When you run a business people want to give you advice. All types of people in all types of businesses. So sometimes you end up smiling politely while thinking ‘Eh?’ while being fed their pearls of wisdom or occasionally you’ll end up stashing away some really valuable nuggets of girl boss gold.
One line I’ve heard more than just a few times is ‘You’ll know if you’ve made it when you get to 3 years.‘ So here I am 3 years into Little Lending, have I made it?!
Ok, I don’t really know about ‘made it’ because I’m really not a pro at anything business; spreadsheets may as well be in japansese and the thought of not writing everything in my paper diary fills me with fear…but there are a few achievements I’m going to celebrate as a home business owner this week.
I’ve found it, in my creative abilities and plucked up the courage to add ‘Styling Services’ to our offerings over 18 months ago and haven’t looked back. I feel more alive on wedding day set ups that doing any other aspect of the business. And the fact our couples put their trust in me is well, epic. I also feel I’m now kind of priced right for what I do, too many times on this journey I’ve not made what I should have but I now know I need to charge for the work I do and the creative experience I offer.
I have learnt to decline offers of collaborations that are not right for me and the LL brand. I feel my brand identity is pretty solid now and have worked out exactly what I like working on and what’s just not right. I feel my couples also know my style too so it’s important to keep true to myself for them too.
I’ve built up some amazing relationships that my business now relies on; with fab talented local suppliers and gorgeous venues across the county and beyond. I feel so blessed to have a support network behind me that I value beyond measure.
I’ve had some incredible Lenders the last 3 years, that still today continue to support and encourage me. And that, feels amazing. These guys are the backbone and I love my super fan Little Lenders. Word of mouth is so powerful and when new couples get in touch because they’ve heard about us or seen us first hand at another wedding I know I’m doing my job right.
I’ve put myself out there, really out there. On all the social media I can, whenever I can. There isn’t a team here it’s still just me (a couple of cats and a helpful hubby) but I knew getting my name out there in Norfolk and beyond in the wedding world would help me reach people, and I’ve reached far more people than I could ever have imagined. Hitting 5K followers on Instagram was huge!
Yes, our time management is still all over the place and it’s all pretty chaotic back here when it gets to delivery days and I know I have a lot more graft to go to get this business in line but I’m doing it, every day I am doing it. And I always deliver to my awesome couples and that’s all me and I’m totally in charge.
I was asked where I wanted to be 5 years from now with Little Lending and I couldn’t reply at the time. You’re ‘expected’ to reply with huge goals – a big nationally known company that delivers up and down the country; fleets of drivers and staff that run a warehouse full of stock. But you know what, actually I would still like to be enjoying it, being creative, and at the heart of my business being as personal as I possibly can. I still want to create and challenge myself with newness and I really still want to be based at home.
If this sounds like I’m afraid to grow or loose control, it’s not really that, I just like being a little company that connects and works with brilliantly creative couples and other companies. I never want to loose the passion I have right now.
Images – Darina Stoda
Venue – Godwick Great Barn
Props and Styling – That’s us
Flowers – Swaffham and Fakenham Florists
Happy 3rd birthday to us, here’s to the next and many more I say.
Penny @ The Little Lending Company X