Friday, April 30, 2010
Feature Friday - Alison Tinlin from Plans and Presents
Each Friday, we're profiling a woman run business by interviewing the founder and finding more out about them, their business, their life and loves!
For our second Feature Friday, we've chatted to Alison Tinlin, owner of Plans and Presents, a Glasgow based wedding and event planning company, providing expert and superior service to all those who need assistance to plan the wedding (or indeed any event) of their dreams!
Hi Ali, introduce us to yourself and your company!
Hi, my name is Alison Tinlin, and my company is Plans and Presents, a Wedding and Event Planning business based in Glasgow.
My job is basically to work with you and provide as much or as little help as you need with your Wedding or Event..
That might be as simple as helping you find a venue, or a supplier you are particular difficulty sourcing, through to full Co-ordination, or anything else in between.
A particularly popular service for Weddings is On The Day Co-ordination.
I find that many couples like to do the planning aspect themselves, but like to have a professional in the latter stages to oversee events.
I come in about 4-6 weeks before the Event, and take all the carefully orchestrated plans, check that nothing has been missed, liase with all suppliers, and ensure plans are running smoothly.
I will also provide timelines for all suppliers and the couple so they know what happens when, and am there on the day to make sure that everything goes completely to plan.
This service is all about reassurance.
Where did the idea of running this as a business come from?
I'm a huge organiser at heart - I love to have everything in order, including my family, my friends and everyone and anyone!
In my previous job in nursing, I had to make sure that I worked to very exacting deadlines and being organised was, literally, a matter of life and death.
The skills of time management, crisis intervention, a good ear and the ability to listen and act on peoples needs are great transferable skills.
I am also a total people person, I like nothing better than a good chat, so the beauty of this career is that it is all about the client, and what they need.
What do you love most about your business?
I ADORE the interaction with people and the fact that you are helping to make the special day or event of someone completely perfect and stress free.
I really love when you look at your clients and they smile and you know in your heart that they are totally relaxed and reassured that everything is going well - because I've done my job well.
What would you like to change?
I would love to change peoples' preconceptions of my job.
From my experience, it appears that the public are still wary of my title - they believe that a planner/co-ordinator will be expensive and controlling.
In fact, this is far from the truth, I pride myself on the fact that my job is all about giving the clients the best possible personal service whilst, simultaneously ensuring they save as much money as possible and have their dream, stress free and wonderful day.
What is your aim for the next year?
I want to get my name out properly in the Scottish and UK market.
Over the last year, I have been building my name up within the UK Bridal Industry. I have been featured in Brides Magazine and the Scottish Wedding Directory, and have recently been nominated for a Mumpreneur award.
I was even asked to audition for a new Bridal show on Sky TV.
I want to build on that, and take Plans and Presents to bigger and better things. I will do that by being the best I can be and providing a superior service.
Where do you ultimately see yourself?
I see myself being top of my game, and I will do this by lots of hard work and determination.
I have come further in one year than I ever thought possible, and I know with my passion and drive for my business that I will succeed.
Whats your Top 5 tips for new Business Women ?
No. 1: Make sure you have a good business plan.
This is your cornerstone. Do lots of research, get as much feedback as you can, and be prepared for the fact that being in business for yourself is not a walk in the park, and you need to be prepared.
No. 2: Use the resources of Business Gateway/ Business link.
They are a great support, and may be able to help you with grants.
They may also be able to forward you for courses that will provide you with business basics and give you a greater foundation on which to build.
No. 3: Have people around you that are supportive.
It is imperative that you have a good support network, but it is also good if they will be realistic with you when they think you are doing something that isn't quite right.
No. 4: Use social media to its full advantage. Its the best free advertising you can have.
I love Twitter and Facebook!
As a new business person, you will not have a large amount of revenue to advertise. Be very selective where you place your money.
A lot of the time, backlinks, good reviews, and publishing a Blog will help with S.E.O.
No. 5: Never give up !
There will be highs, and there will be lows, and some days when you question why you are doing this.
But the utter satisfaction that you get when a jobs well done, and you have a happy client is worth all the not so good bits.
A few last words - How do we contact Plans and Presents ?
I really hoped you enjoyed this week's profile - if you'd like to contact me, please check out my website at http://www.plansandpresents.co.uk/ - you can also catch up with me at http://www.facebook.com/plansandpresents or http://www.twitter.com/mrspandp - or you can follow my blog at http://www.plansandpresents.blogspot.com/.
We really want to say a huge thanks to Alison for talking with us today and we really hope you have enjoyed our this Feature Friday. Don't forget to check out Alison's website at http://www.plansandpresents.co.uk/.
Next week, we'll be featuring Lois Bartley of Beads and More by Lois - make sure to check back then!