Mitch Lloyd was a Chartered Mechanical Surveyor but left the rat race to join her mum, Petra, and help run the family business, Petra Jewellery.
Things went well for a while but then Mitch began to feel like she could no longer cope with running the business. Long hours with little results began to take its toll and Mitch began searching for a mentor or organisation which could support her. It was only when Mitch attended a local networking event that she found what she was looking for. “I noticed the name Tim Savage, followed by Entrepreneur’s Circle, and thought ‘that sounds like what I need!’” Mitch tells us.
Mitch joined the EC and began implementing what she was learning straight away, starting with her staff. “I identified the staff that I felt were sabotaging my business by not embracing the culture that I want to promote within the shop. I look to businesses like Innocent Smoothies and Apple and the culture that they create within the workplace,” Mitch tells us. Stopping the sabotage did mean that Mitch had to go through the process of making someone redundant, but she now feels confident that she has a great team. “I did learn quite a few lessons during the recruitment process, but I now ask job applicants to submit a short video before an interview to check that they fit – I’m not prepared to compromise on my team.”
With the right team behind her, Mitch harnessed the power of PR for her business and held events at the shop. Petra Jewellery’s ‘Champagne & Canapes’ proved to be a great success. With 150 VIP guests invited, it was a great opportunity for Mitch to capture data. She held another event, a VIP breakfast, which was another success. Mitch says, “One guy, who had been a customer a few years back but lived 30 minutes away said the lure of bacon butties enticed him! His budget was £200 and he ended up spending £785. We also did an ‘early bird’ offer of goodie bags worth £35 for people shopping before 10am. However, they pretty much all turned up at 9:45am so that backfired a little and then the till crashed – but we dealt with it with humour and Bucks Fizz!”
Mitch also got to know her numbers – a scary decision for someone who once described herself as ‘spreadsheet-phobic’. However, doing so meant that Mitch created a clear picture of where her business was, and what she had to do to in order to get it to where she wanted it to be. “Setting monthly and daily targets, and seeing whether we were hitting them, helped me make decisions and spend big money. There was no more guesswork.” Getting to grips with those numbers clearly worked, as Mitch saw turnover increase steadily.
Mitch kept up the pressure to grow her business even more. First up, she set up a database, as she’d previously worked without one. Pairing the database up with an electronic point of sale system that collected and exported email addresses to Mailchimp meant that Mitch was able to contact her customers more regularly and she found out, from experience, that she could generate up to £10,000 by sending out a great offer. “I only send out stuff of value and I’ve had great feedback from customers,” Mitch tells us. She also developed a successful engagement ring service. She now offers four different engagement ring services to suit all customers, which includes free champagne and canapés, a photobook and a reception at a stately home. “We wanted to make it a special occasion” said Mitch.” The service certainly proved to be a massive hit with romantic couples, with turnover doubling in a year.
Following this success, Mitch decided to set up an engagement ring hotline. After asking for help with setting up a Call Tracking Number on the EC Members Facebook group, Mitch was directed towards the services of Jeremy Strong, at Invoco, and had soon added the new ‘Engagement Ring Hotline’ number to her website, complete with the message, “If you need to speak to an expert between 7am – 10pm then call this number.” Just three days after setting the hotline up, Mitch received a call at 9pm from a potential customer looking to buy an engagement ring. After chatting to the customer, Mitch sent out an invitation for him to attend an engagement ring design experience and two days later closed a sale for £5000 – all within a week.
Mitch and the team at Petra Jewellery never stop innovating and it paid off.