We recently celebrated Mint Live's 1st Birthday, and the success of becoming finalists at the Grantham Journal Business Awards.
We have learned a lot in our fist year of business, such as:
You need to enjoy it
Managing people is hard
Get an accountant
It's important to have a good work-life balance
Too many lessons were learned to be included in one list...
With this in mind, we wanted to recap over our first year in business and reflect on how the business has adapted/grown since this time last year.
In October of last year, we were having dinner one evening and were joking that we should set up our own business after realising we both have different skills we could bring to the table. After some friends spurring us on, we decided to take the plunge and see if we could make our idea come to life. It took us some time to come up with the finer details (such as the name!) but after a week or two, we were finally ready to publish the website and start trying to build our client base.
We started doing some pro-bono work for local clients to try and get our name out there.
This then lead to paid work with local customers and this was the start of our vision coming to life. We started Mint Live as we have a real passion for helping out and growing the local business community and bringing Grantham back to life. We were thrilled to get our first contract and to get our feet off the ground within the first couple of weeks.
As well as a passion for local businesses, we also have a real passion for start-up companies. We love watching them flourish and love being able to grow with them from the beginning. There's something special about the buzz of a start-up company, everyone bounces ideas around and is really enthusiastic and it's really something that we love to be a part of. November/December prompted the start of the contract with one of our clients - an amazing start-up company, Bloom & Wild. We were thrilled to get started with them and our team soon grew from myself and Amy (& Blue the C.H.O) to a lively team of 10 - still working out of a living room! Christmas at Mint Live was amazing as we were reeling in the fact that we had managed to grow an idea to a team of 10 within the first 2 months.
After getting over the busy Christmas period and with an ever-growing team, we knew we would need to look for an office and a home in which to base Mint Live from. We knew we wanted to be based in Grantham as this is where we both grew up and we would both love to see Grantham thrive. After looking around a few premises, we found the one. We signed the lease and got the keys on a Friday...... we had our first meeting in the new office on the following Monday! We worked tirelessly that weekend to make it into an office to be proud of and we're so happy with how it's turned out and how it has become a great base for Mint Live.
As soon as we moved into the office, we pretty much transitioned straight into another busy period, which saw our team grow to a team of 20! We had people in all rooms of the office and the buzz was amazing. We had office badminton tournaments at lunchtimes, everyone got involved and friendships were built. Within this time, we took on our Marketing Director. He came on board and helped with the websites, PPC, Adwords and design work that came in. We had a very busy few months and time just flew by!
Things we wish we knew...
There are many things that we wish we had known from the beginning, such as getting an accountant from an early stage and receiving business advice to manage how quick we have grown and to check that everything is going in the right direction. There have been times that if we had known the above information, it would have saved us a lot of stressful days.
We finally got the advise and help that we needed which boosted our confidence and we're so grateful to be learning more and more each day.
This takes us to September time when we received an email that we had been nominated for the Grantham Journal Business Awards! We were so touched and thrilled that we had been nominated for 4 categories in our first year of business! We filled in our entry and waited to see if anything came of it.
Whilst we were waiting, we were preparing for Mint Live's 1st Birthday celebrations. We invited friends, family, clients and team members, past & present.
A great night was had by all, and plenty of drinks were drunk! We're already looking forward to our 2nd Birthday.
Shortly after, it was announced that we had made it to the final of the Business Innovation category for the Business Awards, which truly topped off our first year in business so well. We were over the moon to be invited to the awards ceremony, and we had the best time! We took home a Highly Commended Award and some great memories from the night.
Overall, we have had many highs and also some lows within our first year and we are so happy that we took the plunge and decided to commit to Mint Live. We're so thankful for everyone who has supported us and for our clients who have believed in us, who have now become friends. We're so excited to see where this next year takes us and we're so happy to share it with you all.