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How 17Hats Is Game Changing: A Solopreneur’s Secret Weapon

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In the beginning – my solopreneur journey

It was 2021.  I’d just left my big corporate job determined to shrug the constraints of “working for the man” and embrace my side hustle as an artist.  I knew all about being an entrepreneur, it was in my blood.  It drove me every day, only to be deflated by endless  red tape. Now I could realise my dreams and live an amazing life.”

But no-one told me how hard it would be.  Ok, maybe they told me, but I discounted it because in my mind I was superwoman – I could do it all.  I had all the requisite skill sets.  What I didn’t realise though was that there aren’t enough hours in the day, even if you don’t sleep, to wear every hat you need in a solo business.  I spent more time on admin, emails, the sales journey, email marketing and developing shareable content, than I did painting. Disillusioned by not having enough time to successfully break into the market, I took stock of what I wanted, and changed careers.

I decided to become a celebrant – after all there’s a new crop of recently engaged couples every year, at least there would be a warm, ready made market, right?  But this time I decided to do things differently.  As I completed the lengthy study required to be a celebrant in Australia, I doubled down and set up my business plan, business systems and website at the same time. I started from scratch but I knew I wanted, no needed, to automate as much of the requisite admin as possible.  I needed a really good CRM.

17Hats as a title spoke to me instantly.   I needed a way to pull together all those different roles that you need.  Next surprise – it’s set up primarily for solopreneurs. Yes!  I was so tired of paying for things that a solo operator didn’t need, and that didn’t have the essentials that every small business did need.  I heard some other celebrants talking about it positively so I was encouraged.  A deeper dive and webinar later and I was sold. 

17Hats was more than just a CRM, it was a lifesaver

17Hats was more than just a CRM, it was a total business management system.  And it addressed my biggest fears:


Q: How much sleep would I lose worrying about what I hadn’t done, or hadn’t remembered to do, as my client numbers grew?  After all a celebrant can hardly run a business if she makes an important mistake for the biggest day of her clients lives.

A: Trustworthy, dependable, automated workflows ticked all the boxes and meant I could sleep easy every night.

Q: How could I unleash my creativity and deliver an outstanding event, let alone build my business if I spent all day emailing, quoting, onboarding and following up every client?

A:  Integration of all the systems of my business, seamlessly progressing all the business steps, most of the time without me!  Online scheduled meetings, resulted in quotes, contract and invoices autogenerated; paid bookings auto changed in my calendar to firm dates; auto reminders  went out as needed, I could go on and on.  Endless possibilities

Q:How could I ensure that every client felt like the superstars of my universe when realistically I  had 30 other weddings ahead of theirs?  I didn’t want them to ever feel like I was too busy for them.

A:  In 17Hats the automation and  integration is centred around every single client and personalised based on the growing information that 17Hats gathers together.  And when I say automation – it could also be semi automated, allowing me to review and customise everything that was automatically created based on triggers, before it went out.  Like having a PA drop the documents on my desk for a quick proof and signing.

Q: How will I respond to enquiries within 5 minutes  — the recommended time frame to secure millennial bookings?  (FYI Millennials are impatient, will message any time of day/night and 50% will book the first vendor who gets back to them!). 

A: 17Hats, my lifesaver, has a fully functioning phone app, which notifies me as soon as an enquiry comes in, and I can send off my response (even customise it) within minutes, regardless of where I am. 

My business ran, not walked out the gate thanks to 17Hats

“On 5pm, 29th July, 2022, when my marriage celebrant registration came through, I flicked the switch on my website, my listing site, announced to the world that I was open for business and sat back with my 17Hats systems ready to go.

That night I received my first enquiry.  My response took a matter of minutes as 17Hats notified me that it was waiting for me, I opened the app and sent the prepared email.

I waited anxiously  to see what would happen”

So many well meaning people had explained to me that my business would take a while to get off the ground – as I’d have to wait for a friend or family member to get married so I could get started.

What they didn’t realise though was that thanks to all my business systems being streamlined, effective and efficient, I had time to list my services in different areas, promote myself heavily on social media and other proactive strategies.  It also meant that when I did meet with couples, the level of professionalism of my systems created an enormous sense of trust with prospective clients – which is so important in any industry.

Within 2 weeks I had booked my first wedding.  Clients continued to enquire, follow my prompts and schedule meetings online that automatically appeared in my calendar and sent out the zoom links if required.  All I had to do was turn up!  And afterwards – within half and hour of meeting – off went the quote, contract and invoice, and then all it took was a few clicks for clients to agree to and pay online.  The systems were sooo easy for customers that they usually booked within a day.

In my first year, I booked over 40 weddings. I was ecstatic, and still am to this day.  Every morning now begins with my “17Hats Power Hour”.  Coffee at a cafe and a quick work through of all the tasks for the day as they appear on my dashboard – one of the greatest 17Hats features!  Individual pages for every client, but one single dashboard that summarises everything that is needed on any particular day.  And due to the level of automation – I can usually cover it all in an hour.

Without a doubt my success relates to the solid backing of 17Hats for driving all of my business requirements, and allowing me to interact with clients in ways that they love.  They don’t want time delayed responses, emails going back and forth to book appointments, vague systems and difficult processes. Instead they receive clear prompt communication,  24/7 access, a client portal with all their details, easy invoicing and payment systems, and most importantly, a celebrant who has time to deliver them a world class service.

Does your solo business experience sound similar?  Are you tired of the incessant admin that distracts you from what’s important?  Are you always “busy” but not necessarily productive in the areas that count? 
If so, just sit back for a minute and imagine what you could achieve if all your admin was streamlined, automated and wrapped, in a neat little box on your desktop – called 17Hats.

Editors Note: If you’d like more information about 17Hats, drop me a line here – I love helping others to streamline their business. In fact, I love this system so much I became an Ambassador and can also provide you with support services. Lastly – you can use the referral code: lisacockington for 50% discount! Just head here. PS – a tip for you – you can only use the referral code once, so best not to use it for a trial – and if you think you are going to go ahead – sign up for the full year to get maximum discount (its quite significant on an annual plan). And another bonus –contact me about a hack to keep getting discount every year!

This article was originally posted on 17Hats.com on October 23, 2023. You will find it here

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Hi, I’m 

Celebrant, MC, Author and architect of unforgettable weddings

Love Celebrations by Lisa
A Wedding Like No Other
205/19 Holdfast Promenade
GLENELG SA 5045