I’ve been deliberating over wether to write this post or not. It’s definatley my most honest post yet and will mean me talking about some of the less positive sides to running LL.
So many of my Lenders tell me you’d love to do what I do, so I thought I’d let you in on what’s involved back here at LL HQ** and yes there is blood, sweat and occasionally a few tears. And I’m going to be totally honest when I say it’s really not the money that is motivating me to create my Little Lending Vision and to keep doing, most of the time, what I’ve been doing, unpaid. I’ve even been called up by total strangers the other side of the country asking me if the business is lucrative and should they quit their day job! The answer is no. I still work 2 freelance jobs too, so this is why sometimes there is a little wait on your replies because it’s a big juggling act this side of the computer screen. You’ll need to be prepared to hold down your job for a while yet while you build your enterprise. (this is of course if you’ve not got loads of disposable cash sitting under the bed!)
**Of which these office snaps are of, please note my office rarely looks like this!
If you’re completely and utterly determined to succeed you will. No guts, no glory. But I don’t want this post to frighten you off, I want to encourage my lenders to set up if it’s all you can think and dream about doing and if you’ll pour love and passion into it as much as you did the big day then you totally need to set up. I never thought getting married would mean becoming a girl boss, yes I have huge bags under my eyes but my gosh, am I having a brilliant time…
A FEW THINGS I WISH I’D HAVE KNOWN WHEN SETTING UP.
Some of these points may sounds totally obvious, but here are a few things that would have helped me to know before setting up a hire company.
– A large, dry, free (or super cheap) storage space. Not in your actual home, it will begin to drive you crazy, trust me! Even though mine spills out from under the sofas, I still have a garage and little show shed to keep most of the hire outside. I’m lucky enough to have a large kitchen to wash and re-pack items after the weekend.
– Do you have a large car, or access to a van? I set out driving hire round in a mini, what was I thinking!? My van is now my car which can be a pain when I need need more than 2 seats! You need to be a fairly confident driver too, I’ve still not mastered having no back window when reversing!
– 90% of your time is uncreative. It’s not all shoots, styling and looking round pretty venues you know… The majority of my time is spent behind the wheel, packing orders, writing emails and invoices late into the night or blogging and updating the site on days off.
– There are a few initial costs to get up and running and do register asap that you’re trading; public liability insurance, electrical PAT testing costs, get yourself an accountant too they’re totally worth every penny, domain name and branding materials…The best thing I did at the start was to get myself booked onto a local wedding fair, it gave me the deadline I needed to be ready to share LL with the world. (Keep an eye on our FB page for dates we’ll be at local wedding fairs this Autumn)
– Don’t hire out anything too precious or personal, from your own wedding day, that you’d be gutted about loosing! Sadly, your stock will be lost or returned damaged, its just part and parcel.
– When you first set up please don’t worry about ‘competition.’ There may be other hire companies doing something similar in your area but strive to create a brand that is all about you and your creativity. Creativity can never be imitated. Introduce yourself, you’ll most likely end up working together and sending couples to one another.
– It will become everything you think about. It takes over your life, weekends and summers fly by because you’ll be delivering and collecting and tapping out lots of quotes. If you’re prepared for it to be your everything then go for it all guns blazing. My family are the backbone of this company, they’re behind me washing and ironing, helping with picks ups, hunting in charity shops to replace missing items (this becomes a weekly occurrence!) I couldn’t do it without them, it will literally change yours and their lives. Talk it through.
Photos by DSPhotography
Have you been thinking about setting up a wedding hire company? We’d love to hear your plans and see your wares!
Penny @ The Little Lending Co. X
Wow!! You have really hit the nail on the head. I started Victoria Lily Events in 2013 hiring out vintage crockery. Moved into venue styling and now vintage photo booths and bell tents. I’ve sadly decided to drop the hire side of the company and concentrate on bell tent hire and photo booths.; People just do not realise the time, effort, or motivation it takes to store, pack, deliver, set up, collect, inventory, market and everything else. Involving at mid night. Weekends gone. Evenings spent on the sofa with the computer. I’m just creating my own sanctuary (summer house at the end of the garden) so my house is a home again and not an office!!
This post has made me feel like I’m not the only one. Thank you 🙂
Thanks for taking the time to comment. It’s definitely not as easy as people first think! It does take over all spare time and home spaces too and that’s something that some people just couldn’t deal with. Enjoy your summer house and lots of luck with the booths and tent hire!
It’s always brave, but refreshing, to hear someone talk about the downsides of running a business in the age of Instagram perfection.
As a fellow wedding industry person I hear you totally – my office is in my bedroom and as well as work 12 hour days, 2 days a week, I can never really escape the computer screen!
I’m shortly relocating to Norfolk and thought I’d stop by and say Hi!
I know, a little frightening about talking how hard it can be. Running your own business takes everything from you at times. Wishing you lots of luck with your move to lovely Norfolk. Good luck with your business too!
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