I had an epiphany earlier this year, on how to make my small, artisa business, grow stronger. I do like that word, epiphany. Maybe because it wouldn’t work in French “Oh, j’ai eu une epiphanie!”- I can just imagine the looks I’d get saying this.

Anyway… I realised that, really, I had NOT BEEN LISTENING. I mean, really listening. To what people I trust were telling me about my artisan cake maker business. The most obvious, the biggest elephant in the room has been, no contest,

Stop hiding behind your cakes. We want to know your story.

When you see the size of even the biggest wedding cake I have ever made, and the size of…well, me, really it’s never going to be happening. What my friends were telling me (in 4 separate occasions, places, and people who don’t EVEN know each other) was that, when you have a small, bespoke business, your customers buy from you FIRST, then for your products SECOND.

In a way I think it suited me to put the limelight on my cakes. It’s…easier. But once I heard it that one extra time, I thought

My friends might have a point here

So I took it on board and:

  • Rewrote my website
  • Changed the way I approach new wedding and events venues
  • Started talking about how I got where I got
  • Launched…this blog!
  • Used this new angle in all my PR and marketing

and you know what.

I think the people around me are right. I have learnt now to really listen, even to what I don’t really want to hear. Digest it. Take it on board.

Slowly but surely, it’s been a little easier to talk about me first and my cakes next; It’s easier to explain to customers why what I do is different. It feels nice to be telling my story rather than “pitching”.

My next “friends’ whisper” is no easier to listen to, entre vous et moi.  it’s a real complex, and important question too (for another time perhaps) but I know now there is no point staying in hiding!

Do you think the above is true of other businesses too, not just cake makers? What might you be hiding from?