Over the past two decades we’ve seen a lot of changes in the world. We’ve also been through a lot of changes ourselves. Like any industry, ours has moved on, and the way we do business has changed dramatically since we started out.
Of course, the technological revolution has changed the way we work - and the way others work too. When we started out in business there was no social media, websites were still a new idea, and a cloud was something that made it rain rather somewhere to store our files!
We were thinking about all the changes we’ve seen and the growth of our now, 20-year-old business, recently. Clearly, we’ve made it further than many have and that must mean we’ve managed to harness some of what it takes to run a successful business.
So, we’ve collated our thoughts in this blog, which we hope you’ll find interesting.
Some of our lessons are quite simple, and some of them you’ll have heard before. But perhaps some of the other components of our success might surprise you.
We’d love to share them with you, so read on to find out about the 20 things we’ve learnt in 20 years......
1. Working with my husband is probably the best business decision I have ever made. Not sure Stuart would say the same!
2. You’re more successful if you follow processes and continuously improve them. There’s a process for everything
3. We bet our lives over a New Year’s Day lunch in 1999 when we started the business. We really didn’t know what we were doing or going to do. Stuart still doesn’t!
4. Never say “Hope you had a great event. What was it?”. The answer could turn out to be, “My Mother’s funeral” (True story).
5. The extravagance of some people’s weddings will constantly surprise us. One of the weddings we covered cost in the region of £190,000.
6. Having great mentors is vital. In our case, the top two were Stuart’s Mum and Dad; they’ve been so helpful and supportive.
7. Build a long-term team around you from day one. You’ll need a financial advisor, solicitor, accountant, a bank manager, an insurance broker and good suppliers. Most of ours have been with us for 20 years.
8. Why fit in when you are born to stand out? You have to be odd to be No.1!
9. We never know what’s coming next and that’s OK.
10. It's amazing how many events are planned at the very last minute - the Amazon effect makes people very last minute.
11. Don’t employ drivers who don’t drive on motorways! We didn’t… but we did inherit one!
12. Enjoy all the ups and the downs. That’s life.
13. We need to celebrate all our successes (however large or small) with cake, bacon sarnies, fish & chips, or pizza.
14. We really enjoy working on projects that get us excited and spark our imagination.
15. Getting the right answers is all about asking the right questions. Mistakes and miscommunication happen when you don’t delve deep enough.
16. Watch out for the Google hole, that’s all I’ll say!
17. Understand and respect that all employees are different and play to each of their strengths. Square pegs don’t go into round holes.
18. Employing people we feel we can trust has helped us build an outstanding company. You really do need great people around you.
19. You can’t walk into a restaurant, pub, or hotel without turning over plates to check the brand!
20. Summer holidays are there to be admired.
Two decades on…
We’ve loved every minute. From a random conversation over lunch to winning awards, making events successful, and growing a fabulous team – it’s been a blast!
If you’re in your business journey right now then make sure you take time to celebrate your wins, give yourself some time, and make sure you’re constantly building a team and system that can support your dreams.
Here’s to the next 20 years…