Exceeding Customer Expectations with Paul McCaw of Subbytech
Really enjoyed our week with Paul Owner of Subbytech based in Belfast. Known as the connector-of-dots. Paul is all about supporting small business. And, with his background in Customer Care. Paul really does understand exceeding your customer’s expectations.
Before we dive into our Q & A. Here’s a little about Subbytech. Subbytech provide you high quality power banks, charging cables and content creator kits. With Subbytech, you can be free to work and play without ever running out of battery again.
During our Q & A Paul shared some super useful tips on the importance of exceeding customer expectations.
Q1: What is good customer service?
It’s taking the basic customer/client expected levels of service, then going that little bit further for the client or customer.
Q2: Why should you always aim to EXCEED the client/customer expectations of service?
This is what makes YOUR business stand ABOVE the others, makes YOU rememberable. It’s what makes the client or customer go “wow” It’s what get you recommended and importantly, in today’s modern world, it’s what gets you social proof of your excellent service.
People buy from people and if you’re recommended by someone you have worked with or served, then you’re “doing it right” and that’s what gets you repeat and new business, from recommendations. Adverts are fine but the personal word of mouth recommendations, are priceless!
Q3: Would you give examples of exceeding expectations?
If you’re approached with a query about a service or product you don’t provide, tell them you don’t have that BUT help them find someone who DOES have the product or service.
Tell them “I’m so sorry but I don’t have that product (or service) but here’s someone who does have it and if for any reason they can’t help you, come back to me and I’ll find someone else for you” You want someone to leave your conversation NOT thinking “ah they couldn’t help” but instead thinking “ Wow they didn’t have what I needed, but thanks to them, I know where to get it” A positive experience for them, even though you couldn’t provide that product or service yourself.
Q4: What’s the best bit of advice you can give me to improve my clients/customers experience of me/my service?
Treat others how you yourself would want to be treated. Go the extra mile, provide more value than they paid for. Subbytech do this and that’s why we have over 98% of our reviews as 5 stars, over 60% of those 5stars, are for our brilliant customer service.
Deal with any complaints to the level where the customer thinks “I came here annoyed and wanted to complain” to leave with the “wow they sorted me out and went beyond what I was complaining about, they really took care of me”
That was a fantastic Q & A. I thought it was…did you?
On Thursday during our interview on Facebook, we got to know more about Paul, what inspired him to start his business, we learnt a little about his family and of course, we learnt more about Paul.
We really do love having our featured businesses come on to Irish Wedding Chat. We are always happy to help our fellow suppliers find a bigger audience and our Twitter Hour helps us do that.
Planning a wedding or event?
Then please do join us me and our wonderful community of wedding and event service providers, suppliers and venues Wednesday’s at 8pm on Twitter when we show off our gifts, gowns, services, cars, cakes, flowers and so much more. It’s a virtual wedding fair. Hosted by wonderful Deirdre of 2D Graphic Design. And, check out our Instagram – the lovely Sarah of SVS Concierge looks after you.
Sinead creates the most beautiful, bespoke hats and headpieces for special occasions and weddings.
We had a wonderful time learning more about Little Rose Design and the amazing range of hats and headpieces that Sinead creates. From her ready to wear range to creating bespoke hats during our Twitter Hour.
“Fashion is a kind of communication. It’s a language without words. A great hat speaks for itself.”
Q 1: what services do you provide at Little Rose Design Millinery?
Hi everyone, here at Little Rose Design Millinery we cater for all bridal and occasion headwear from wedding days to ladies days at the races.
We have a bespoke service where we can create a unique, stunning headpiece to complement any outfit. We have a ready to wear collection that can be purchase on our website: website www.littlerosedesign.ie or our Etsy shop https://littlerosedesignCo.etsy.com and we were contacted by the international company www.millinerymarket.com to list with them too for the Australian, American and European markets. So very chuffed about that!
Q 2: Has coronavirus affected how you do business at Little Rose Design Millinery?
Yes it has but not in a hugely detrimental way – my face to face consultations are now done solely on line , it can be by telephone, email,Facebook, WhatsApp, messenger, Twitter, SMS the list goes on!
Previously to lock-down restrictions. We created and delivered to 70% of our clients without having met! So we’re well versed in designing and photographing pieces in each stage of the process to keep connected with our client’s needs 😉
Q 3: How long in advance will orders need to be booked?
Generally 6 weeks is the norm. I’ve had to readjust my supplier chain to allow for delays in my incoming deliveries of stock but I’ve sourced more Irish companies to help with this while supporting homegrown suppliers 🙂
Also, I’m happy to say any wedding orders I had have only been postponed and not cancelled. Clients know I’ll be crazy busy coming into autumn and my order book really does fill fast. When those slots are gone, they’re gone! Lol
Q 4: What is your price range at Little Rose Design Millinery?
I’m glad you asked me this question. I feel there’s not much transparency in the Millinery business and I know that if I were a client I’d need to know what I’m going to pay! Logical isn’t it?!
Smaller pieces and some headbands start at €120. Medium-size and more intricate pieces sit around the €160 price point. And, larger pieces with more detail and processes go up from there. I do have sales occasionally. Subscribe to my email newsletter on the website. Currently, it’s free shipping on my website and my Etsy shop!
Q 4: So how do we contact you Sinéad for a fabulous headpiece?
Firstly my mobile is always on 0876251981 Call, message, WhatsApp etc
Or google me! Little Rose Design Millinery, Ardee, Co Louth.
WOW! Sinead was fabulous as our Featured Business, I really enjoyed learning more about what Little Rose Design is all about.
Are you planning your wedding or event?
Join us on our Twitter Hour every Wednesday’s from 8pm until 9pm. Discover some of Ireland’s best Wedding Services, Suppliers and Venues. Have a chat and ask your questions while we showcase our wonderful gifts, cars, bridal wear and so much more.
Want to be our featured business? Don’t be shy reach out
Turning the tables on our Twitter Chat host Deirdre ní Dhubhghaill of 2D Graphic Design
Talk about having fun and falling off my Twitter chair numerous times during yesterday’s chat. As we turned the spotlight on our Twitter Host Deirdre ní Dhubhghaill of 2D Graphic Design.
Thankfully, we have this blog and I can rescue this somewhat.
Let’s dive straight in…
Our first questions:
Q. 1: How can Graphic Design help?
One of the best things as a Designer, I’m lucky to meet people who are passionate about what they do, their business and where it’s going. From this research, stem the concepts and design solutions for you.
I’ll address your questions, concerns & help develop your ideas. A typical project starts with a Briefing • discussion • Concepts • Design process • Artwork to finished product – logos, cards – brochure, web design & image.
Expressing the personality of the wedding theme you wish to evoke. Developing images, invitations, Invitations, Favours, Save the date, Stationary etc. • Design &Promotion to appeal aesthetically and be remembered by your guests.
Q 2: Why do you need a Designer?
A Designer will spend time learning about you & your aspirations for your wedding & beyond? Discovering what your wedding material requires to share the story you wish to tell. How you’d like others to remember your day.
Unique • One of a kind design that caters to your tastes & the mood, romance etc. you wish to share with your audience, your guests
Q 3: Do you create pieces that may be suitable as gifts?
I’ve a range of Typographic WallArt. Expressing WiseWords, Proverbs, Sayings, Individuals catchphrases, Poetry & specific to locations • designandart.net
These make Ideal Gifts or Commemorative pieces
Q 4: Would you work on future design projects?
Yes Indeed! You may have that business idea that allows you to provide for your family in an enterprise you are most passionate about, who knows it may even become the next big thing?
I can be there to help you develop your business mark, Logotype, Symbol, Business Cards & fantastic Promotional material
I hope you enjoyed our Q & A with Deirdre.
I’m always on the lookout for Guests for our community.
Do you have something to offer? Maybe you are launching a book or course?
Feel free to contact me and we’ll help you spread the word.
The Love Coach as I like to refer Melody Chadamoyo was our guest on this week’s #irishweddingchat Twitter Hour. Having met Melody a few years back in Galway at a #WIN Event. I knew that this week we were going to be in for a treat!
Melody shared some fantastic insights with us. Like toxic behaviours and planning a wedding while under COVID-19 restriction during our Q & A. Which as always we are sharing with you in our blog this week.
Q1: What is the most challenging thing for couples in the first 2 year’s marriage?
In most cases, we don’t know what we’re doing when we first get married. Because no one ever tells us what is expected of us.
In my case anyway, I didn’t know how to be a wife. I just assumed that what I was doing was being super-efficient, superwoman, super independent, doing everything myself. Not needing my husband to do anything was the best way.
I also expected him to just sit there and not contribute because my opinion was more important than his and I knew better. That caused us to get into a conflict stage.
I didn’t know that marriages go through stages, the first one which we all know about which is romantic/honeymoon stage. And, then the conflict stage couples get stuck here because they don’t know how to get themselves out of that situation. And, the blissful stage. Most couples never get too because they get stuck in the conflict stage.
Knowing that we were in a conflict stage. Knowing that it was a stage and it was going to pass helped me a great deal. It helped me to have a focus because I wanted to get to the other side. To the happy blissful side.
I looked for ways for me to get there with my husband because obviously being superwoman didn’t work. Thinking that I knew everything didn’t work. And, not needing my husband to contribute in any way except financially also didn’t work.
Waking up to that and knowing that I needed to create a partnership. Where what my husband was contributing verbally, emotionally financially was appreciated. Helped me to serve my marriage and helped us to move to the blissful stage.
Q2: 3 toxic things you can do during Lockdown that is bad for your relationship?
As couples spend a lot of time together they might do toxic things that might be bad for the relationship in the long run.
The first one is:
Criticism. It is blaming the other person for everything that might be wrong. When you begin sentences like you never or you always. It always makes your spouse feel unappreciated and they would probably start feeling self-conscious or feel like they are not giving enough to the relationship.
It never helps to be that person who is always criticising someone. In terms of men, when you say “you always”. They take it like whatever effort they have been making is washed away like it didn’t matter. So when you say some of these things. It means you are not appreciating the spouse that you’ve got.
The 2nd one is:
Contempt which is criticism powered by hostility or disgust.
This is something a lot of people do; they just eye roll or they are sarcastic or they make their spouse continuously, incessantly.
We have seen this. It seems like it’s a joke. But, if you’re the one who’s at the brunt of the joke. It stops being funny.
You start feeling like someone doesn’t care about you and they don’t really respect you.
Your spouse says something and you say, here we go again and you roll your eyes and you say all these mean things.
Even if you don’t say mean things it is perceived as mean because of how they feel. You need to be aware that they might want to get out of COVID and get out of the relationship as well.
Because nobody wants to be in a situation where they are not loved and appreciated and respected.
The 3rd issue is:
Defensiveness. It is not taking responsibility for your contribution to the interaction.
You start noticing when you’re doing it. When you stop acknowledging what others are saying. They are telling you how they feel and might even tell you what you’re doing. And, you say “Yeah but”…you had done this first. Or, like you are the only one who has feelings the other person doesn’t.
This is not good.
It’s very toxic and it can cause a lot of resentment. Once you have resentment it is a signal of the beginning of the end of your relationship. So you don’t want resentment to fester in your relationship. You’ve got to start focusing on respecting, listening and understanding the other person. Not meaning to say they are right or wrong all the time but at least see them from their point of view.
Q3. What is the best advice you can give to a couple planning a wedding that was affected by social distancing?
I think sometimes we tend to take some of these things very seriously.
I do understand it, it’s frustrating. You’re planning something and you’re going somewhere. And it doesn’t quite go ahead because the government puts limitations of how many people can attend your wedding.
You also have to remember something, everyone is in this situation.
We’re all being curtailed for reasons of health and we have to understand that. A wedding day is just a day. Yes it takes a long time to plan, yes it takes a lot of commitment and a lot of action but it’s really just a day.
It is a day to celebrate your commitment to each other. You need to be aware of that. Maintain that commitment. You have an opportunity to ensure that you operate as a team.
If you develop coping mechanisms for dealing with strife. And, problems that come in life. It is actually good for you because life will happen after you’re married. A lot of things will go wrong sometimes. They might even go wrong on the wedding day. It’s how you cope with those things that are going to determine whether you survive as a couple or you won’t.
And not just surviving, you will thrive and be happy.
I remember one of the biggest things that happened to me with my husband. I had several miscarriages. And, then we had a baby and she died.
How we coped with that was we were always a unit.
We were always together.
We functioned as one.
We understood that my pain even though it was different from his. He was also going through pain.
That is when you start negotiating and moving through life because life happens. If you can survive struggle and strife without turning on each other. Then you’re building something with a good foundation that will survive life. Things will happen and you have to be prepared.
This might be a bad situation. But it’s also a time you can use to see whether you need to work on some things in your relationship. Or, negotiate some things in your relationship. So, that you’re ready for real-life tomorrow.
Q4: What can help new couples survive after Covid 19?
Focus on growing your love.
I know sometimes we don’t talk about that but love and kindness go hand in hand. When you start practising kindness intentionally, being kind to your spouse you find that your love will start to grow because that person will feel loved and appreciated.
Even when you’re feeling afraid, tense and uncertain about your future. At least, if you’re practising kindness it will help you to grow and help you to appreciate each other.
What you can do regularly is to list 3 things you’re grateful for every day for with spouse in mind.
What are the characteristics of who they are that make you feel like ooohh, I really like this person?
What attracted you to that person is something you should always appreciate.
I know after a while it starts being annoying but if you teach yourself to appreciate the person’s characteristics, their values, who they are. You’ll find that your relationship will grow. You will thrive as a couple. And, everything will go beautifully.
Remember love always protects, and it always trusts, always hopes and always perseveres.
In perseverance. It means you’re persevering to make sure your relationship keeps growing, keeps maturing, keeps going to the next stage.
Remember, I told you there are 3 stages, they’re actually 4 but we don’t even talk about the 4th one because most people don’t get there.
You want to be that couple that gets to that stage. Do you really want to married for 56 years and be miserable? There’s no point in that.
You want to be married 56 years blissfully happy, blissfully together, growing together appreciating each other because that’s what matters.
Well, that was enjoyable!
Thank you, Melody, for sharing such fantastic advice and being so very generous with it too. Melody’s new book titled “Why Self-love is The Key to True Love” available to buy on Amazon.
And, if you are looking too Attract Love. Then check out Melody’s course. Where your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to learn how to choose the right man for you, based on becoming clear on what you personally value in a relationship partner, so that you can build the foundation for a happy and lasting relationship–in 6 weeks or less.
I hope you enjoyed our time with the beautiful Melody Chadamoyo. We certainly did.
I’m always on the lookout for Guests for our community. Do you have something to offer? Maybe you are launching a book or course? Feel free to contact me and we’ll help you spread the word.
We had the pleasure of having Sharon Thomas of Celtic Knot Weddings and Events as our Guest for this week’s Q & A on #irishweddingchat. Where we learnt about “Operation Help our Heros” and why Sharon decided to launch this fantastic initiative.
Let’s take a moment to introduce Sharon to you:
Sharon is the Owner & Founder at Celtic Knot Weddings and Events, Co-Founder at The Wedding Festival, Creative Wedding Specialist at Glengarriff Lodge and Founder of Operation Help Our Heroes campaign.
She is a Wedding and Event planner, and Creative stylist who specialises in Boho, Festival and Creative style Weddings. Sharon is a LGBTQ Ally who supports equal civil rights, gender equality and is a LGBTQ friendly wedding & event planner.
She dedicated her business in memory of her Uncle and Aunt who were very supportive of and are her Heroes. And, is passionate about supporting the LGBTQ community because of her uncle who came out as gay, a few years before he passed away. These were the happiest years of his life. It made her realise that life was too short so go for your dreams today not tomorrow.
Our first question to Sharon was:
What is Operation Help Our Heroes all about?
Celtic Knot Weddings & Events and well over 150 wedding suppliers from all over Ireland, including some from the UK. Have come together as a team to help our front line superheroes. Who are working tirelessly, battling the coronavirus pandemic.
Some of the most talented, kind and simply the best wedding suppliers. Have decided to join forces and offer our front line heroes discounts. On our services to help towards planning their weddings, for when this pandemic is all over and we can celebrate life again!
Who does Operation Help Our Heroes include?
Whether you are a doctor, nurse, paramedic, carer, hospital attendant, hospital porter. A hospital cleaner, nursing home worker, medical administration staff, fire brigade, a member of An Garda Síochána, working with the HSE, or are Covid-19 test centre staff, NHS. Or, if you are a bride or groom working on the front line’s around the world and due to marry in Ireland before December 2021 you can avail of this offer.
Why have you decided to do this, Sharon?
I have decided to launch Operation Help Our Heroes for our Frontline workers, as they are doing a super, amazing job and this is something very close to my heart.
There are a number of reasons why I choose to do this. I’ve family and friends working in the healthcare sector. I also have Crohn’s disease, which means I am in and out of the hospital from time to time for tests and I have had minor surgeries.
Usually, I don’t share this private information with people but I am sharing it, as this is one of the reasons I am doing this. The care I receive from the doctors, nurses, care staff, porters etc, is absolutely amazing every time. They are incredibly kind to me, empathetic and reassuring.
My sister is one of those heroes; she is a care worker. She cares for the long-term residents in Bantry General Hospital and is helping so many people. I am so grateful and proud that she is my sister. She is working so hard along with the other superhero healthcare professionals.
She was also due to get married in Sorrento, Italy, this June. Nothing has been postponed or rescheduled as of yet but I can help my little hero sis when the time comes and pop on my wedding planner cape! It’s the least I can do to help a hero in need!
This week our Guest and Featured business was Ailish Kelly of Sí Jewellery. Ailish creates the most beautiful bespoke memorial jewellery. It’s really discreet and meaningful. A wonderful way of having someone who has passed on with you.
Before our Twitter Hour, we got to know Ailish a little more. Here is a little clip from our interview with Ailish in our Supplier’s Facebook Group.
I loved interviewing Ailish, she was just so vibrant. We asked Ailish a few questions all about her memorial jewellery during our Twitter Chat which is on Wednesday’s at 8pm and hosted by the wonderful Deirdre ní Dhubhghaill of 2D Graphic Design.
Question 1: You offer a very unique bespoke product, Ailish. Can you tell us a little bit more about what you do and what makes you so unique?
Ailish: I love my pieces to bring comfort to those that are wearing them and because each piece is made with a personal photo, quote or even the ashes/ hair of a passed loved one , – it maintains the bond and love between them.
Question 2. We’d love to know where did your inspiration for starting your business come from?
Ailish: A number of years ago my children were competing in the World Kickboxing Championships and I wanted them to have something inspirational and protective, – as I could not find the right piece to fit the bill, I made it myself! The business developed after that
Question 3. Can you tell us how can your beautiful custom jewellery will enhance our couple’s wedding day?
Ailish: Having a photo of a passed loved one attached to your wedding bouquet, your wedding shoes, or cuff-links allows you to share your day with them, it is a unique way of include all your family members
Question 4. If I only have a very old photo, can that be used?
Ailish: Yes, I can edit and enhance it as much as possible to a standard that can be used.
Question 5. Can other photo’s and quotes be used other than memorial?
Ailish: Yes, – it is not always about looking back, – it is also about bringing your personality to your wedding, its your day , your way. You can use a line from your favourite song, or a photo of your pet . Family crests are very popular as groom gifts for example; pocket watch, tie bars etc
We really enjoyed having Ailish on has our Guest Featured Business and learning about Sí Jewellery. Hope you did too.
Feel free to join us on our Twitter Hour every Wednesday’s from 8pm until 9pm. And, chat with our fabulous suppliers while they showcase their gifts, flowers, outfits, cars and so much more. Would you like to be our Featured Wedding Business? Contact us for more details.
“Making you and your business ready to restart” with Vincent Byrne, Coach
We had the fabulous Vincent Byrne as our Guest this week.
I had the pleasure of working with Vincent many years ago. So, I know first hand what a great a coach he is. Vincent has a wonderfully holistic approach to business coaching. Which I think will become plainly clear when you read this blog.
Q1. This shutdown has impacted everyone’s lives, businesses and incomes. When it finally ends, what do you think it will look like?
The main thing to accept is that we don’t have a clue what things will look like when we are allowed to return from the isolation to something that approaches previous normality.
So, things will be uncertain, but then again they are always uncertain, we just operate under the illusion and the mistaken belief that things happen in a predictable way – they actually don’t.
Unpredictable stuff happens to us, for us, against us every day but if the event or occurrence is not too disruptive, we deal with it without seeing it as particularly out of the ordinary.
The point is that there is an illusion of control around our outside world but the reality is that it is not true, it is just an illusion and in fact, the only thing that we can control is our thinking and our actions.
Q 2. With that in mind, how can we be ready for an eventual return to normality?
There are two aspects to what you can do – your personal wellbeing and your business.
From a personal perspective, the only way is to focus on being mentally and physically fit to hit the ground running. That means taking action now on exercise, good nutrition, staying hydrated, sleeping well as well as mental exercises such as meditation, connecting with friends, keeping a journal and talking about your frustrations and expectations with someone who will listen for you.
If you haven’t done it already, it is important to have a structure in your day, both personally and for your business work. Ideally, set a time the evening before to plan your day, and don’t just write lists
In terms of your work or business, you need to look at what being ready actually means for you. How do you want to be on that first day or in that first week when you are allowed back? Will you have an initial action plan? Are there important things that you need to do in those early days? A checklist might be useful.
Q 3. Okay, so if I have my checklist and return to normal plan, what else can I, should I be doing?
Are there any systems that you think need improving, better documentation, training, planning and strategising? Get started on those things now.
It is also important to stay in touch with as many people, customers, suppliers and other connections to whom you can offer help, advice and support that might be needed right now.
So the bottom line is that there is much that can be done to be ready and it is crucial to use this time fruitfully if for no other reason than to have a sense of purpose and motivation.
Q 4. It’s extremely difficult to get motivated in this situation especially with the confinement and distractions at home, how can I start to put this advice into action?
Begin with a pen and paper and start to look at some of the issues I mentioned above. Every situation will be different, that’s why it is important to develop your own plan for your circumstances.
If you find it difficult to do on your own, try buddying up with a friend, another business owner and do sessions where you coach each other through creating your Return Checklist and you Business Improvement Plan.
Organise to have regular Zoom meetings or phone calls to help and push each other in order to make progress.
The key is not to wait, play the victim and expect others to advise you on what to do. There will be plenty of people who do just that which presents you with a perfect opportunity to get ahead and hit the ground running.
Well, I think Vincent shared some wonderful tips with us. I hope you found it helpful. If you would like Vincent to give you a helping hand connect with him on his social media and check out his website www.vincentbyrne.ie
Would you like to be our featured business or a guest? If so, please do contact me for a chat.
In a matter of days the way we live as changed. We know that this whole turn of events has been emotionally distressing for everyone! We wanted to do our bit to help support our Community. To that end, we invited the wonderful Deborah Byrne Clinical Psychologist for a Q & A session on our Twitter Hour. Our topic Working and Weddings in this brave new world.
Deborah was really helpful and shared some fantastic tips on how to cope with our new reality.
How should people voice their concerns?
First off I can’t tell people how to run their business, but be very careful here and try and remember to separate your business from your personal life. A one-off comment could ruin your business so tread carefully.
In terms of your concerns for your business, yes you are naturally going to have some very grave concerns right now. But remember you customers want solutions from you to help them, not what’s going with your business problems. This may seem harsh but it is a reality of business.
Make sure to ask for help and advice from professionals i.e. you accountant and solicitor if needed.
Brainstorm with other business owners in a similar industry to yourself, come together to offer solutions to your clients as a collective. Make sure to utilise your support systems (networks) right now more than ever. This will help you take back control of the situation for your business in a positive manner.
I talk about the 4 types of support everyone needs from a support system in my blog on building s support system.
Remember you know your business best of all, but you need to make decisions based on a clear picture and you cannot do that if you are panicked, stressed or anxious.
Your mind simply shuts down when you get stressed, overwhelmed and anxious. I will offer some practical ideas on how you can de-stress, calm the mind and then with advice from other professionals you can may decisions with a clearer head.
What are you recommendations regarding keeping positive and self-isolating?
We have to get practical here and bring it back to basics so that we can take back control of our lives and businesses.
1. You need to calm your mind. If you already do yoga, tai-chi, meditation or any other form of relaxing exercise then please continue to do this. If you don’t then use a simple 7/11 breathing technique for 3 minutes throughout the day, as needed, will help calm the mind and bring you back to centre.
Remember when we get caught up in a cycle of stress and anxiety it will keep building until you do something to take back control over your thoughts. Simply breathing techniques are one of the best ways you can do this.
The 7/11 technique works like this: You breathe in for a count of 7 then exhale for a count of 11. Continue to do this for 3 minutes. You can reduce this to 4/6 if you need to. The point is to breathe out for longer than you breathe in. This action will automatically get the brain to calm down.
I’m not going into too much detail on why and how it works here as I feel people have too much information coming at them. Just to say it is based on helping you reduce the flight, fright, fight hormones flying around and bring the brain back to a calming centre point.
2. In order to help with the above you also have to switch off social media, the media, TV news feeds, etc.
Even if you just have these playing in the background, and are not actively listening to them, your brain will pick up on them subconsciously. This will feed a negative cycle in your brain.
Instead pick a time to watch or engage online with any news you know is going to be negative right now. Then try and stick to that time period.
You will have to make a conscious decision to do that, so switching off your notifications will help.
You are better to have some positive engagements instead, that can come from positive support within your support system (network).
Creating some relaxing or uplifting music playlists and playing those in the background too. These can help you become more relaxed, focused and motivated.
Don’t forget to sing along or get up and dance, you need some lightness right now. Also take some time out to watch some comedy.
3. Make sure you are taking care of your self-care basics, so that includes sticking to your routine, exercise, healthy eating, and sleep.
Take time off from your business, be with your family, connect online if unable to in person, do some hobbies/interests. A quick word about family and friends, if anyone is getting too negative then don’t feel guilty about muting, blocking, or deleting them if you are able. Not talking about kids here, just adults.
You can also add in your meditation from above here, plus journaling and gratitude.
I know some of you won’t like to hear about the journal and gratitude work but journaling right now can be an invaluable tool for your business. I’ll outline how you can use them as such. It’s not about “dear diary” so don’t panic.
Use a journal as a brain dump. This helps you get everything out of your head, so you can relax, prioritise, delete, delegate and get a better night’s sleep. Simply start by writing everything down on a piece of paper, it doesn’t matter if it’s business or personal. Just get it all out, every worry, to do items, etc.
I’ll talk more about how you can utilise this more in the planning suggestions coming up.
Create a worry period if you need it. That’s a set amount of time when you give over to your worries. You set a timer on your phone for no more than 30 minutes a day. Let your mind go to all the worst-case scenarios and fears.
But you need to write these down. When you can see your thoughts on paper you can begin to challenge them, or see you need some professional advice, i.e. accountant, solicitor, therapist (if needed).
Most of the time when we see our worst fears written down it allows us to see we are not thinking rationally and that we can actually do something about this or make plans to help us feel more secure.
A worry period allows us to relax also and make more calm, logical decisions during the day, as our brain no longer has to hold on to them and seek out solutions for them.
You can use worry periods everyday if needed or just when you feel things are escalating stress wise for you.
4. Let’s get practical about planning; it will help you feel more in control right now.
Now is a great time to plan for your business. Remember you don’t need all the answers right now, just do what you can.
Take some time also to do some research and development. Get your business online if you don’t already.
Using your brain dump sheet from above, categorise it into personal and business, just do a quick run-through, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Then review the list.
Decide on what you can delete. Most entrepreneurs are very busy people and they tend to take on other responsibilities, now is the time to hand these back.
You can only do so much in any one day and you need to take time out in order to help your mental and physical health. If you are stressed out you are compromising your immunity.
You are not being selfish handing these things back.
Delegate where you can, some people might find this hard to do, but you need to. Again you can only do so much on one day.
If you need to ask for help then do it! Above all you need this right now, so again utilise your entire support system.
You should be left with a more realist to do list. Make sure they are tasks that can be completed easily and in one go.
Anything too big needs to be broken down further. If you don’t you will only feed your fears, overwhelm and stress.
You are then back to a vicious cycle in your head of negativity, low motivation and depleting willpower levels. Your brain will shut down and you won’t make good decisions for you, your family and your business.
What one piece of advice you can give us?
Remember you are doing the best you can. Running yourself into the ground won’t help you, your family or your business.
Take time out for your personal life and self-care is now more important than ever.
If you are really struggling please reach out and have a chat with someone, positive friends, family, support, mentors, or with a therapist if you need it.
Note I said positive people; you need these more than ever and should encourage them to contact you.
Use the meditation I suggested above, and then get a list of customers and suppliers you need to call.
Prepare key points you need to say and then make the calls.
Stick to the key points, be honest, people are understanding and will appreciate your honesty.
But take time between those calls to relax, you’ll handle them in a more professional manner if you do.
Rushing in will not give you the best results right now. So take your time, you don’t need to call everyone in one day.
What piece of advice would you give couples right now who have had to cancel or postpone their weddings/celebrations?
Weddings are highly stressful events as is for the vast majority of people.
But if you can offer them solutions to their problems you will retain or gain customers here.
You do need to be able to remain calm while they are going to pieces, so you need to be calm to do this. Remember the meditation, even a few breaths before answering the phone will help you.
If you can come together as a group #IrishWeddingChat and offer couples solutions such as packages they can adapt, or use when this is all over, that would be helpful.
If you can speak to your local hotel, other members in the group and come up with offers that are practical and helpful that would be one way to go.
I’m not talking about pushing people into buying anything right now or using questionable selling practices either.
Talk to the couples who are your customers already, find out what their situation is and then put together some offers together as a group.
Remember these are your customers, they don’t care about how you do it, they just want the results. Again thread carefully you can’t buy your reputation or goodwill. These are intangible assets the accounts speak about; they are worth more money to your business than anything you produce. But offering some good practical solutions for couples who were getting married or who have been forced to cancel plans and have to get married alone, will build your goodwill and reputation.
Thank you, Deborah, for being so generous with your tips and guidance. We really appreciate your time.
Planning your wedding is probably one of the most stressful events ever!
Lot’s things to do. From the ceremony to the reception. And, let’s not forget the honeymoon! All the itty bitty details as well! My head is already swirling at the thought of it. And, I’m not getting married. Well, not yet anyway!
My mission this week was to find the best advice for you.
Planning the big day
Starting with this fantastic blog from weddingdates.ie and the team at Inishowen Gateway Hotel, Donegal who share 8 expert wedding planning tips from deciding on your budget to enjoying the planning process.
While searching for useful tips, I came across this fantastic blog by Bruno Rosa, a Dublin Based Photographer. He shares excellent advice on how to plan your Destination Wedding in Ireland. It’s incredibly detailed and full of so much useful information from visa to venues.
Deciding on what kind of ceremony you want will be one of the major decision you and your partner will have to make. There are so many options today that it can be confusing. Sandra the Wedding Lady helps to clear the confusion with the elements that need to be in place before you can get married.
I really enjoyed reading this from Laura of beourguest.app It’s a little bit different from the usual wedding planning blogs I’ve come across. Laura talks about your guest experience. I love the suggestions she makes and how informing your guests is important. Definitely bookmark this one to read later. Oh, and I highly recommend checking out beourguest.app it’s a very handy one to have. Save you a lot of hassle.
Okay, so you need a little help organising everything because I have come to realise that planning the perfect wedding day is stressful, to say the least. That’s where Sarah comes in. She is s**t hot when it comes to sourcing the little details. From pulling together your theme to your favours.
This week’s subject I’m exploring the all-important Wedding Speeches! And, singing and dancing lessons. I did thing a little different this week and reached out to my network. And, got some wonderful articles to share with you. I also step of my comfort zone and did my very first podcast with Executive Speaking Coach Eamonn O’Brien.
Sing a song
But first, surprise your bride or groom with a song? Is this something that maybe you have thought of briefly? Thinking ahh no…I don’t have the confidence to sing in public. Well, the beautiful Aideen talks about how to pick the perfect song for you to sing.
Now, onto creating the perfect first dance with tips from Dance Divas in Galway
So, here it is…my very first podcast. Excuse the quality of sound. I wasn’t really ready to do this. It was very much spur of the moment.
Below I outline of 3 tips that Eamonn gave me during our interview.
It’s really about sharing memories. It is about a big day out for the bride and groom. It’s about really you reflecting well on the people that you love. You are the of ministers of joy!
Tell stories. For example, why are the bride and groom so special to you? Sharing stories is perfect. Think about why the couple are special to you or what you see in them and why they are a marvellous couple together this is a great time to share that idea.
Keep it short. Sometimes people stand up. And, all of a sudden to think to themselves. Well seeing that I am here. I’ll stay here for a while. Please don’t! If you are the best man and you’re up for more than five minutes. Stop it… imagine there is a giant hook pulling you to hack off the microphone. It’ll make for a nicer occasion. I promise people will love the speech
Hope you enjoyed this week’s topic. I know I did. If you have an article or a real wedding you would like to share with us
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