Martin Eastwood, owner at Wide Variety (a company of weddings and events services) is a young entrepreneur who gives us personal advice about entrepreneurship. Afraid of being an entrepreneur? You think you are too young to become one?
No worries thanks to Martin’s interview!
Naturally, my first question is about the age at which you became an entrepreneur. How was it like?
I think starting out as an entrepreneur at a young age was not a forced decision. It was just something I naturally fell in to. It was always so obvious to me because of my buying and selling activities, my interest in business and my tendencies to be a leader instead of a follower, that entrepreneurship was really the only path for me.
How did you manage to turn your idea into a sensible project and eventually into a company?
While studying for my degree, firstly in Dublin and then in Wales, UK, I developed my business idea for Wide Variety. What begun as an idea for an entertainment agency, quickly developed in to a wedding and event planning business. The idea was stimulated with the support of the Welsh Government, when I was selected as one of 50 entrepreneurs in the UK to take part in the ‘Big Ideas Wales Challenge’ 2015.
I see, but you must have faced several challenges, haven’t you? What was your biggest obstacle?
One of the main challenges I faced at the beginning of my business venture with Wide Variety was the loneliness of entrepreneurship. At the beginning, I was a ‘solopreneur’, and as such I think I, like many others grossly underestimated just how much time you have to spend working in isolation. On some days when you have less meetings, you might find yourself in your office, sometimes at half 11 at night and you may not have seen anyone for the entire day. Eventually, I understood and appreciated the importance of taking a little time out of the office to be surrounded by people. I normally pop out for an hour or so during the day, and work on my laptop from the local Costa coffee shop. This battles isolation and at the same time, in my case, all I need to work is a laptop and a phone, so I can be just as productive during this hour out of the office.
Entrepreneurship is not an easy path. It requires working long hours, innovative thinking and the ability to remain self motivated.
No matter how much time you put in to developing your business plan or whatever amount of time you spend researching your market, nothing is going to prepare you fully for running your business, than the practicality of actually doing it.
Under no circumstances will everything be exactly as you planned. In fact, it may be completely different. That is why it is so important to be ready and willing to adapt and change. If as an entrepreneur you are set in your ways and ignorant to the fact that the world changes everyday, then you are dead in the water. The market conditions are always evolving, new technology is always changing the way people communicate and spend their time. In my opinion, if you embrace change and stay in touch with the ways in which the consumer is spending their time, and their money, then you will put yourself in a much greater position to succeed. This approach has worked well for me, andI am confident it can work for you too.
It is interesting, I underestimated that feeling. It did not even come to me that loneliness could be one of the main difficulty of an entrepreneur. Thank you, now I will think about it if I set up a company one day!
And for all entrepreneurs in the events services, what makes the success of your company and differentiates you from the others?
The main innovative aspect of Wide Variety, is the service offering. We offer people such a diverse selection of products and services, the likes of which no one else in our locality or even our country, is offering. This appeals to our clientele as they have a one stop solution for their requirments.
Ok thank you Martin! One last advice for our readers?
Recognize your weakness & outsource them (a great website is https://www.fiverr.com/)
If initially you have limited capital, grow your business through sub contracting, this can work really well, as it has done for me.
When you face big challenges (angry customers, threats of legal action etc) and you will, face these problems head on. Never shy away from a problem, for when you ignore a problem it will grow and weigh you down, but when you face problems head on with a solution orientated and positive attitude, you can fix any problem and it will be a whole lot less difficult than you initially thought.
Well, thank you Martin for this delightful interview! I hope you all have appreciated it and that it will be useful for your entrepreneurial career.
And congratulations, on 27th of July, Wide Variety will celebrate its first anniversary!