It may have been a while in the planning, you’ve probably put your heart and soul into it and now the time has come – you are are the proud owner of you own wedding/craft business. So are you shouting it from the rooftops, or do you skirt around the subject when someone asks what you do for a living?
I’ve seen it all too often; rather than announcing, “I design and create bespoke wedding cakes” you probably mumble something about “making cakes in you spare time”. There’s a definite feeling among the wedding and handmade industry that what you do is not really a job, but nothing could be further from the truth. I know, I’ve been there – and I worked my butt off!
Starting any new venture can be daunting and, without a doubt, your confidence will grow. However, if you spend your time and energy worrying about not being ‘good enough’ you may risk putting off prospective customers. Your customers need to feel happy to place their trust in you, which is difficult if you come across as self-doubting.
So how do you boost your confidence in your wedding business and face your customers? Here are my top tips:
- Take Baby Steps – do something every day that makes you uncomfortable, something you would normally avoid. Push yourself to do it, but start small – you don’t want to fall at the first hurdle. For example; a lot of people wobble about talking to customers on the telephone, so call someone every day: directory enquiries, cinema box offices, the bank, etc.
- Practice – when you’ve decided what you’re going to do run through it in your mind. Visualise each step, push away any negative thoughts and imagine how good you will feel when you’ve achieved your goal.
- Don’t Hesitate Or Procrastinate – when you’ve made up your mind to do something do it! Half the fear you will be feeling is the fear of actually carrying out your task. Start the task quickly and you’ll reduce your stress levels.
- Go Ahead And Pump It Up – as soon as you’ve mastered one task move on to more challenging ones.
- Rinse And Repeat – keep going, keep challenging yourself and before you know it talking to customers with confidence will become second nature.
- Give Out The Right Signals – Body language plays a huge part in others’ perception of us, so work on it. Don’t avoid eye contact, it will make you seem untrustworthy or disinterested. On the other hand don’t constantly stare into the other person’s eyes – a pretty good rule of thumb is to look the person straight in the eye for around 65% of the conversation. Nod during a conversation, it will show that you are listening and interested. Smile, I’m not saying to go around like the Cheshire Cat, but a person wearing a smile is more approachable than a person wearing a scowl.
- Script It – before meeting with a potential customer know what you want to say. Try to anticipate any questions they may have and have the answers to hand. And practice, practice until your ‘script’ sounds natural.
- Positivity Is The Key – anything in life is easier if you have a strong support network, and owning your own business is no exception. Try to surround yourself with positive people, check on Twitter for others in the wedding/handmade industry – #weddinghour is brilliant for networking with other wedding peeps.
- Be Your Own Biggest Fan – take the time to appreciate how far you’ve come and how much you’ve achieved. Even if you’re just starting out, you’ve still taken the embers of an idea and turned it into a real, live business. How awesome is that?!
- Accept The Inevitable – despite your best efforts, not every potential customer is going to hire you. Such, my friend, is life – don’t dwell on it, accept it and move on.
Growing any business is a challenge, but hopefully these tips will help to make the process a little easier by sweeping away some of your confidence barriers.
Here’s to your success.