What are the benefits and drawbacks of all-in-one apps?
We all know the pain of having twelve tabs open on your internet browser and desperately searching for the one that has the email address you're looking for.
Once you've finally got that, you have to find your email tab and paste the address in. Oh, but there was that quote from the florist you wanted to attach. And the link to the caterer's menu. Plus you have to actually type up the entire thing. All of this time searching through tabs just to send one email. There must be a better way!
Luckily, there is a solution to this messy method: all-in-one apps.
What is an all-in-one app?
There are many wedding planning apps that do one thing, and do it well. To name a few, we've used Rock Paper Coin for processing contracts and invoices, Timeline Genius for (you guessed it) timelines, AllSeated for floorplans, or Calendly for scheduling meetings.
It's not necessarily bad to use these and other single-purpose apps. But like we said before, it's easy to fall into the trap of endless tabs. If you want to keep things simple, you could try using an app that includes timelines, floor plans, and a scheduler. There are options that integrate these and more wedding planning tools to save you time.
Now, no app is perfect. If there was one single app that was the very best, our business probably wouldn't exist! So we're going to walk you through the potential positives and negatives to consolidating your wedding planning business into an all-in-one app.
We've already mentioned that you don't need to have every website and app open at once with an all-in-one app. But there are other benefits as well!
Remember when every single show you could possibly want to watch was on Netflix? Or it felt like it, at least. Switching from cable to a single $9 per month service saved money and time!
But now you need Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, Paramount+, Discovery+, Peacock, and more to have access to the same shows! It costs as much as cable (or more!) to have all of the content at your fingertips. We sure miss the days of an affordable all-in-one streaming app.
The same principle works for wedding planning apps. Subscribing to individual apps for timelines, floor plans, guest lists, proposals, and so many more that we can't possibly list them adds up over time. And unlike most streaming services, it's pretty difficult to share branded business apps with your friends. If you use an all-in-one app, you could end up saving a lot of money every month!
This pretty much goes hand in hand with our last point, but having an all-in-one app means there are fewer apps you need to log in to and fewer passwords you need to remember.
And this doesn't just go for you and your team! You should also consider your client's experience. Couples have logins for websites like The Knot, gift registries, online portals for their DJ, florist, photographer, and other vendors, and more! This sudden surge in logins can quickly become overwhelming for newly engaged couples, so the fewer places you ask them to log in, the better.
Figuring out how this app works with that one, which ones you can automate independently and which ones need outside integrations, why the menu bar is at the top in one app and on the left in another, and just how the heck some apps work can be a headache. Keep it simple by only learning one app for everything!
You don't need to be a tech expert to run your business-you just need to be an expert on the all-in-one app you choose!
One benefit of an all-in-one app is that the tedium of transferring information goes away. If you use the same app to track your projects and send your emails, you can save a lot of time not looking up and retyping client information.
You can even have some aspects take care of themselves entirely with workflows that can seamlessly turn leads into clients, which gives you more time to take care of the actual wedding part of wedding planning!
Better Technical Support
If you ask the people at Google customer support why your email isn't linking up with your Quickbooks account, there is a decent chance that they're going to throw their hands up in the air and tell you to ask Quickbooks support. But what if Quickbooks support then tells you to talk to Google?
When just one app handles everything, just one tech support team handles all of your issues. And they'll know the ins and outs of every aspect of the app, so you don't have to cross your fingers and hope that the person you're talking to will know what you need.
Where were you during the great Facebook outage of October 4th, 2021? In case you weren't online that day, let's explain. For almost the entire day, Facebook (and its subsidiaries, Instagram and WhatsApp) was offline. A first-world problem, to be sure. But for people who depend on these social media apps for their livelihood, it called attention to a serious issue.
If an all-in-one app you use went down for even a day, what would you do? Your leads and clients could be inaccessible when they want you, or it could be even worse. Losing your timelines, contacts, and layouts on the day of a wedding could prove disastrous!
And heaven forbid your all-in-one app shuts down completely or goes out of business and never comes back. If all of your business systems, processes, and communications rely on a single app, your business would likely suffer if that app were to disappear!
That is why it is good to not only back up your data to secure locations, but diversify your app portfolio. Spreading your business out across multiple apps could help avoid this potential disaster.
Difficulty Changing Later
Let's say you're using an all-in-one for your planning CRM. You use every tool it offers, and love it! But then they change one thing. Maybe the credit card processing fee increases, or the way workflows function breaks your automation. You might want to switch to a different CRM, but at what cost?
You don't want to lose the parts that you do like just to replace one part you don't. Consider how much extra work it would be to replace each part of your all-in-one if you had to.
Need to Become an Expert
Using one app for all of your needs sounds really convenient, but what if you're not a techy person? If you can't become proficient with your single app, there isn't much point to condensing your business into it.
Make sure you're confident that can get over the learning curve for your all-in-one app before you make it your whole world.
Some of our favorite conveniences of all-in-one apps are the number of features you can use without switching to something else. But when you're using a wedding planning app that includes timelines, seating charts, guest lists, and more, you might not always be getting the best experience.
Some of the apps we mentioned above, like Timeline Genius or Calendly, have more features than similar tools in all-in-one apps. A company only working on one thing has a lot of potential to do that thing really well. And at the very least, they can probably commit more time and resources to working on it than a company working on that tool plus fifty others.
What all-in-one apps should i use?
That's a great question that doesn't have one answer. What app you should look into depends on what you want it to do. Here are a few options that we like. This list is not all encompassing, but we are big fans of these ones for wedding planners.
This is the app you want if you want to automate your business. As much of the client experience you want to happen automatically can happen automatically.
After you get a lead, you can send every form, questionnaire, scheduler, and invoice you need to without pressing a single button. It doesn't offer much for wedding planners specifically, but every business needs contracts and proposals. Might as well keep it all in one place!
If the name didn't make it obvious, this all-in-one CRM is tailor-made for wedding planners. On top of managing your clients and projects, it provides wedding planning tools that will keep the entire project in one place.
Feel free to ditch your timeline, seating chart, RSVP tracker, and many more apps if you pick this one.
There are benefits and drawbacks to every app choice you make. Sometimes having multiple can make your life easier, or it could be helpful to lump every business need together in one.
Whether this guide leads you to choose an all-in-one or not, the most important piece of advice we can give is to take the time to write down and back up all of your processes, procedures, project and client data, and business details. You'll never regret putting a bit of time into it, and you'll be patting yourself on the back if you ever find yourself in a situation where you need it.
There is never a perfect app or system for every business. What you need will always be a little bit different from the next wedding planner. You should pick an app (or apps) to suit your business and technical needs.
About the Author
Madelyn came to Wedding Tech BFF because she loves helping people better their lives through technology. If there's a website, app, or platform she doesn't know already, just give her 10 minutes and she'll know how to make it work for you and your business! When she's not being a Wedding Tech BFF, she's probably begging her cat for attention or writing young-adult romance novels!
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