5 Ways To Amp Your Business With Coffee

Hi!

I hope that you all had a lovely Easter. Yesterday morning we enjoyed a beautifully relaxed morning playing with the girls, reading the leftover sections of The Sunday Times, eating toast and debating the merits of tea vs coffee.

We considered popping out for breakfast, and I mentioned that I don’t like paying for a cup of tea out- I’d rather have a great cup of coffee instead. Whereas tea- well, I feel a little bit like when you pay for a cup of tea out, unless you are in a beautiful tearoom or out for afternoon tea (in which case the experience is entirely different; one I am very happy to pay for) you are just basically buying a teabag and some hot water.

Yet we quite happily regularly hand over £3-4 for a cup of coffee- even though it is essentially the same thing- a hot liquid hit of caffeine. Have you ever thought about the fact that you pay almost double for a cup of coffee than you do for a cup of tea?

This is why we pay more for coffee than we do for tea; and why we don’t mind

When you pay for coffee, you aren’t just paying for hot liquid caffeine. You are paying for it’s perceived value. So you are paying for skilled baristas + their intensive training, high quality coffee, speciality milk, expensive machines/ processes. We sit in a ‘coffee shop’ and enjoy the cafe culture and the coffee shop comfort/front room experience.

This changes when you go out for afternoon or high tea. Then, we quite happily pay at least £15 for afternoon tea, which is essentially, the same tea bag in hot water; with some mini sandwiches and cake on the side.

This shows it isn’t necessarily about the taste of the product and whether you prefer tea or coffee that determines how much you pay for it- it’s the perceived value and experience that goes with it.

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Image credit; try as I might, I couldn’t find the original creator of this image. If it is you/ someone you know, please let me know so that I can credit them fully.

 

So as a business owner, you need to think about ways to amp your perceived value.

Here are a few quick suggestions

1. Highlight the time invested in your skills and training. Anyone can do a one-off one day ‘flower arranging course’- it takes a lot longer to train as a brilliant and highly-regarded florist.

2. What is it about your product or service that is of high value? For me as a photographer, I pay to use the best and most highly regarded photo processing lab to develop my images; I prioritise quality over speed of delivery to clients and use film; I use one of the most highly renowned album suppliers for gorgeous, luxurious albums. HIghlight your high-value points to your clients.

3. What is it about your service that is unique? Why should I buy coffee from Costa over Starbucks? My perception of Costa is that it offers a more authentic experience- the coffee is stronger, and the priority is on coffee, rather than the food. If I want more of a genuine, authentic experience, I will go to Costa. If I want a whole load of options for my coffee, want a sweeter, more sugary boost, or want more lunch options, I will go to Starbucks. Is your priority your product, or the services you offer that go along with what you are selling? Neither is right or wrong- just different. (After all, neither Costa nor Starbucks are currently failing chains). It is your difference that makes you unique.

4. How can you amp your client experience? Brainstorm a list of ways you can further offer something to enhance your client experience. There are a million and one tiny ways to enhance your client experience, from social media mentions and blog posts, to notecards and gift packs; macaroons upon meeting or remembering your clients birthday. You won’t be able to do all of them, but you will be able to choose ones that suit you and your business.

5. What rewards and incentives can you provide for your clients? I like that Starbucks have loyalty cards, and I like that every so often in my FB newsfeed an offer pops up for a half price latte. Etc. You do have to be careful with this that you don’t come across as cheap or as trying to bribe your customers- authenticity is always absolutely key. I genuinely do like a Starbucks latte, so if the opportunity comes up where I can have one and pay less, there is no reason why I wouldn’t like it- as I am happy to usually pay full price anyway.

Do not by any means start spamming your statuses with ‘great offer!’ headlines – this is a guaranteed way to turn off clients and prospective clients. A reward is a genuine reward. If I know Mother’s Day is coming up for example, I could offer discounts on my family session prints to a family that I know have bought sessions from me before and prints. I know they love the photos and are likely to buy them anyway, so giving them a Mother’s Day discount is a genuine way to say thank you- as well as gathering you extra sales.

Enjoy your coffee.


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My Easter Message – Fight The Good Fight

I have a scar on my ring finger in the shape of a Nike swoosh. In a particularly bad episode of one of our childhood arguments, my little brother had smashed a glass panel in one of our internal doors in a rage and I had cut myself on the glass.

As a child, I remember almost continually fighting with my little brother. We were a hugely argumentative pair, both competitive and driven in nature. I guess we were always competing to make our voices heard.

Little has changed since going into adulthood! We still argue, wanting to show the other it is OUR opinion that matters most, and wanting to get the last word in. We are both passionate people and very definitely have latino blood in there somewhere along the line! We also both have a gigantic amount of love, loyalty, and respect for one another too, yet we seem unable to communicate that; instead we get too often get caught up in the nitty-gritty of who is right and wrong.

My little brother about to walk me down the aisle…

Yet as an adult I can see how this relationship as truly enabled me to become the person that I am today. Over the past few years in particular I have found myself more and more likely to stand back from an antagoniser, or someone who wants to argue. I love peace, solitude, and reflection. My friendships have become more tightly woven, imbued with loyalty and love. Because I have found through my relationships with my brother, and others, that there are some things in life worth fighting for, and some that are definitely not. The struggle begins when you forget how to tell the difference.

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Running your own business, you will continually have to decide which battles to fight and which to turn away from. As it is Easter, the story of the Resurrection is playing through my mind right now. Having heard the story of the resurrection so many times, I was always in awe of Jesus’ determination to fight up until his very last breath. He stuck to his destiny, to his life’s work; and the most important thing’ he stayed true to himself, to everything he stood for, desired, and was.

And this is the hardest part and the biggest part of what I wanted to tell you today. Being good at business is about being good at fighting.

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Are you just starting out in business? The people you feel you are closest to may doubt you and your abilities. They may argue against your self-belief, they may doubt you can truly make it. (When I told my Mum I was going to set up my own business, her reply was ‘but darling, what will you do for a job?’) Their arguments are grounded in love, and occasionally fear, but even if you know the reasons behind it, hearing it doesn’t get any easier.

If you are already in business, you might feel battle from various individuals- perhaps still family who might not believe that your business can fully support you/ your family, the competition, even colleagues perhaps.

People might not ever understand your path or calling, no matter what it is. Most of my family, bless them, don’t even really understand what a blog is, let alone how a living can be made from it!

And often, attack doesn’t just come from people, but from within too; as a business owner you will be continually called to put on your armour and wrestle against your own fears, insecurities, lack of knowledge, shaky trading periods; you may be called to defend your creativity, ways of working, methods, beliefs, originality, and approach. You will have to guard against procrastination, apathy, laziness. Above all there will be many times when you need to fight to keep your passion alive.

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But the thing is, when you love what you do from your very core, so much so it that it is an intrinsic part of you and you cannot imagine life without it; it is all worth it. It is worth defending, guarding, protecting. Because it is who you are and it is your belief. Fighting for fighting’s sake is never worth it; fighting to stay true to yourself always is.

Channel your fight in the right direction. Ignore the petty arguments proposed by others; those about trends, competition, whether you are/ aren’t good enough. Let it sail right over your head. Instead work on battling against those daily business demons that threaten our businesses; the procrastination, laziness and apathy that creep in when we are busy doing battle with trivialities.

Love yourself, honour your calling, & seek peace.

Happy Easter

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All images from the wonderful strikingtruths.com

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My 3 Best Business Books & Some Exciting News!

It is Wednesday evening and I am sat at my desk, having just replied to all of the comments I received on this post yesterday.  I am not ashamed to tell you that as I type my eyes have filled with tears. 

Yesterday the great Isabelle Hesselberg moved so many of you.  We received an overwhelming number of messages of thanks, emotion, gratitude, all admiring Isabelle’s honesty and bravery.  My blog post reached over 1000 readers, so many of you shared and liked it on social media.  And with good cause; Isabelle is a true inspiration.  To all of you who took the time to read the interview, to leave comments, and to send messages to Isabelle; thank you.  There is nothing more that I can say than that.


My 3 Best Business Books

When someone asks me what the number one thing you can do to
grow your business is, my answer is always the same; make the commitment to investing in your business education.

Every course I’ve ever taken, every business book I’ve ever read, the online courses, workshops, and mentoring sessions I’ve undertaken have only served to grow and enhance my business. If you’re serious about growing your business then you need to invest in your education.

The benefits of educating yourself are twofold- You will not only learn invaluable lessons, you’ll prevent yourself from making costly mistakes.

I personally take a percentage of every client booking that I make and reinvest it into my business education; worthwhile books, courses, and training resources. There is always something new to learn that can help my business to grow. I know the lessons that I learn will be worth all that I spend on acquiring them- and more.

When I say ‘business education’ I obviously don’t mean stuffy old business manuals gathering dust on the bottom shelf of a library. I mean exciting, inspiring online courses, life-changing mentoring programs with passionate individuals, and books that challenge your thoughts and mindsets in a way that revolutionises your entire business model.

These three books are some my absolutely key business reads. They’ve not only excited, inspired, and empowered me, but I truly believe that they have changed my life.  Do you want to start investing in your business, and see real returns? Then I suggest you start here with these books.

In my opinion, there is no better place to begin- they are quite literally the best business books that I have read.

the magic of thinking big best business book

1. The Magic of Thinking Big

This book is amazing.  I’ve had it since I was sixteen years old (my copy is now entirely brown, very battered and dog eared) and I am entirely certain it has shaped who I am today, refining both me as a person and how I do business.  It doesn’t give you specific business lessons as such, but will give you terrific doses of motivation and work to enhance your all-around skills, which then work to grow your business.

 

best business books start with whyStart With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action

This book gave me that great a-haaaa! moment that you absolutely need when starting up in business.  I’ve always known that I’ve loved photography, and more, that I wanted to help other to learn and grow, but didn’t really understand why I did- or why that was incredibly important in growing my entire business overall.  Simon Sinek also does a great Ted Talk; watch it here if you haven’t already.

 

best business book tim ferris four hour work week3. The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich

This book revolutionised my lifestyle recently.  My husband now works from home with me, we finish work at 4 every day (except Thursdays when we finish at lunchtime) and we are currently planning our first six month ‘mini-retirement’ (aka great worldwide adventure).  If that sounds good to you, and you are feeling even slightly overworked, you need to read this!

These are my words of wisdom for anyone wishing to grow their business; buy these books! Truly commit to spending time and money into investing in your business education; your profits will reap the rewards.


I have some exciting news! If you are interested in mentoring programs designed to grow your business, I will shortly be releasing the dates for my next mentoring program. These spaces sell out fast however, so please do register your interest here to be the first to know about the launch date!


Happy Reading!

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Inspirational Interviews; Isabelle Hesselberg

Just a little warning; today’s inspirational interview is going to blow your mind.

Isabelle Hesselberg of 2 Brides Photography was born with only one arm and no legs. Yet Isabelle has gained outstanding recognition and success as a world class film photographer.

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I just want to let that sink in for a second.  Isabelle has overcome obstacles that most of us could never dream of.  You will see her beautiful work scattered throughout this post, and you will see why not only have I included her as an incredibly gifted photographer, but as a personal inspiration that gives us all hope that we can achieve our dreams.

When I read Isabelle’s interview answers I actually cried, laughed, was humbled, blessed, and thankful all at the same time.  This is the interview that will possibly make your own problems and worries seem trivial by comparison; that will uplift, inspire, and humble you too.

I can say nothing more, other than you must read on and meet Isabelle.

I first met Isabelle when we were both selected by the great UK Film Lab as part of their beta testing group last summer.  Isabelle is one half of of the amazing photography duo 2 brides, based in Sweden, and although we have never met her incredible achievements never fail to inspire me.

Her work has been featured on blogs too many to mention including, of course, the fabulous Style Me Pretty; her name appears on ‘world’s best wedding photographer’ lists frequently, she is always jetsetting around Europe + beyond for wedding assignments; her first book assignment was just published and was such a success there is another in the pipeline- and not only this, but Isabelle is continually helpful and supportive of everyone elses’ success too.

She was one of the first to buy my Learn Film Photography book, even though there is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that she doesn’t need it even one tiny bit!

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I could talk more about Isabelle, but it’s time I let her do the talking.

Hi Isabelle! Welcome to EverydayHappy.  Can you tell me a little about you and your business?

Hi Charlie! 2 Brides is based in Stockholm, Sweden, but we work all over Europe. Our clients are very much like us, travel buffs with an artsy eye. I’m Isabelle, one of the ladies behind 2 Brides Photography and I shoot almost all weddings with my co-shooter and partner in crime, Sabina. We met while studying photography at uni 12 years ago. With a mutual love for old abandoned houses, american folk music and Italy, we soon found each other and became best friends. We formed 2 Brides Photography in 2009 and have never looked back, this is the best job in the world.

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Can you talk to me about your disability?

I was born with my handicap, I have one arm and no legs under the knees. I have been walking with prosthetic legs since I was two, so I can’t really imagine anything else.

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How have you dealt with it in regards to your career?

I was brought up with the idea that I could do or become anything I wanted. My parents didn’t treat me any different from the rest of the kids. I was in an orphanage for the first 5-6 months of my life and then a very loving family took me in- they later adopted me when I was 5. They took care of a lot of children that needed a new home, as well as their biological son as well. I was the only one handicapped but I never felt handicapped, simply because they never let me. I’m eternally grateful for what they did for me, I could never wish for better parents. So as I was growing older and pursuing different crazy ideas they’d just let me! I’ve worked in a tattoo parlour, owned a horse ranch and worked as a makeup artist in classical theater. Choosing a career was never the problem, just knowing which one to choose!

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Have you ever felt it holds you back in any way? How have you overcome it?

Yes of course, it would have been way easier to have two hands and legs when you are shooting, but I’m just so darn stubborn so when I put my mind to, there is no stopping me. But I’m also really black and white-  when I’m not interested in something I give up right away. So I guess I am pretty lucky that I loved my hobby so much that I was able to make it my job, I guess!

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Where do you get your motivation and persistence from? 

 Motivation comes from a true desire to create, I can not live without it. It’s like breathing to me. I constantly strive to better myself, to educate myself and to move forward, to learn. I wake up in the middle of the night and have something I need to scribble down not to forget to try out the next morning. I’ve been like that always, I think it’s just who I am. Ask anyone who knows me, they’ll tell you that I’m pretty driven and they’ll probably also say sometimes a bit manic, haha.

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Where is your favourite place to photograph?

Anywhere that I have really good light.

1383498_10151747660344247_1371087175_nWhat makes you happy?

Good food, family life, travels, good wine, a really good book, my husband, kids & parents.

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What are your biggest achievements?

My biggest achievements are my gorgeous long haired hippie kids! They’re the best thing ever. I can’t even begin to describe how amazing it is to be blessed with children and how they make my life eons better.

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How have you made your business successful / have you ensured your business has grown?

By learning about all aspects of business, not only photography. I’ve had to learn how to design a website and SEO and all that stuff. Not because I wanted to necessarily, but because it is crucial these day to know about things like that. Not only to start a business but to grow it, let it evolve and to make it prosper.

 

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Who or what is your biggest inspiration in life?

I have to say my mum. I know, I know, everyone says that. But my mum took me from the orphanage and taught me that it is ok to be different and it doesn’t matter if you don’t have any legs or just one arm. You are perfect just the way you are, and you can become anything your heart desires. That to me is priceless. I hope I can become half the woman my mum is, she is made of steel, cotton and cinnamon buns, all wrapped up in one.

Mum & Dad

Do you have a favourite quote?

Hmmmm, hard one! Has to be the quote I heard from photographer Ross Harvey at BodaF in Madrid in February. He said, (and Ross is SO smart); Trust your gut, the heart sends impulses to your brain, that’s a medical fact. So when they say follow your heart or gut, trust it because it is true.

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What is your top tip for success?

Work hard and never stop believing in yourself, and you’ve got to work at it every day. If you honestly can’t see yourself doing anything else, well then you are on the right track. That’s how I feel. I simply can’t see myself doing anything else, at all. Ever.

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What advice can you give other photographers and business owners who might be facing challenges?

Get a good mentor, best thing I ever did. Oh, and also have a very patient and understanding partner, because it is so easy to get lost. My husband holds me grounded and he is my best friend and an amazing business mentor (and lover of course).

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I hope you’ll agree with me that Isabelle is a true inspiration? May this interview fill you with all of the hope and determination that you need today.Thank you for reading, and a big, big thank you to beautiful Isabelle for sharing her words here.

Truly Isabelle, I have been honoured to feature you.

find out more about Isabelle’s first book project here

With love

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