are working over the weekend).  Sit down by yourself or with your team and go over your goals for the week, month or a year. Write them down and add them to the calendar. With SpanPlan, your team can share the same calendar to stay in-sync with your current agenda.
Adhere to your deadlines. Since you have written them in the calendar and everyone is aware that they exist, now is the time to plan according to the deadlines.  Make sure that you have all the staff and tools ready at the planning stage of the project.  That way there is less chance that you will be caught off guard in the middle of the project. (Think about it as if you are baking a cake and realize that you are out of sugar when all other ingredients are already in the bowl. Of course, you can run to the store, but will the cake be ready for the client to pick up on time? You are lucky if it will be. So, why stress out? Plan ahead!)
Respect other vendors’ deadlines and demand the same from them. If you are an Interior Designer and the Event Planner wanted you to have the space set up 3 hours before the event, have the room ready 3 hours before the event, not 2 or 2 and a half. The same for your table linen and chair covers rental company, they must deliver 2 hours before you start setting up tables.
Get organized (see our post about Organizing your business), remember: clutter on your desk leads to clutter in your head. So, do it now!
Keep personal stuff out of business hours. As we always say, it takes a long time to gain the concentration once you have been interrupted. It is especially challenging if you run your business from home. For this topic we will dedicate an entire blog post, so stay tuned.
We decided that every Friday we will be sharing tips that will help you grow personally and as a business. So, come back and check our blog every Friday.  Also, read our other new blog themes, every Monday and Wednesday.
At SpanPlan we always strive to streamline your work to free up your time for the things you enjoy doing. Now, see what efficiency solutions Inspherio can offer for You!

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

10 Useful Customer Service Tips You Need to Stay Above the Competition

If you are in the Event Industry, obviously, the Customer Service is a big part of your Business.Your Customer Service can be what sets you apart from your competition and keeps business flowing toward you. So, you want to make sure that the Customer Service You deliver is exemplary.
Picture Courtesy of
So, what happened if you showed up on time, did your job, billed your client, but the client is not happy? What do you do?
  • First thing: React Fast. With means of Social Media the customer feedback may go viral, before you even know it.
  • Then: Listen. Make notes. Let your customer explain exactly why they do not feel satisfied. Make notes, to ensure that all points are addressed.
  • Be Empathetic!You may think that the service you performed was great, however something fell through the cracks and your job NOW is to FIX IT. When listening to customer concern, think of how you may have felt in similar situation. Put yourself in their shoes!
  • Offer an apology! It is incredible how often the apology is forgotten. Your customer may not expect it. However, by offering it you will add a start point toward the recovery process.
  • Own up to the issue and offer the solution. Do not stop at the apology, offering solution is ultimately what you need to strive toward; solution is why your customer contacted you in the first place.
  • Make sure that solution satisfied your customer. Discuss it with the client. Is it what they were looking for? Are there any other concerns that they might have forgotten?
  • Follow up to ensure that action has been taken to recover the damage.
  • Contact the customer via preferred way of communication to let them know of the outcome. (In previous blogs we have discussed the importance of knowing how your client likes to be contacted. There is nothing more annoying than calling the client, when they asked to be e-mailed, and interrupt them in the middle of an important meeting, or worse: honeymoon.)
  • Take a note of the issue and establish procedure that prevents similar situation from happening in the future.
We hope that these tips help you establish great customer relationships. If you need more tips tailored for Event Industry professionals, visit our blogs. To make your business processes simplified, visit Inspherio and check out all the solutions we offer now!

Leave us a note! What do you do to make your Customers Happy? We are looking forward to hear from you.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Green Trends in the Event Industry | Part 1

Everyone talks about being “Green” and "environmentally friendly" nowadays.  You may be wondering how your business could also be more sustainable by adopting some Green Business Strategies like these:

First, reduce your carbon footprint.
How? Try to use less paper in your office, add a note to your e-mail signature that invites the reader to consider twice before printing your e-mail.  Be sure to follow what you preach, do not print web documents unless absolutely needed. Even most legal matters, like contracts, for instance, no longer require faxing or mailing the paper version; with Inspherio you can send an electronic version of your contract and your client can e-sign it online from anywhere. The best part is that Inspherio keeps all the records for you. So you don’t have to keep bulky shelves made out of wood or other labor-consuming material.

Use modern means of communication to reduce commute. Skype is a great option if you need to speak to your client and, maybe even show samples of your work. A quick meeting that lasts 20-30 minutes is usually not worth sitting in traffic for 30-40 minutes. Think of the gas and parking expenses you would save if you could eliminate most of your in-person meetings. If you are a Wedding Planner, you can make a video of the room setup to keep your bride’s mind at ease, and e-mail it to her to confirm the details. See? She did not have to drive across town! What a great service you have provided!

Stay tuned for more Trends every Wednesday.
For more ways to be "green" in your business visit our website and blog, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook!
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Monday, July 16, 2012

8 Features You Could Use Now to Run Your Business

Wouldn't you like to have all your business information in one place?

The answer is obviously: Yes! The perfect solution is 
So, what is Inspherio ?

Inspherio is an all-in-one Cloud based Business Management solution for the Event Industry professionals.

 With Inspherio you can:
  • Manage your leads and all your communications with clients
  • Instantly send pricing and packages with just a few clicks
  • Collect information from your clients in real time with our exclusive KYE form.  You can customize the KYE questions as you want and also apply end dates for each of them.
  • Generate contracts automatically with information from KYE form
  • Put together payment plans for your clients and set dates automatically
  • Send the contract directly and your client can view and e-sign the contract. You also have the option to print and fax the contract if needed.
  • Manage all your finances from one place
  • Stay on top of networking by using the exclusive Market Place to promote your business to other vendors
Here is the best part, with Inspherio you can custom create a website and it is included with your subscription!
You can program your current 'contact' form on your website to import incoming leads directly into the leads in your Inspherio account.
At the end of the year, or at any other time, see where your business is and how it is doing by taking advantage of our extensive reporting section.  Now being ready for tax season is a breeze!
For a quick tour of these features, check out our video above.

We have only included a few of the features Inspherio is capable of, it is a very extensive program, so click on the ‘Try’ button now to get started & learn more!   There is no credit card required to try it out!

Check out our Popular posts: 

How to Organize your Business

8 Things you are not doing if you cannot get your Work done

7 Better Business Tools

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Thursday, July 12, 2012

How to Turn Any Feedback Into a Positive One!

Customer Service is one the most important tasks in your business regardless of whether you are a B2C (your direct customer is a final consumer: Wedding Planner, Photographer) or B2B (your direct customer is a business: Party rentals, Florist) type of business.

Click Here to read our recent blog about handling customer complaints to learn some very important information about Customer Service.

Photos is a courtesy of Pixels On Paper.

Today, we would like to talk about the times when the customer feedback goes public and the word spreads around. What to do and how to do it.

  • As we mentioned earlier:  act fast. The faster you address the complaint the better.
  • Contact the customer directly (if possible) asking for all the details of their complaint
  • Start working on rectifying the issue, try to make it as fast as possible.
  •  It is extremely important that the customer is satisfied with the recovery process.
  • Go the extra mile, WOW your customer by anticipating the next step of the process or go beyond the usual line of service. For example, if you are a photographer and the bride is not satisfied with the picture quality. The usual step would be to make steps to improve the quality, if any way possible, and the extra step would be to mail picture copies to the relatives and friends of her choice at no cost.
  • Depending on how the word got out, try to make an announcement via the same channel... i.e.: Facebook, Twitter, Yelp.  If possible, ask your customer to pass the word along that the issue has been rectified and to recommend your service in the future.

  Visit Inspherio for more ways to improve Your Business!


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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Happy Independence day!

The Inspherio Team would like to wish you a fun and a safe holiday!
Enjoy the warm weather outside, but stay hydrated!
We will not be offering live support on July 4th. We will return (well rested) at 9am on July 5th.
Thank you for visiting our website!

One of a kind cloud based software solution for Event Industry Professionals.
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