A deep dive into how having the proper bridal business paperwork can save you time, money and most importantly heart ache.
Lets face it we all hate doing paperwork but we still know that feeling when your files are all organised. Things are exactly where you need them to be and you can find everything without fuss. You have no idea how much anxiety it causes me if my files aren’t organised. Not only that but if a problem occurs and part of our bridal paperwork protocol hasn’t been followed that is when things can cause serious problems. This is true for any business and why we put so much focus on training our staff on how to follow our specific paperwork protocols. If they miss a step it can literally cost us thousands!
Contract of Sale
“A good rule of thumb is that you should use some kind of sales contract for anything that costs more money than you would be comfortable losing.” (Sales Contracts, My Lawyer.co.uk) Because of the luxury nature of bridal and of course the price points, it seems obvious that a contract of sale is vital for transactions within your business. Agreed? Yes fine, now here is the million pound question: What on earth do I include in this contract?
The easy answer to this is: Everything!
To put it plainly your contract or T&C’s of sale should cover all possible problems that could arise. Yes, I know that is a lot and there is always the worry that you will have missed something out. So as always BB have created an easy way for you to create your own T&C’s document based on our 20 years experience in the bridal industry. These are included in our paperwork package. More info about which can be found on the courses page.
The T&C’s document is the most important in your paperwork arsenal. Having as much detail as possible and making sure that ALL your brides sign a copy is what I call a security blanket for you and your business.
Make it Josh proof!
This is a phrase I use all the time and it aptly describes making things as easy to use as possible. I spent a good day and a half grilling our CEO about our contract of sales. I wanted to know why we require so many signatures (I think in total it is 8). He explained that credit card consumer law favours the customer. Essentially you as the supplier are in the wrong until proven otherwise. The burden of proof is on you and not the customer. So if they come back at you after a sale and at any point say: “I didn’t know that.” or “I wasn’t aware of…” you need to have proof that they did know. Lets give some examples where this can occur in a bridal sale and how to combat this.
We all know when ordering a dress for a bride measurements have to be accurate. We have some instructional videos on taking measurements that can be really helpful. It is quite often the case that some brides will assume that because you have taken measurements that the dress when it arrives will be custom fit to them. Then when it doesn’t and you start mentioning alterations it can be quite an awkward conversation. Then there are those times when brides have put on weight and the dress you ordered doesn’t fit. You need to have a way of not embarrassing your bride but kindly pointing out that unfortunately her measurements have changed.
We are living in an era of ASOS and online returns. Most customers just assume that they can return products for a full refund. If that is not the case in your business it needs to be spelled out as clearly as possible in your bridal paperwork,
We have had brides coming back to us after the wedding, complaining that something is wrong with the dress. Like we sold it to them with a red wine stain on. Or that the large hole in the train must have been there before it left our store. Having a collection form will stop these complaints in their tracks.
I know it can be a pain and at times very tedious, but having a good set of paperwork protocols that you follow for every sale will seriously save you so much aggravation in the future. It is truly worth the effort and eventually becomes second nature.
If you want any help at all with your paperwork please let me know. I am more than happy to talk you through how to create your own system that works for you.
Thankyou for reading and keep giggling.