I had an interesting chat tonight with one of my friends, who is also a supplier in the wedding industry. I cannot give too much away, but this chat made me think about creating this blog post to cover what we discussed as I think it is an important subject.
This applies particularly to women who are running businesses and are required to go and meet potential clients in venues such as private villas, etc.
Our work means we are mainly at our desks working away on our computers and we can be at home or in the office safely working alongside our colleagues but we have to venture out to meet clients.
Whether you are a wedding planner, designer, or working within the wedding industry, make up and hair, photographers, etc we are all at some point required to go and meet potential clients perhaps sometimes in private villas, invited to a bar for a coffee or other meeting places.
Do we really know who we are going out to meet?
Are we making sure we are safe whilst conducting our business?
My friend actually contacted me tonight as she remembers me being stalked a couple of years ago now, and needed to ask me questions as she thought the same thing was happening now to her.
Because we run our businesses we have to put our profiles on the internet, our websites, blogs, facebook pages and twitter all of these include our contact details and images of us and our work.
Whilst 99% of the time this is great and we get wonderful business contacts and clients, there is always this 1% of weirdos that decide they want to stalk you for whatever reason.
Don´t get me wrong I have some fabulous stalkers, but I have had some not so fabulous ones as well.
It is important to remember a few basic things to keep safe whilst working.
If you have to meet a client in a remote area, private villa, etc always take someone with you. Work colleague, friend, hubby anyone will do!
Always let people know where you are going, what time and the time you are expected back.
Take as many details as possible before you meet the client, phone numbers, and other numbers in case their phone is not working, etc of friends of theirs. As we create destination weddings we normally ask for details such as passport numbers, etc as well but I can see this might be harder if you are working with clients in the same country to ask for details like this.
Try to find out as much as you can and never go alone, particularly if you are uncertain about a client and cannot get someone to go with you, postpone the meeting, if they are genuine they will of course understand your reasons.
No work is worth sacrificing your own safety.