This week on my Parents in Business series I’m delighted to be featuring Nicki, who has not one, but two businesses: R&R PR Management and LHR Interior Design, which is really impressive. Nicki has transformed her childhood passion for interior design and made it into a dream, and even has her own column in Home Buyer Magazine. Her tops tips are invaluable and for anyone thinking about a similar thing, or wanting to set-up your own business I encourage you to read on…
Tell me a little bit about you, your background, and your business?
I am Nicki Rodriguez , 43 years old and live in Brentwood in Essex with my two children aged 17 and 8.
I run my own interior design company called LHR Interior Design in which I look after 3 properties a week and I also revamp, declutter and organise homes in the UK. I also write a a column for Home Buyer Magazine about Interior design topics every 3 months too.
What were your motivations for setting up your business?
I have been interested in interior design since I was a child and when I had my daughter, became very addicted to watching the House Doctor when I would be doing the graveyard shift as I called it! When she was nearly 1, I did an open University Course to qualify as an Interior Designer.
Over the last 17 years I have done various projects (in between two marriages) and decided 5 months ago to start my own business mainly specialising in reorganising and revamping homes. I recently gave my boyfriend’s home a totally new look and was lovely to see his and his three daughters’ faces when they walked into their home again.
How do you balance the business around your family and childcare?
Since setting up your business what has been your biggest success to date?
To date, my biggest success would be hard to choose from. I have enjoyed being recognised as an entrepreneurial business woman in relevant magazines, showing businesses and brands grow with the work that I have put in too. I think something very personal to me was when I was working as an Agent, supporting young clients battling with mental health issues and getting them through a tough time I guess would be a personal achievement. I have met some amazing people in both my businesses and most recently a welcome addition to my personal life through my work. It is amazing when you focus on a positive you get back a nice surprise.
What’s your top tip for anyone who is thinking about setting up their own business?
- If you are thinking of going into business with someone – vet them carefully and do your due diligence! I learnt this mistake twice! Make sure if you are investing money, you have a contract legally binding and agree on all terms and conditions.
- Know the nature of the industry you are going to be working in. You cant promote or sell something if you do not believe in it or have the insight to sell it either.
- Consider how many hours a day you will need to put in – important if you have a young family especially.
- Know your competition and if it is local, how will this affect you.
- Think outside the box – be unique and different and set yourself apart from what has already been created.
- Have a budget for what you want to spend and obtain quotes for services such as website design, social media management, advertising etc. This all helps to represent who you are and target your audience sufficiently.
- And lastly, be passionate about what you are doing… be creative, inspiring and give it your all!