Podcast

Our podcast is raw, honest and damn right insightful, as we chat to some of the best minds in eCommerce

Vicky Denby

Hosted by Richard Hill

Ep 04:
Vicky Denby:
The Turbulent Journey of an eCommerce SME Business

Ep 04: Vicky Denby  – The Turbulent Journey of an eCommerce SME Business

Vicky Denby’s journey resonates with a lot of SME business owners. Her passion and tenacious attitude has led to her success, but it has certainly not been plain sailing. 

The challenges she has faced have not only made her strong, but her business as well. Every day is a learning experience in the life of Vicky Denby. 

This raw and honest podcast is not to be missed, as she shares some real nuggets of wisdom. 

 

eCom@One Presents 

Vicky Denby

Vicky has run her successful online business for over 10 years, selling baby changing bags and accessories. She has had a rollercoaster journey along the way, facing challenges that led to the closing of her physical store but triumphs which have led to her newest business venture, LiveLikeLoyalty. 

She talks about how she grew her online business from the start, the challenges she has faced both professionally and personally and her strategies which have led to her success. This podcast has raw emotion and a story many of us can relate to. 

 

Topics Covered

3:16 – The fall of her brick and mortar stores

5:05 – Her first experience with Adwords and SEO

9:50 – SEO Advice 

15:48 – Favourite Marketing channel that delivers results

23:56 – Frustration with fraud and how to spot it

27:15 – Advice for small eCommerce retailers

28:26 – How to set yourself above your competitors

29:58 – The highs and lows of business

34:55 – Nurturing relationships with suppliers 

36:55 – Be selective with your offering as an SME

39:40 – Livelikeloyalty – staff benefit scheme

 

Transcript 

Richard:
Okay. Well, welcome to another episode of eCom @ One, and today's guest is Vicky Denby. Now, I've known Vicky for about three years. Vicky contacted the agency about three years ago, and since then has become a good friend, and a good friend of the lot of the team, and we work on quite a few different projects with Vicky, and a lot of Vicky's friends around Lincolnshire. Vicky runs a couple of businesses that are based in Lincoln where our head office is based. Two, businesses, one which is a local loyalty app for local businesses, so for businesses that want to reward their staff and reward their team, they could sign up to Live Like Loyalty, which is, like I say, a loyalty app for their team. But Vicky will talk about that in more detail. But what we're really going to dive into is Vicky's eCommerce business. Now, Vicky's ran an eCommerce business here in Lincolnshire for about 13, 14 years, so obviously a lot of experience there, Vicky, and all the ups and down of owning an eCom business. How are you doing today?
Vicky:
I'm good thank you, Richard.
Richard:
Fantastic.
Vicky:
Nice to be here.
Richard:
Thank you. Let's kick off with just finding out a bit more about Mummy & Little Me, which is your eCommerce business.
Vicky:
Yeah.
Richard:
How did that get started and what is it?
Vicky:
Well, Mummy & Little Me is now really, it's a website which is dedicated to looking after new mothers. We've got a real specialist area now, which is baby changing bags, but we didn't start off like that at all.
Richard:
Okay.
Vicky:
We started in 2006, three months, four months after I'd had a baby.
Richard:
Yeah.
Vicky:
I realised that I needed/wanted to go back to work, and I didn't really want to work for anyone else. I wanted to be flexible, so me and my business partner, Tracy, decided to open up a shop in Lincoln called Mummy & Little Me. So, it was great, it was great. But part-time very, very, quickly led to full-time when House of Fraser approached us in Birmingham.
Richard:
Wow.
Vicky:
And said, "Could you open up one of your shops in our flagship store in Birmingham?" So, it was all very exciting. They said, "If this goes well, we want you in every store in the country” so, yeah, you can imagine we were just beside ourselves.
Richard:
Oh, golly. Yeah. I didn't know this, I didn't know this.
Vicky:
Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It was all very exciting. Suddenly we'd gone from, I don't know, two days a week to six days a week. You know?
Richard:
Yeah. And how long was that from starting to getting into your start of this eCom store, and then the House of Fraser approaching you, what's the sort of time span there?
Vicky:
Probably about a year in.
Richard:
Yeah, wow.
Vicky:
So, yes, we opened our shop up in Lincoln, and our eCom store opened up about two months after that.
Richard:
Yeah.
Vicky:
So, at that point in 2006, I mean, it sounds incredible now, but a lot of big players didn't have websites. You know, people like Selfridges didn't even have a website. So, we were quickly gaining traction with the website, so that was going quite well because we didn't have any competition, let's be honest.
Richard:
Yeah.
Vicky:
So, we opened up another store in Leeds in 2000... I think we're about 2008 now. Then, unfortunately, the bubble got burst.
Richard:
Yes.
Vicky:
And suddenly our stores went from doing X amount to sort of 80% less. You know? It felt like it happened overnight.
Richard:
Yeah. Very, very quickly.
Vicky:
So we quickly shut down our flagship store in Birmingham, which was a shame, but staffing the one-
Richard:
Were you living that way, then, or you-
Vicky:
No, I was commuting.
Richard:
Commuting, yeah.
Vicky:
And back then, we didn't have that new road, so it was-
Richard:
It was quite a trek on a good day, isn't it?
Vicky:
Yeah. Obviously it was House of Fraser, you can't arrive five minutes late on the shop floor. You have to stay. You have to stay until seven o'clock at night, and all these... I mean, sometimes we'd stay overnights in hotels, but it was tough. But it was exciting.
Richard:
Yep.
Vicky:
And anyway, the House of Fraser thing just didn't work out because obviously the recession hit really badly and bricks and mortar, we just weren't making any money, so it happened overnight.
Richard:
Yeah.
Vicky:
So we had to shut down the House of Fraser store. Leeds we still kept going, and then I think eventually in 2010, we realised we had to shut that one down, really. Oh, and Lincoln had been shut down in the meantime, so it wasn't easy. It was really hard.
Richard:
Challenging times, yeah.
Vicky:
It was really challenging, but we had this quite incredible website, which we hadn't given any attention to at all, because you can't. It's very hard to do bricks and mortar and website as well. They're two very different things. If you've got someone dedicated to each, that's fine, but we were flying about doing everything, really.
Richard:
Yeah, yeah.
Vicky:
So, yeah, the website, I mean, I never forget, we didn't really realise its potential until Tracy, my business partner, went away. She never really likes spending too much money, sorry, Tracy, and so she went away to America, and I thought, "I'm just going to try a Google Ad Word. I've been hearing about these ad words." I think this was about in 2009.
Richard:
Yeah, wow.
Vicky:
so, again, not many people were doing them.
Richard:
Yeah.
Vicky:
Well, blow me. I put this dress on an ad word and I sold something like six of them that day, and they were like £150.
Richard:
Yeah, unbelievable.
Vicky:
So, before Tracy came back, I had this whole Ad Words campaign set up. It was fantastic. What I hadn't taken into consideration, because something you don't really get in the shops is returns. So, this first week, she came back from holiday and I was like, "Guess what? We've sold five grands worth of dresses."
Richard:
Yeah.
Vicky:
I mean, we were only selling that in a month at the shop at that point. You know? She was like, "Wow. That's really exciting." Then bit by bit, these packages came back in. Yeah.
Richard:
The same money was coming back, five grand, four grand, three grand.
Vicky:
Yeah. So we had a lot to learn, but it was a good point where we thought, "Right, okay, we actually can make some money on this website."
Richard:
But it obviously made you think, "Oh, there's definitely something here. We've just got to adjust a few things."
Vicky:
There's potential. Yeah.
Richard:
Because you were getting the sales in, but then we got to work on the return side.
Vicky:
Exactly.
Richard:
Of maybe certain products that we don't sell or we need to work on so that it's clearer what they're about, so the returns are less.
Vicky:
Yeah, exactly. Then obviously we realised we were paying for Google Ad Words, so it's like, "Right, okay, now we need to look at our SEO, search engine optimisation."
Richard:
Yeah.
Vicky:
And we need to look at our natural rankings.
Richard:
Yep, yep.
Vicky:
Well, we were never anywhere for maternity wear. In fact, we only ever got to page two even in the good days. But for the long tail words like black maternity dress or whatever, we were on page one straight away. So, we sort of jumped on that bandwagon. We employed someone, so I think we employed someone about 2009.
Richard:
And this is to do the SEO?
Vicky:
To do the SEO.
Richard:
Yeah.
Vicky:
And it all seemed very complicated, the SEO. We sort of muddled our way through, and we had some great rankings, but where we realized our potential really was and we started to really focus was on baby changing bags.
Richard:
Yes.
Vicky:
Because for the key word baby changing bag, we were on page one. Now, I like to think that Google page one is the equivalent of having a shop on Oxford Circus or Oxford Street, but paying the prices of Lincoln rent.
Richard:
Perfect, yeah.
Vicky:
That's how I like to think-
Richard:
Great analogy, yeah.
Vicky:
Yeah, yeah, and that's how it is, you know? Everyone in the world sees you, everyone. You've got so much traffic, it's fantastic.
Richard:
So you've got those page one listings within a year or so of... well, around early 2000s.
Vicky:
Yeah.
Richard:
Some of the big key words.
Vicky:
Yeah. I mean, some of them we were just up there, I think pretty much naturally, because there wasn't a huge amount of competition.
Richard:
I think that's the thing, isn't it?
Vicky:
Yeah.
Richard:
You compare, well, 2006 I think you say you started, but 2007, '08, '09, '10, '11, '12 there, that was sort of a real sweet spot I think for where a lot of internet businesses were coming into their own, three, four, five years established, but there was not that much competition.
Vicky:
No.
Richard:
So, just by the nature of having a website that was okay, and maybe it was amazing, but-
Vicky:
No, it wasn't. No, it wasn't. Yeah.
Richard:
But literally it was quite straight forward to be on page one. So, it was like, "Yeah, I'm an SEO expert because I'm page one."
Vicky:
Yeah. Yeah, exactly.
Richard:
But then obviously things don't always stay like that, do they?
Vicky:
No.
Richard:
Yeah.
Vicky:
Not at all, not at all. Bit by bit, SEO's one of these things, the more you know, the more you realize you don't know, because it is quite complex. I know now I've worked with you guys, I realise it's very scientific and it's very clear what you need to do, but back then it just seemed like a big jumble.
Richard:
So what would you say then, somebody listening in that maybe they're either at the start of a journey, or they're at any part, whether they're doing a couple of orders a day or they're doing hundreds and thousands of orders a day, what would be the one bit of advice you might give around SEO? So, it would have been an understanding.
Vicky:
Yeah. I would say we spent years and years working with the same person.
Richard:
Yeah.
Vicky:
And we liked her as a person and we trusted her, but we never really understood, A, what she was doing, and B, what she was saying.
Richard:
It's like a different language.
Vicky:
Yes. And she almost made out it was some dark art and we would never understand it unless we understood computer language and HTML.
Richard:
Using a lot of the metaconomolization robots rather than understanding what each thing was.
Vicky:
Yeah.
Richard:
And sort of took it as, "Oh, okay."
Vicky:
She never gave us any training at all, which I think if I was going to give advice to someone now, I'd say first of all, make sure you understand the SEO agency. Make sure you understand what they're saying to you and what they're actually doing.
Richard:
Yeah.
Vicky:
If you can't understand that, you've got the wrong agency.
Richard:
Yeah, yeah.
Vicky:
Because I now know the right agency is very clear. It is very clear. It's a science, there's work that you have to do, there's work that they can do, and between you, you can get your rankings back up. But unfortunately, I just didn't understand that, and we thought it was our fault.
Richard:
Yeah. It sounds like you've got a real passion for it again.
Vicky:
Yeah, yeah. I have. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I recently, as you know, came to some training here, which really, it got me back to the basics, because it's very easy to forget the basics. You know? Forget that, yes, you need to think about the product title, all those things.
Richard:
Yeah, especially with an eCommerce store. There's a lot of pages that are all very similar, so once you've sort of grasped and got a real, even the basics, a few basics with a few sort of intermediate things layers in that you can then do to hundreds of pages, thousands of pages, you can do a lot of good, a lot of damage, in a good way, to a website. You know?
Vicky:
Yeah.
Richard:
So you know, "Right, that's what I've got to do to the top 20% of the pages," then you can get on and work on that yourself or with an agency. So, what I'm intrigued about, a couple of things that come out of that. You started the business with Tracy, you're still working together.
Vicky:
Yep, we are.
Richard:
Which is phenomenal.
Vicky:
Absolutely, absolutely.
Richard:
Obviously I've met Tracy a few times, obviously. I guess anybody listening in, yes, Tracy and Vicky do work with us as an agency, so I do know these guys pretty well. But 13 years you've been working together. That's a long while, I think.
Vicky:
Yeah, it is, isn't it?
Richard:
Which is great, you know?
Vicky:
Yeah.
Richard:
Any sort of tips?
Vicky:
Well, I can't tell you about the tips.
Richard:
Tips, tips, tips.
Vicky:
Tips.
Richard:
I'm sure there's no tips.
Vicky:
No tips. No, no, absolutely.
Richard:
But 13 years, that's longer than most of the average marriage I would imagine in the UK.
Vicky:
Yeah. Well, we made a pact, because we were friends before we went into business, and everyone said, "Oh, God, don't go into business with a friend. It's the worst thing you can do." So we made a pact before we started business that if there was something we didn't agree on, we wouldn't do it.
Richard:
Yeah.
Vicky:
Which, yes, that is good, but maybe there's a few things we haven't done that maybe certainly I wish we'd done, and I'm sure Tracy's exactly the same. Yeah, absolutely. But it did mean that we never fall out, because it would be like, "Well, I'm sorry, I think this." And, "Well, I'm sorry, I think that."
Richard:
It's sort of friendship first.
Vicky:
Yeah, yeah.
Richard:
I guess you must have had a few discussions that were a little bit like, "I want to do this," "I don't want to do that and I think we should..." you know?
Vicky:
Yeah. Well, I mean, I think probably the first one was this Google ad that I put out that cost us a huge amount of money. Tracy came back and I was like a Cheshire cat, and then we realized actually it cost us all this post out, all this post. We hadn't made any money on it at all.
Richard:
Yeah, yeah.
Vicky:
So, you learn a lot as you go on.
Richard:
So you were friend for quite awhile before then as well then?
Vicky:
Yeah.
Richard:
Yeah?
Vicky:
I think we met, yeah, probably about 10 years before that.
Richard:
Yeah, so a good 20 plus years now.
Vicky:
Yeah.
Richard:
Yeah. A long time ago yeah.
Vicky:
I know, I know.
Richard:
Fantastic. Okay. Well, also, I'm interested to know when you first started building that website, that first initial website, I always think that's quite interesting to know, because for most people, "Yeah, I just got a website." Now it's quite easy. You can go with Shopify, pay your £19 a month or whatever it... I'm not sure how much it is, actually, and you subscribe, you pull a template down and literally within a day you can have a website online. Obviously 14 years ago, it was code. So, how did you... you know?
Vicky:
Well, actually, it was a template website.
Richard:
Yeah, okay. Yeah.
Vicky:
But I remember it seemed very complicated.
Richard:
Yeah.
Vicky:
And I remember it seemed to take hours and hours to build it, and I'm just visualizing the website now, actually, and I'd forgotten about it, because I think we're on about version five of our website now, maybe even six.
Richard:
Is it still on the same platform as when you started?
Vicky:
No, it's a different platform now.
Richard:
Different now, yeah.
Vicky:
But we've been on the same platform, Blue Park it's called, actually, since 2011.
Richard:
Well, that's a long while, isn't it?
Vicky:
Yeah. And I remember when we first got on it, I was blown away by the stuff it did. We could sit... and this was 2011, so this was a long time ago, we could see people that were on the website. I mean, obviously we couldn't see their faces.
Richard:
Yeah, yeah.
Vicky:
That would be strange, but we could see what's in their basket and how many people, and back then, that was Big Brother stuff. I thought, "Gosh. If we can do this, what are Amazon doing?"
Richard:
Yeah.
Vicky:
And what are all the really big players doing? So I dread to think what they're doing these days.
Richard:
Yeah.
Vicky:
But no, that's been a really, really good platform for us.
Richard:
Yeah, so nine years, 10 years with them. Yeah, good. Okay. So, we've touched on quite a few SEO, Ad Words, Blue Park with the website. What would you say would be your number one marketing channel/tip? What would you recommend somebody that's listening that's got a store, what's been consistent for you as a channel to deliver results, orders and value?
Vicky:
Well, there's been a few.
Richard:
If you had to pick one.
Vicky:
Okay.
Richard:
I know you've sort of touched on a couple, SEO and Ad Words. You've touched on, and no doubt there's others, but-
Vicky:
Probably Ad Words would be the number one, actually, yeah, overall. I mean, I can back that up with all sorts of other things, but, yeah, if someone said to me, "Right, you're going to lose everything tomorrow, you can't do anymore email marketing, you can't do anymore social media," et cetera, et cetera, I would choose Ad Words, yeah, without a doubt.
Richard:
Yeah, that's good to hear.
Vicky:
Yeah.
Richard:
That's good to hear.
Vicky:
It's great for new websites though, isn't it?
Richard:
Yeah.
Vicky:
Because I do feel sorry for these guys that are coming in now, because it's hard to get to page one.
Richard:
Of course it is, yeah.
Vicky:
So, that's all they've got, really, is Google Ad Words.
Richard:
I think when we looked at your Ad Words probably three plus years ago, give or take, you had one... so, you were doing Google Shopping for the guys that are listening. You can do obviously Google Shopping, you're doing search ads and a few other bits and bobs around display, but primarily shopping and some search ads. When we looked at your Google Shopping feed, it was tagged with Frugal, which is, for those that are listening probably won't even know what Frugal is. A certain generation won't, that's for sure. But Frugal, when Google had Google Shopping as it is now, right back in the day, it was called Frugal. It was actually free.
Vicky:
Yeah.
Richard:
So, you would take a feed from your store, you would take your product data in that feed, push it into Ad Words, and then put ads out there completely free, which is insane to think that you could put your products in a Google feed, have them on page one pretty much all the time, because back then there was very limited... probably like five percent of the competition there is now. Any skew or product now is probably 50 retailers that are selling the same product. Well, not every product, but a lot of products. Might be at least 10 to 30. But back then, it was free. You obviously saw that, you experienced those days when it was free.
Vicky:
Yeah. I mean, it was amazing. Obviously, yes, first of all it was Google Ad Words, and then it went to Google shopping. So, yes, at that point, Google Ad Words had started to get around.
Richard:
Yeah, yeah.
Vicky:
It was busy. It was busy out there on page one, and it was quite hard to always be seen, so suddenly, yeah, Google Shopping we started doing. Then, again, not even John Lewis were doing Google Shopping at that point. You know? Because they're sort of one of our biggest competitors for baby changing bags, so we were like, "Wow, this is easy." But of course probably only took a year, 18 months for everyone else to-
Richard:
To jump on.
Vicky:
Yeah.
Richard:
I think that's a good one because you found that with a lot of new platforms, a lot of new technology that comes along to advertise stores on, a lot of the bigger players are not as nimble, not as quick to move.
Vicky:
No.
Richard:
Maybe rightly so, to a degree, but I think as an independent retailer or eCommerce store, as you are now, but as an independent retailer back then, to be able to be, "Right, do you know what? Let's make that call and make a decision today to run some ads with a test budget, let's see," and then go, "Wow, blimmin' heck. We sold five dresses." You know?
Vicky:
Yeah.
Richard:
Whereas some have got to have meeting after meeting, board room after board room, nine months later they've missed the boat potentially on that early adopter.
Vicky:
Absolutely. Absolutely.
Richard:
I think that's a really key thing you said there. Yeah.
Vicky:
It is, no, and you're absolutely right, because, yeah, Tracy and I do make decisions very quickly, and I think all small businesses, that's the one thing you've got over. Well, you've got lots of other things, customer service, all sorts of things, but that's one thing that you've really got over the big players.
Richard:
You've got that advantage.
Vicky:
And I'll give you a really good example, actually. When Kate Middleton had George, she came out of the hospital. I remember, I think it was a dinner party or something, and she came out of the hospital, and I noticed on my phone, I was going, "Ding, ding," all these orders were coming in. It was like, "What's going on here?" And she'd come out in this aden + anais sort of baby swaddle that we sell.
Richard:
Yeah, yeah.
Vicky:
And at that point, we were the only independent to sell these things.
Richard:
Wow, yeah.
Vicky:
In the UK. They were an American brand and we'd found them like a year before. So it's like, "Ding, ding, ding," all these orders coming. Well, you know, obviously next morning, in early, home page, capitalized, absolutely hit the ground running.
Richard:
Yeah, yeah, yeah, running ads for the name or baby bag, Kate Middleton.
Vicky:
Yeah, yeah, email goes out that day, you know?
Richard:
Yeah, yeah. We had that sort of speed, being able to just react to something before it's even happened, before all the draw in. Yeah, it's fantastic, isn't it?
Vicky:
Yeah, yeah.
Richard:
Okay. So, Google Ad Words, obviously you've seen a lot of things over the sort of 12 ish years you've been running them. So, Frugal, you had the free run for a few years.
Vicky:
Yeah.
Richard:
And then obviously you start paying with Google Shopping and search ads, so you're still running, obviously I know you are, but you are still running ads for everything and it is still your number one channel. I think, like you say, for those that are starting out, ti's a lot more challenging, unless you've got huge budgets or fairly decent budgets with SEO, depending on the size of the business, but tens of thousands a year, really, isn't required for SEO to make a real impact. There's a lot of exceptions to that, whereas Ad Words you can get live within a day or two. You can take a niche set of products, doesn't necessarily have to be all your products as a start up, potentially. You could start with a few products where you've got a bit more margin, you've got a bit more, maybe a little bit more of an advantage over some of the-
Vicky:
And just do a test or two.
Richard:
Do a test and start, you know? Then you're going to be straight on page one. You're going to have your ads in front of people very quickly, and then you can get a feel for things. You know? I think that's where the newer players and the more independent, non high street brands have got a bit of an advantage or a bit of a... they can test, they can start, rather than... it's definitely going to be a bit more challenging. It always is. But, again, I think that's just the way you've got to really try as an owner, and I think this is what you're saying, is to bite the bullet and just have a real understanding of SEO, of Ad Words, particularly, so you know what's going on and you're knowing then whether you then decide to then let an agency work on it in time, fine. But at least if you do, sorry, you know that you know what's happening, you know the language. Yeah.
Vicky:
Yeah, yeah, yeah, but I also, I think, A, you were saying it can cost tens of thousands to do SEO.
Richard:
Yeah.
Vicky:
Well, I happen to know that it doesn't cost tens of thousands because I've been working with you for awhile and you've got me to page one because we'd lost all our rankings, obviously. But we'll go back to that. But also, I do think as a consumer's concerned, yes, okay, you are going to look at the Ad Words, but if you see someone naturally on page one as well as an Ad Word, somehow you trust them a bit more.
Richard:
Yep.
Vicky:
Because there are still a lot of customers that go onto your website and will ring you up and just double check that you are genuine and you are real, because there are still a lot of websites that can get themselves to page one overnight, pop up overnight, try and sell things for a ridiculous price, and we've come across it a lot.
Richard:
Yeah. I think consumers are more savvy now, aren't they?
Vicky:
Yeah.
Richard:
They know that paid ads, you're paying to play and you can get a business there, whereas I think people are more... if something is inorganic, there's a bit more of a trust element there.
Vicky:
Yeah.
Richard:
But still, they're still going to query potentially if it's a brand they've not heard of, if it's in independent, if it's not a high street store, that's where your other areas come in, whether they're going to be looking at your about us and finding out about that history.
Vicky:
And the reviews, actually. The reviews have been really good for us.
Richard:
Reviews, yeah, yeah.
Vicky:
Yeah.
Richard:
I think that's where obviously why get a huge win, don't you?
Vicky:
And then obviously good for SEO as well.
Richard:
Yes, yeah.
Vicky:
Yeah.
Richard:
Okay.
Vicky:
Yeah.
Richard:
You've been in business for a long time, well, quite a long time.
Vicky:
You make me sound old.
Richard:
I guess is it a bit like cat years, is it eCom years? Obviously things move so quick.
Vicky:
Oh my goodness.
Richard:
So 14 years in Ecomm is obviously almost unrecognizable from what you can do today to how it started. But through those sort of 14 years, have you got any sort of major horror stories that people could maybe avoid, or things that you've done over the years that you think, "Ooh, yeah, that didn't go too well," or you no doubt learnt from that experience or that thing.
Vicky:
I'll tell you something that's always really bugged me, which I've just thought about, is that however good the eCommerce side of your website is, fraud still happens.
Richard:
Yeah.
Vicky:
And it happens, and I really wish there was a telephone line that you could just ring and say, "Right, I've got some fraud here," but there doesn't appear to be because I've been looking at it asking for years. But things like that, we always ring up the customers and say, "Hello," and nine times out of 10, if it's fraud, they won't answer the phone, or the phone doesn't even ring in the first place, and the email bounces back.
Richard:
Yeah.
Vicky:
So, I think for the small players, fraud is quite a big thing.
Richard:
Yeah.
Vicky:
It's something that you need to really watch out for.
Richard:
So with their payment provider, they can set up to really secure.
Vicky:
Well, we've got 3D secure, and still sometimes we get people that... you know. I mean, there are signs, it gets through, there are signs, things like next day deliveries, they always do next day delivery, the fraudsters.
Richard:
Yeah.
Vicky:
They always have a weird email address that's nothing to do with their name, they often have a telephone number that doesn't work.
Richard:
Yeah, yeah.
Vicky:
But yeah.
Richard:
So you put obvious checks in place to say, "Right, anything that ticks that boxes," over a certain value.
Vicky:
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Richard:
Yeah, I mean, it does happen.
Vicky:
I mean, it doesn't happen as much now.
Richard:
Yeah.
Vicky:
But I remember probably in about 2010, we had this guy from South West London ring up and wanted us to deliver a Bugaboo, their prams, and they're expensive.
Richard:
Yeah, yeah.
Vicky:
We don't sell them anymore, but I think back then they were like 700 quid. "Can you deliver it tomorrow? Any color will do." Well, I know and any other parent knows, no one says any color will do. Yeah, yeah, you know? Yeah, "Just send me a pram. I don't care."
Richard:
"It's a boy, oh, it doesn't matter."
Vicky:
Yeah. So, things like that used to happen to us a lot.
Richard:
Yeah, yeah. Is it less frequent now?
Vicky:
It is less frequent now. It probably happens probably once a month these days when I think about it, actually.
Richard:
Yeah. I mean, we had a meeting with quite a new client last Wednesday, and we went to see them in Preston, and he had a £4,500 fraudulent order.
Vicky:
Did he?
Richard:
The week before, yeah.
Vicky:
Yeah.
Richard:
One order, but it was for four items that are about £1,000 plus VAT, give or take, a little bit less, and it was fraud, but his system snagged it. They were for really large, physically large items. It was really like, "Nobody orders four of these."
Vicky:
No.
Richard:
So, he didn't get caught with it.
Vicky:
No.
Richard:
But it got flagged, but then straight away as soon as I look at an order like that, like you say, if you get an order for three pink prams or whatever, it's like, "I don't care," it's pretty obvious if they don't answer the phone. Yeah, you've got to be sensible, haven't you, and not ship that order.
Vicky:
No, that's right.
Richard:
Because obviously margins on a lot of Ecomms products, if you shipped a £700 order and lost £700 in effect, or even at cost price, we'll say £500.
Vicky:
Yeah.
Richard:
You've got to sell a lot of product to sell £500 back.
Vicky:
No, exactly. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah.
Richard:
Okay. Watch what you're doing with spurious orders and odd orders, and be careful that you're not shipping stuff that might be clawed back.
Vicky:
Well, my advice to anyone starting out, I mean, I would give this advice anyway to small retailers, Ecommerce retailers, is try and phone the customers, because they love it when you phone them.
Richard:
Yeah, yeah.
Vicky:
It's like they love the fact that you're an internet site but you're actually... there is someone on the other end of the phone. Even if you just phone them to say, "Look, I think your delivery's going to be on Thursday. I was hoping it was going to be for Wednesday." "Oh, no, no. Wow, brilliant. Love it. Love it." So, anything that looks slightly dodgy, if you phone them... I mean, I remember once we phoned someone that we thought was dodgy, and they were having this conversation, and I was saying to Tracy, "I think they're fine." You know? Because they were saying all the right things to me, and then right at the end, I said, "Oh, by the way, when are you due?" And she went... and she couldn't answer, and then we realized.
Richard:
Wow, yeah.
Vicky:
So, they were getting clever. So, just phone people.
Richard:
Yeah.
Vicky:
It's great customer service anyway.
Richard:
I think from a customer service point of view, obviously, if you can do that, it's literally like, "Wow, I can't believe it. I've ordered this X, Y, Z, and the firm rang me to ask," and you're sort of maybe just double checking on a fraud point of view in some instances.
Vicky:
Well, no, to be honest, yeah, we try and phone them anyway, and another thing again that will put you apart from your competitors, something that we always do, I shouldn't give all my secrets away, but we always, always send a completely individual email. So, they'll get their automated confirmation, that will happen, and then the morning it comes in, we'll send them a complete individual email saying, "The sun's shining here in Lincoln and-"
Richard:
Do you? That is amazing. Yeah.
Vicky:
"... your parcel will be arriving with you by DPD on Thursday," or whatever.
Richard:
Wow.
Vicky:
And they love it. They love it.
Richard:
I think that's a good one we've prized out of you there, because that sort of personalization really makes you stand out, doesn't it?
Vicky:
Yeah. Yeah, it does. It does.
Richard:
Next time obviously you're selling baby products, obviously they're going to want other things from you, and that's the same with most Ecomm stores or most businesses are looking for that lifetime value in a customer.
Vicky:
Yeah, something that's a bit different.
Richard:
Somebody that's going to, "Oh, that lovely lady rang from Mummy & Little Me. My friends having a baby, I'll tell you what, we're going to buy her that from that lady that rang us," or email, it just sets you apart, doesn't it? You're not going to get that from a high street store.
Vicky:
No. Well, they just, yeah, haven't got the manpower.
Richard:
They will try some automated sort of personalisation and a lot of touch points that are automated, but nothing beats a real, personalized email, which can be tricky obviously if you're doing thousands of orders, but you could then decide to do so many.
Vicky:
Well, do you know what? They're just very quick emails. They're not long. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Richard:
Okay. If I was to ask you what would be one thing you wish you'd known before you started the business, what would that be?
Vicky:
I'm not really sure, because I don't know. People that know me will probably laugh hearing me say this, but I always think ignorance is bliss, really, because I think actually if I'd realised how sometimes heartbreaking... I mean, the highs and the lows of the business have been amazing. Obviously when I lost the shops, heartbreaking, but then I've had some really, really high points as well. If I'd known all of that, would I have just gone and got a job working for someone else? I don't know, I don't know. I don't know.
Richard:
Knowing you as I do, I would say you would not have got a job working for somebody else.
Vicky:
No, no, possibly you're right.
Richard:
I suppose it's inevitable that there's going to be highs and lows, and the reality of life is such.
Vicky:
Yeah. But it's very exciting when you've got your own Ecommerce site. It is really exciting.
Richard:
Yeah, yeah.
Vicky:
And you do go home on a Friday night and you don't stop work.
Richard:
Yeah.
Vicky:
I mean, even if you have physically stopped it, it's still going on in your head, and you're still thinking about it all weekend, so you do have to have very supportive family when you're cooking the roast and you suddenly go, "What do you think about this idea?" And then, "Oh, God, is it that again?"
Richard:
I think that's a really good topic to touch on, because as a business owner, obviously as a fellow business owner and business owners listening in, it can be quite a lonely place, can't it?
Vicky:
Yeah.
Richard:
Unless you've got people around you that work for you or with you, your business partner.
Vicky:
That want to talk to you about it.
Richard:
But that's important, isn't it?
Vicky:
Yeah, I think it's really important.
Richard:
To have somebody... you know, obviously you've got a business partner primarily.
Vicky:
Yeah, yeah, and my partner's also got a couple of businesses as well, so he's always very keen to talk to me about it, which is great, yeah.
Richard:
Yeah, yeah. It can be quite a lonely place, can't it?
Vicky:
Yeah.
Richard:
As a business owner or eCom store owner business owner. Yeah. I would say the same. We have in our business, we have sort of what I refer to as our trusted advisors. Sounds a bit extreme, but we have a couple of business coaches. Well, one specifically, and then sort of officially, if you feel like saying, that's been coming into our business for the last seven years, comes in once a month, spends some time with our senior management and myself.
Vicky:
Just helps you focus a bit, yeah.
Richard:
Yeah. Literally, it's a bit of a sounding board. We can have a rant. You know? We can have a good chat.
Vicky:
I could deal with one of those.
Richard:
And I'm very, very cautious of who I let in my business.
Vicky:
Are you? Yeah.
Richard:
And who I take advice off and who we listen to, because quite often, it's not taking advice, but you haven't sort of been there and done that.
Vicky:
No.
Richard:
It's more like textbook advice rather than the reality, so I spent quite a lot of time sort of vetting people. This is quite a few years ago now. I knew I needed to get some support with various areas. Obviously as a business owner, you can be a million miles an hour, ideas everywhere. Every now and then, you just need somebody to go, "Whoa. Let's just go back to the next three months. What are the priorities? Oh, okay, yeah, hang on, Richard."
Vicky:
Yeah, yeah.
Richard:
So, I think, yeah, you've got obviously those people to a degree that you can sort of-
Vicky:
Talk to.
Richard:
... discuss, talk to.
Vicky:
And I think... I mean, my dad always had a good expression, which is the tail is wagging the dog. So, like you said, you're going at a million miles an hour, and actually you're not working particularly effectively. I think it's really important to just sit down, you might look like to everyone else you're not working, but just think. Just think and strategise and take yourself out of the business as well, so take yourself away.
Richard:
Maybe Australia or something like that.
Vicky:
Australia's a great place to go.
Richard:
Vicky's just come back from Australia about a month ago, yeah.
Vicky:
Yeah, yeah. I mean, I know when Tracy and I, we go to Cologne every year. There's a big baby show at Cologne.
Richard:
Yeah.
Vicky:
And we always come back to energized and enthused because we have different ideas when we're over there. And yes, okay, it's over beer and wine, but we'll be like, "Right, we need to write this down so we don't forget it."
Richard:
Yeah, no, I think that is such an important point.
Vicky:
It's really important to do that. You know? Don't just work and work and work. Get away from the business.
Richard:
I think that's a brilliant point.
Vicky:
Yeah.
Richard:
I think you just end up, you do a month, two months just the same in the office, in the warehouse.
Vicky:
Yeah.
Richard:
Stepping back, going to expos, fantastic. When I have my stores, that was pretty much, with my Ecomm stores, that was one of my big things. I used to go to Berlin a lot.
Vicky:
Did you? Yeah.
Richard:
Yeah, probably at least two times a year, Vegas to go to the CES in January.
Vicky:
Vegas?
Richard:
I'd do the whole family thing at Christmas.
Vicky:
My expos aren't in exciting places like Vegas.
Richard:
But CES is the Consumer Electronics Show.
Vicky:
Right.
Richard:
And we were selling electronic and PC and computer components, so it was like the perfect show, and then the Berlin one was the same. It was like the European equivalent. So, you'd go and see more of what the American market was doing in CES, but then the one in Berlin was a combination of the European countries, but now half the Chinese manufacturers, well, manufacturers and manufacturers warehouses and the companies that actually made the product go there, so you would, like you say, you have quite a nice bit of down time, which is great.
Vicky:
And bonding with your suppliers, which is really important.
Richard:
Absolutely.
Vicky:
You can't put a value on that. Yeah, so for any eCommerce people out there listening that thinks, "Oh, I haven't got time to go to that show," go. Go and bond with your suppliers. Go out and have a drink with them, because it will benefit you. For a start, you'll be the first person they'll ring when they've got a good deal or they want to offload some stock. You will be the go to person, so that's one of the reasons Tracy and I make sure every year at least once we go to these things.
Richard:
It's the relationships.
Vicky:
You've got to nurture those relationships, yeah.
Richard:
It goes back to business basics.
Vicky:
Yeah.
Richard:
In that a lot of people forget that, don't they?
Vicky:
They do.
Richard:
It wraps up with the inside of Ecomm.
Vicky:
Yeah.
Richard:
"I've got these products, I'll get them from there and I'll make 10%." Right? But you've got to sell them.
Vicky:
Yeah.
Richard:
Hang on a minute. Well, what if you could get a 20% margin?
Vicky:
Yeah.
Richard:
How do I do that? Well, you've got to speak to people.
Vicky:
Yeah, exactly.
Richard:
You've got to get out there. You've got to get to know them, and obviously you've got to show them that you are really, really into the market and the products.
Vicky:
You know what you're doing, they can trust you.
Richard:
Yeah, yeah, build that relationship.
Vicky:
And if the tail's wagging the dog and you're just running around in circles not really getting a lot done, but thinking you are, as you say, you could have gone to that show, got an extra 10% off your margins, rather than thinking, "Oh, I haven't got time."
Richard:
Yeah. They've got an end of line stock or they've got some stock in the warehouse.
Vicky:
Yeah, happens to us a lot.
Richard:
They've got targets to hit, and you really want to hit targets, they've got their own targets, different manufacturing targets that they're distributing.
Vicky:
Yeah.
Richard:
Yeah. I think, so, having a couple of key... well, maybe a lot more, but a good block of key relationships with your manufacturers, suppliers, distributors.
Vicky:
Really important.
Richard:
Really important, yeah.
Vicky:
Really, really important.
Richard:
Yeah. I think that's a really good one, yeah.
Vicky:
And also, I mean, another thing is I think it's very easy if you see something that's selling well, to go, "Let's go and get five more companies that do a similar thing and get them on my website because that's selling really well." Don't put too much on your website, I would say. It's very easy. It's like when you go into a sweet shop, isn't it? And you see so many things you want, you walk out without anything. Not that I go into sweet shops these days. Well, maybe occasionally.
Richard:
There's one around the corner.
Vicky:
I know.
Richard:
I think obviously more as you start to grow an eCom store, there's a lot of options in terms of supplier and stock and range. Obviously that has got a cost associated with it. If you've got to stock items and you've got to actually pay for them, okay, you might get credit, but eventually it's got to be paid for.
Vicky:
Yeah.
Richard:
So, I think, yeah, you've got to be very conscious and cautious of that stock holding, and focus on maybe a handful of suppliers as your core ones potentially. Of course, every business is different and at a different level, whether that's 100 grand a year or 100 million a year, but it's still, and you can have your key relationships, but maybe a lot more of them depending on your size, and then some sub relationships when you may drop ship, you may-
Vicky:
Yeah, exactly, yeah. We do drop shop.
Richard:
You may increase some longer terms on the payments.
Vicky:
Yeah.
Richard:
They go, "Well, we'll take them, but we want 90 days on those."
Vicky:
Yeah.
Richard:
"Because we wouldn't normally take..." "Oh, okay," and you'll be surprised, they might say, "Do you know what? Why not?"
Vicky:
And that's another thing. You don't know this stuff when you first go into business. You don't know that you can make these demands, and you can, because what's the worst they can say? No. And yeah, so, yeah, no, you're absolutely right. I mean, I remember probably four, five years ago after we'd shut the shops and things were really tough, I mean, really tough, we'd only just survived, really, and so when we used to go to new suppliers, we'd say to them, "Look, can we just drop ship for the first six weeks and just trial you out on the website? You'll give us all the images and the barcodes and all this, we're just going to trial you, see how it works, and if it doesn't work, nothing ventured, nothing gained." I think especially a lot of the really new, smaller suppliers, they're very keen to just do anything to help get them on the ladder.
Richard:
Yeah, and that just shows that they are making an effort.
Vicky:
Yeah.
Richard:
So they're people you want to work with as well.
Vicky:
Yeah, yeah.
Richard:
Because they want to give you a go sort of thing, as a starter and all that sort of thing.
Vicky:
Yeah.
Richard:
Okay. Mummy & Little Me is sort of 14 years in.
Vicky:
Yeah. Well, it's 13.
Richard:
It's 13.
Vicky:
Yeah. It's 13 and a half, because, yeah, my daughter's about to turn 14 and I started it when she was little.
Richard:
So I think you need like they have cat years is seven years, well, let's assume Ecomm years are three years, maybe. I don't know. So you're like 35, 40 years into this.
Vicky:
Oh, God.
Richard:
But I know that you also recently set up a new business.
Vicky:
I have.
Richard:
Called Live Like Loyalty.
Vicky:
Yep. That's staff perks. It's completely different. This business is all on an app, really. I have a website, but it is app based, and it's basically it's just for Lincolnshire. I'm pretty sure its the first of its kind in the country. Local businesses buy this as a staff perk for their staff, their staff download the app, and it gives them access to... well, at the moment we've got 58 local partners, local businesses, and every single one is independent. So, what we're doing is we're looking after our staff. We're hopefully keeping really good staff in Lincolnshire, but we're also really supporting the local economy, which is something that I'm quite passionate about. I'm really obviously passionate about keeping all these fantastic shops, because actually, Lincoln have got some amazing independent shops, and I think we take it all a bit for granted.
Vicky:
My new venture, my new baby is basically to get Lincolnshire on board with this. I want Lincolnshire to be known as the first county in the county to really do something about saving their shops, because this is a win win for everyone. People, local businesses can buy it for their staff. I mean, I was talking to the YMCA, the CEO, Caroline, of the YMCA recently.
Richard:
That's the YMCA in Lincoln?
Vicky:
Yeah, YMCA in Lincoln, and she said, "My staff are so passionate about what they do, and they absolutely love it. Some of them, they're not brilliantly paid because it's a charity, so wouldn't it be amazing if I could get it for them?" And I said, "Well, yeah, fantastic." And she said, "Well, you know, all I need is a local sponsor in Lincoln, and then we can do that." So, we're really, really looking to get this app out there now. We launched on Lincolnshire Day on the first of October.
Richard:
How many employees do YMCA have that they want to give it to?
Vicky:
They've got 150 employees. Yeah, it's quite a bit outfit, isn't it?
Richard:
It is, yeah.
Vicky:
Yeah, yeah.
Richard:
We've done some various projects over the years at the YMCA.
Vicky:
Oh, have you?
Richard:
An amazing business.
Vicky:
Yeah.
Richard:
Amazing what they're doing.
Vicky:
It is. Yeah, it is.
Richard:
And I think just... I don't know how to say it, but the people that I've worked with in that business, they're just amazing people.
Vicky:
They're so passionate, aren't they? And so caring.
Richard:
They are. I've worked with four or five different people over the years, they're just like, wow. You just want to help them.
Vicky:
Yeah.
Richard:
You just want to work with them.
Vicky:
Yeah.
Richard:
They're really good. So, yeah, anybody listening in that would like to find out more about-
Vicky:
Wants to sponsor them, yeah.
Richard:
... actually helping YMCA, reach out to Vicky. We'll sort of give Vicky's details at the end of the podcast, and also feel free to have a look at YMCA Lincoln's website, you can find out more about what they're doing.
Vicky:
Yeah, yeah. So, this app, basically, I've managed to get some really exciting local businesses on board, and on the app, they will get discounts from every single business, and every single discount is exclusive. So, for instance, they'll get four free coffees a month from Stokes.
Richard:
Yeah.
Vicky:
And loads and loads of other things. So, it's really exciting, and I'm really, really enjoying it.
Richard:
isn't it? It really is.
Vicky:
It really is.
Richard:
for local businesses and the businesses that provide it for their staff, because their staff are getting access to all of their local shops.
Vicky:
Yep.
Richard:
And ultimately they're saving a lot of money as an employee of a company that is Lincolnshire based.
Vicky:
It's making their wages go further, and hopefully, what I'm trying to do with the app, well, I have done, is build up a complete community of people. It's not just eating out and it's not just shopping. We've even got family law on there, we've got for instance JH Walters.
Richard:
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Vicky:
Lots and lots of really good brands. I was talking to you this morning because you were saying about you need new tires. Well, Tamvick's the one there. So, lots of really, really... hopefully what I'd like to do is be the go to. So, you think, "Oh, I need this. Oh, let's see if Live Like Loyalty have it." So that's what I'm going towards.
Richard:
Yeah, yeah, a bit like movie voucher codes. It's different, but you quite often when you look for anything online, you type in voucher codes online, whereas now you're a Lincolnshire person working for a local business almost and looking to get whatever it may be, move house, buy a new coat, have your nails done.
Vicky:
Yeah, exactly. We've got all of these.
Richard:
Lunch, cinema. Well, maybe not cinema.
Vicky:
I'm working on the venue. I'm working on them.
Richard:
I think that's amazing. So, you're only four months into the project.
Vicky:
Yeah.
Richard:
You've got 58-
Vicky:
Got 58 partners. We went live with 35, but actually a few people have come to me, which had made my job easier, so we're always looking for new businesses. The criteria is their customer service has to be amazing. We won't take on anyone. Has to be really, really good customer service, has to be in Lincolnshire, and has to be independent. So, that's it, really.
Richard:
Yeah. Well, I know my team, obviously recently we signed up beginning of the year for the Live Like Loyalty, because I'm IT mad now.
Vicky:
Enjoying it?
Richard:
Enjoying it, and I'll have to have a debrief with them over the next week or two and find out the best perks or the best ones on there, but I know that obviously we're based in Central Lincoln now.
Vicky:
There's quite a few you can go to, yeah.
Richard:
There's a lot in Central Lincoln, especially on the... well, a lot of areas, but on the food, drink, and I know the ladies will be looking at the manicure or pedicure.

Vicky:
Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah.
Richard:
The health options, so, yeah. I'm looking forward to benefiting from-
Vicky:
Getting your nails done, yeah.
Richard:
I don't mind a pedicure, actually.
Vicky:
Do you? Oh, secrets coming out now.
Richard:
Don't say it out loud. I didn't actually, yeah. Yeah, yeah. When you said about 20 minutes about it's nice to have some time and step back, well-
Vicky:
That's your thing, is it? Pedicure?
Richard:
I quite like going in the sauna, steam.
Vicky:
Oh, okay. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Richard:
Manicure. I say that, I think I've had a manicure twice in my life. But I won't say no. I'm quite open to the idea.
Vicky:
Yeah, yeah. Brilliant.
Richard:
Okay. So, a couple of quick fire questions now to wrap things up.
Vicky:
Oh, God. Okay.
Richard:
What would you say, is there any future trends that you're keying or future trends that you see that are coming through in the business that you're keen to sort of pursue?
Vicky:
Well, I mean, one that I am pursuing, and I could see it coming through, and this is one of the reasons I did Live Like loyalty, is because I think everyone's really stopping to think about their local community now, and we're really starting to realise that if we can look after everyone on our doorsteps, then it's a great thing. So, I think that's coming through, and I also think the ethical things which were coming through when I started the business in 2008, there were lots of people that were talking about only buying organic this and organic... unfortunately then, it seemed quite prohibitive in price. So, it was a bit of a fad and a bit of a phase. Well, now I think costs have come down for a lot of these things.
Richard:
Affordable.
Vicky:
And it's now, yeah, becoming more of a staple. Yeah, yeah.
Richard:
Yeah, I think we're seeing that in a lot of industries, aren't we?
Vicky:
Yeah.
Richard:
More possible rather than prohibited potentially because of costs, and we see that in a lot of industries I think, yeah.
Vicky:
Yeah. So, yeah, that's probably the main one.
Richard:
Yeah, fantastic. Final question.
Vicky:
Right.
Richard:
What book are you reading now, or what book would you recommend? Is there a book that you'd recommend? I have to admit, when I was sort of younger, I didn't read a lot as a child and at school and all that, but this last since I sort of more so started my business journey, I say start, but I've been in the business for 25 years now, but I've become a bit of an avid reader and an avid learner.
Vicky:
Okay.
Richard:
There's one sort of book-
Vicky:
I've got two, actually. One I can't remember the exact name of, but it's called Brands or something.
Richard:
Brand Story.
Vicky:
Brand Story, thank you, which is really interesting, and it tells you you've got to pick heroes and villains and the house, and it actually made me come up with a good start line for the business.
Richard:
Building your brand story.
Vicky:
Yeah, building your brand story. And it does, again, you have to read it and then you have to go away and you have to think about things. I'll tell you something I do all the time, Richard, which everyone laughs at me, especially the kids. I have these sort of whiteboard sticky papers. You know you can buy them from Amazon? They're like £18 or something. See, I shouldn't be saying Amazon, but anyway, whiteboard sticky papers, and then you can just have all these ideas and just write them down, and Brand Story is really good for that. Then another one which I'm going to lend to you when I finish, I've got two books on the go at the moment, because I tend to find... do you know what I mean? It depends what mood I'm in.
Richard:
Yeah.
Vicky:
And this one is called, and I can't remember who's written it, I'm sorry, but it's called-
Richard:
Was it Donald Miller's Building a Brand Story?
Vicky:
Thank you. Yeah. But the other one is called How to Think Effectively.
Richard:
Okay.
Vicky:
And I'm going to lend that you to, because I think you'll love it, yeah.
Richard:
Yeah.
Vicky:
And I've only just started that. But again, it is about what I was saying before, taking time out and just stop rushing around, because I'm very guilty of that.
Richard:
Yeah. I think that's one of the biggest take aways from this podcast, I think. It's just so easy. You can always be busy, can't you?
Vicky:
Yeah.
Richard:
There's always something to do. You can always make a list, you can always work through the list, but then the list never ends. There's always a list under the list, then it's like, "When's it going to stop?" Because as an entrepreneur, owner, sort of the brain never, it can never stop.
Vicky:
No. You've always got ideas.
Richard:
If you don't allow some time out, three weeks in Australia or a nice trip to Cologne, or whatever it may be, why the hell not?
Vicky:
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, you've got to do these things.
Richard:
That's what we're working for, isn't it?
Vicky:
Well, also, and another important point is you've got to enjoy yourself when you're in business. If you're not enjoying yourself, you're doing something wrong.
Richard:
Yeah, yeah.
Vicky:
You've got to have, yeah, okay, there'll be lows. Yeah. But you've got to have fun. You've got to wake up every day with a bounce in your step and go, "Yeah, I'm going to work," which honestly, I do do that. I hate to say it, but I do do that most days.
Richard:
I think my team some days think, "What is Richard on?" Because I try to be 90% of the time, I'm like, "Come on, Ray, yeah, morning, morning. Hey, how are we doing?" Sounds a bit airy fairy, but-
Vicky:
No, I can imagine you'd be like that.
Richard:
You've got to enjoy it.
Vicky:
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Richard:
It's just like, what are you doing it for?
Vicky:
They'll feed off that though.
Richard:
Of course some times are challenging, we all go through those-
Vicky:
Of course we do, yeah.
Richard:
... those times when it can be a little bit tricky, or very tricky. You know? The ups and downs of running a business, but ultimately, you've got to love the majority of the time. If not, change something.
Vicky:
Change it, change it. Yeah. Yeah.
Richard:
Well, Vicky, it's been an absolute pleasure.
Vicky:
Thank you. Thank you. I've enjoyed it.
Richard:
So, yeah, for the guys listening in, what would be the best way to find out more about, to sort of connect with you either on LinkedIn or the websites? What are the websites again?
Vicky:
Well, yeah, the website is simply livelikeloyalty.com, and you can send me a message through that, or you can go onto LinkedIn and find Vicky Deny, Live Like Loyalty. So, yeah.
Richard:
Or Mummy & Little Me.
Vicky:
Or Mummy & Little Me, yeah, yeah, absolutely. Yeah.
Richard:
Fantastic.
Vicky:
Perfect.
Richard:
Well, thanks, Vicky.
Vicky:
Thank you.
Richard:
It's my pleasure.
Vicky:
Thank you.
Richard:
Thank you. Bye.
Vicky:
Bye.

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