How can networking be used to grow your business? Company director and Mums at Work Founder Sinead Norton has passed on advice for networking success and much more.
During a visit to the ProfileTree studio for a Business Leaders video interview, Sinead shared a range of essential tips and tricks as well as insights into events and wedding planning.
She began by introducing herself and her route to success as an entrepreneur.
“The main thing that people know about me is that I’m mummy of seven children.
“I started Swift Events after I had a laundry company. I wanted to work around my children as I found it very difficult to keep a job with so many children and all the different school pick up times.
“It grew naturally into being a company supplying linens for hotels and for events.
“We started doing weddings and it took off from there.”
The rising popularity of chair covers for events, and the need for these to be cleaned, have a great opportunity for the Sinead’s company.
“We had started laundering chair covers for various companies as they needed a really fast turnaround.
“Then we realised that the hotels could probably avail of chair covers for different events. We started off as a DIY chair cover hire service for hotels, but then they asked us if we could put them on and began to recommend us for weddings.
What began as a chair cover service grew to Swift Events being able to provide a “whole room setup”.
“We started doing dance floors, now we have chairs, sofas, tables, tablecloths and everything for a wedding day.
“We can do this for weddings, events or ceremonies. It can be themed up to a Bride’s colours or a certain theme they want.”
Sinead explained that the process behind how clients discover and develop their wedding ideas has changed.
“Brides are looking online, on Instagram and Pinterest, to see what it is they want. They’re looking at their venue and thinking ‘how can I make it like that’.
“Then they come to us to ask if we can do it, and we say ‘yes we can’ or sometimes ‘no, this is what you have to do instead.”
She pointed out that the company enjoys working on projects with a more creative goal and added that hotels providing their own packages can often lead to weddings looking similar to each other.
“For a few years everyone was going with a vintage theme, so every other wedding was exactly the same. We really look for somebody who’s really wiling to go a bit more dramatic.
“Some of the hotels provide everything as part of their package but this also means that everybody’s wedding day looks the same.
“Brides are looking for something more unique to make their wedding more memorable and create that wow factor when their guests come into a room.”
Is there a common mistake couples make when planning a wedding?
“They may not be realistic about what can be achieved in a day and they can be under pressure from family and friends because everyone is giving them advice.
“People are telling them ‘you need this’ or ‘you need that’ and it may not be relevant for their wedding but they can have a lot of people whispering in their ear.”
Outside her event hire company, Sinead has also established Mums at Work. She outlined how the organisation works to support working parents.
“I realised that I was getting very tired with my business, because you are always self-motivating and pushing yourself. You are also always learning.
“Sometimes you hit a brick wall but you don’t know how you reached that stage. Somewhere along the way you’ve been told ‘if you work really hard you’re going to be successful’ and you keep thinking that tomorrow is going to be the day when you don’t need to work just as hard.
“So I realised that the key to success is not trying hard by yourself but by asking good questions from other people to find real life experiences to get ahead.
“Some wee trick or tip can make a big difference to the way you do a certain task in your business and can make your life a lot easier.
“So, I started up the network for people, who were tired of struggling by themselves, to share advice with each other without the jargon.
“People like to help other people out and it’s also a way of referring other businesses who have helped you, so its free advertising and word-of-mouth marketing.”
Find out much more about successful networking, event hire and Mums at Work in Sinead’s full video interview.
Swift Events – https://swiftevents.blog/
Mums at Work – https://mums-at-work.com/