James Sandwell

james-sandwell-largeThe business started when we borrowed two giant games for a friend’s wedding, and watched peoples’ reactions. They loved it, and we soon realised we’d stumbled across a potential business opportunity.

We’ve come a long way in the last 12 years. From a small business in our spare room to a million pound plus business, we couldn’t be prouder of where Sunshine Events has been – and where we’re heading.

Having taken a six month sabbatical from their jobs as an accountant and events manager to travel the world 12 years ago, James and Sunny Sandwell’s minds began working on ideas for their return. After researching the industry, they decided to launch a business that was the opposite of the established market.

They wanted to do something different from everyone else.

We set off with plans that were different to everybody else in the market, and this has enabled us to have different results to everyone else. We’ve achieved a continued growth in turnover and profits, and are now the number one business in our industry in the country.

Sunshine Events was born, and James and his wife Sunny set about bringing events to life with their fun equipment. From photo booths and candy floss machines to human table football and giant assault courses, they’ve proved that they really are the fun experts.

Keen to grow and looking to really maximise their success, the husband and wife team were ones to rest on their laurels. Keeping their goal of being different in mind, James and Sunny looked closer at how they could move Sunshine Events into the big league.

We really got serious from 2013 onwards. I now work on the business nearly full time, and have put many things in place to hold the future growth. You could say I’ve lit the torch paper, and we’re ready for business

We made the conscious change in our client base from private parties to the transition of primarily supplying corporate, councils, event companies, television companies and venues. These have bigger budgets and offer us repeat work. In 2015 alone, our clients included Pandora, BBC and Merlin Leisure. We also had repeat bookings last year from Facebook, Google and Amazon!

It doesn’t stop there for James. Over the last twelve months, he’s invested heavily in the development of Sunshine Events’ latest website, and the creation of a bespoke booking system to streamline their operation.

James had set himself a target of a £1 million turnover, something which – thanks to a growth in sales of 49% last year –he’s already exceeded.

James and Sunny have also seen their team grow to 13 full time staff and 40 casual event staff. Their management team is made up of four people, all of which benefit from share options. It’s just one of the ways they reward those who’re committed to them.

James followed EC advice and asked, ‘What would the best in the world do?’ and then he did just that.

But it’s not all been plain sailing for. Like all entrepreneurs and business owners, he’s had his tough times and faced challenges in business.

The biggest obstacle for me in reaching my goals has always been my clarity. I need clarity of mind in what the future holds, and in finding the right order to do the right things.

James has been working on his clarity though, and it’s been paying off. Over the last 12 years, Sunshine Events has achieved many of those original goals that were once distant dreams.

And James isn’t resting on his laurels. He may have smashed his targets for 2015, but he’s already well on the way to making 2016 bigger and better. Not afraid of hard-work and implementation, there are some very exciting things on the horizon for Sunshine Events.

We’re no strangers to implementation, and we’re now in the position to dedicate time to work on our long-term goals. Both in our personal and professional lives.

The Entrepreneurs Circle has had a huge impact on the business over the last three years, and now is the time to super-charge our actions.

We have some very clear goals for the next 12 months. We want to build the value of the business, and help achieve its exciting potential – and we’ve got 100% c-l-a-r-i-t-y over these goals and how we’re going to meet them!