Starting his business at just 18
Mark got a head start to a success story on his entrepreneurial journey with his marquee hire company. His strapline was “We create memorable handover” with his party events business. 6 years later Mark’s business was winning awards, employing over 10 people and operating in over 5 counties. As all business owners experience, employing your first staff is where you can experience your first business problems. Mark met Christine in late 2016 and started working with her straight away. He was stuck and wondering what to do next without creating more of the same problems by growing bigger. Within 18 months he’s on the right track and doubled the size of his business:
“I’m Mark – I run an award-winning marquee & events hire company in Hertfordshire. I have been working with Christine for the past 18 months. I can safely say she has been responsible for the huge growth we have enjoyed over the past year and I can’t wait to see where we can go.
12 months ago my business was situated in a 900 sq ft run down unit – a year on I’m in a brand new 4000sq facility that I’m really proud of working in – that I love coming into work to each day.”
More importantly than increasing the size of his business, he’s enjoying it again.
Spurred on with new energy he moved to increase the efficiency of the business and get the right people, doing the right things at the right time to the highest standards:
“She has helped me transform my company from an amateur-run, unorganised sole-trader operation to a fully systemised & processed, professionally run outfit on course to double turnover this year. She has built-in solid foundations to get my company in place for further growth.”
Taking the business from a lifestyle business to a professional organisation is a challenge that can be very isolating, especially at such a young age. When most boys his age were out chasing girls and partying, Mark was balancing the needs of the business, albeit he never forgets that his business is making sure his customers have a great time.
At any age, being a business owner can be lonely:
“No matter how many staff any business has, running and growing a company can be very lonely at times. Before working with Christine, I felt like a deer in the headlights with lots of new experiences to deal with. Having somebody on the phone who has been there and done it, with wraths of experience & knowledge behind her instils confidence in my decision making to grow this business to exceed £1m turnover in the next year.”
In the early days of running his business, Mark admitted to being mystified by accounts and finance, even though he had a really good grip on his marketing numbers. Working with Christine gave him more confidence in the financial aspects of his business and how to get more out of his accountant, which he changed to one who was more engaged:
“She has helped me get to grips with my numbers allowing me to make far better, strategic decisions. Christine has helped me be more productive and being aware of how I am using my time, and to outsource tasks that aren’t worth my time. She’s helped to improve my customer journey, recruiting new staff and overall, be a better-equipped business owner”
Having someone who understands how businesses work and who has been there before was invaluable to Mark in his development as an entrepreneur:
“Thanks to Christine’s accountancy and legal background, she provides so much more value than anybody else ever could – and the business would be several milestones behind without her.”
Getting clarity and making the right decisions
While most events and hospitality businesses struggled with surviving COVID lock-downs in 2020, Mark got himself straight into developing business growth strategies and getting himself out of the day-to-day of his businesses. Yes, his business was impacted but he was able to get some clarity of thinking and made decisions about his future while his events business was closed. He started a completely new business to counteract the impact of COVID.
“I felt like I didn’t know what to do next to get my business to the next level – but to have Christine as a sounding board, a mentor, and someone to help with my strategy is priceless. She gives me clarity on what I need to to achieve my goals moving forward.”
No matter what the problems that arise in business, there is always a solution and sometimes it’s just having someone by your side to give you the confidence to see your business more clearly and make decisions faster. Mark certainly found that in his work with Christine:
“During my journey of growing my marquee hire company I have been hit with all the problems growing a business has – staff, recruitment, strategy, business rates, operations, cash flow the lot. Christine’s approach in telling me what I need to know and when, has made me a far better business owner than I’d have ever been without her.
Whilst it can be lonely as a business owner, often there isn’t someone who will just tell you as it is and challenge you, test your ideas without judgement and without having a vested interest:
“I love her pulls no punches approach, she really helps me focus on what’s important as it’s so easy to get stuck doing the day-to-day and lose track on where I’m heading.”
“I can’t wait for what the next 12 months have to bring, I’m really enjoying what I do and I have huge confidence I’m going to achieve the goals I’ve set out with Christine’s support moving forwards.”