We’ve all heard the expression “confidence is key,” but in reality, confidence is a very tricky thing to master. One week you feel super confident in your business; everything is going perfectly, you’re selling out and hitting deadlines. The next week, everything changes — your confidence tanks and you’re thinking it’s time to quit.
The answer is, of course, don’t quit! As Brette Hawks of The Out of Home Baker points out, when your confidence is at a zero, it’s a sign to slow down, live in the moment, and think carefully about what to do next. These are pivotal moments that can teach you about yourself and redirect your business.
In order for your business to thrive you need these hard moments to push you into the next stages of business. These zero-confidence moments help you grow. It’s important to lean on your network during these times, draw from their confidence and use their stories to re-inspire your own.
So… what do you need to achieve your refreshed goals? Is it time, money, resources?
According to Brette, what you really need is energy.
Refocus your energy to make selling fun
During her session at the Food Entrepreneur Growth Summit, Brette comments on a Harvard Business School study that found that energy is the most important aspect to help you achieve your dreams. (Scroll to watch her full session from the Summit!)
Step number one to business success is creating and harnessing your energy for good, Brette says. Energy gives you the confidence to make connections, take risks and pour yourself appropriately into your business. How do you find this energy? It all starts with your mindset. The mind is a very powerful thing, but we have the ability to control it. Brette recommends that food business owners start by thinking positively and focusing on your strengths and abilities — you are more talented than you perceive!
Next, it’s time to find ways to use your energy. Discover a need your customers have, and pour your energy into fixing that need. According to Brette, this is when selling becomes fun: When you stop making it about yourself and your profits and start thinking about the needs you're serving.
Solving your customers’ problems brings joy into their lives and brightens their day — even if in the hubbub of cooking, packaging, marketing, fulfilling, and running a business it doesn’t feel like you’re delivering joy.
Selling feels bad when your mindset is off — it will never be fun when you feel like you’re taking advantage of your customers. Remember that you’re the expert and you know exactly how to fulfill your customer’s request, even if that means charging more. Brette reminds us that getting paid enough is what allows you to show up 100% and serve your customers to the very best of your ability. You are here to serve and there are people willing to pay for your talent, but it's up to you to use your energy to fulfill those needs.
So where do you find these customers that need their needs fulfilled?
Find your audience in-person
Brette suggests one of the best places to find a customer base is at farmers markets — when you do your research!
Not every farmers market is going to be right for you. Before booking your booth, research the farmers market’s customers and make sure they overlap with your target market. For example, if you sell high end wedding cakes, you probably don’t want to be at a farmers market on a college campus (unless you know that students at that college are getting married often!).
Brette says that the most important thing to do when selling at a farmers markets is to think about it as a marketing opportunity. You’re not there to sell your product (although that’s an added bonus), you’re there to get your name recognized and build brand recognition. You never know when a casual conversation with a passerby could turn into a several hundred or thousand dollar order, so don’t be scared to promote your business! Take pride in your work — we know how hard you’ve worked to build your brand, you deserve to show it off.
Build a recognizable, customer-centric brand
According to Brette, your brand should center around your customers. Humans are experts at tuning out information that does not apply to them. If your brand does not target your customer’s needs, your target market may not notice you — they’ll just keep on walking, or scrolling.
You might think that your brand should revolve around your story and yourself, but Brette cautions against that. Although you are an extremely important part of your business, customers are more receptive to products that target them and their needs.
The key here is to position your brand with your customers in mind. Put yourself in their shoes and think about what they would want to see in a company.
Watch Brette’s session video to learn more about how can harness your energy to make more sales and grow your business: