1. Tell me a bit about your business – when it started and what are your main services?
Chota Peg and Lime is a sassy pop-up bar service, we cater to all mobile bar needs to add the extra pizzaz to any event! The business started in April 2016, and the main services are to “take the bar where you are”. Don’t let your dream be dampened by the fact that a bar wouldn’t be available there – we can be your bar service – ANYWHERE!
2. What was the main driver for starting your own business?
The main driver for me to start my own business, was that I ran a similar business for an entrepreneur in South Africa for years and when I relocated to the UK, I wanted to bring the essence of that here. In the UK there is quite a bit of support for SME’s and when the opportunity for me to go it on my own arose, I grabbed it with both hands. I love serving people, I love seeing people happy with my service and have an absolute passion for entertainment and catering. I believe that all these things add to the quality of the service I deliver and offer to my clients.
3. What gets you up in the morning?
Truthfully – my dogs! LOL! But being selected to cater for a bridal couples big day is an honour. It is one that I do not take lightly and work tirelessly to provide the service and end result of their dreams! If that means getting up before the crack of dawn to prepare for something it’s what I do… and my dogs support it too, from the comfort of their beds!
4. If you could change one thing about your first year in business, what would it be?
In my first year I honestly ran my business finances with my heart instead of my head. I spent tons of money on things that really weren’t necessary, but trial and error is necessary so I wouldn’t change anything because I learnt so much during this period. If I had to choose something I would join Enterprise Steps – and sign up for that support earlier as that has assisted my business a lot and I think I could possibly have grown faster as opposed to learning through my own mistakes and that of my competitors.
5. What is your biggest achievement to date?
My greatest achievement for my business to date would be my first corporate client – we hosted 500 people, this was my biggest event yet – Tech week! A huge success and something I would love to relive sometime soon!
6. What has been your biggest challenge?
In business my biggest challenge is staffing. In the entertainment industry we often need to work with freelancers or part time staff. This in turn means working with many different people, and training them in terms of the “Chota Peg and Lime” way each time.
7. What would be your number one tip for other entrepreneurs who want to develop their personal brand (related to their industry / specialism)?
My number one tip would be joining a SME support system or group like Enterprise Steps – using the support in your area, via local council. Utilise as much free advertising as you possibly can, so as not to have to finance your marketing at first. Use your local newspaper! Networking events are great, but not all networking events are for all businesses, so it is important to first suss out if your clientele are at a specific type of event. There are many that are very beneficial but you need to do your homework!
8. What advice would you give to other women thinking of starting their own business?
Just do it! Overthinking can sometimes lead to you talking yourself out of your dreams. You are going to have to be your own biggest supporter and you need to believe in yourself. Once you start, everyone else, and everything else will get on board… you just need to take that first step. What are you waiting for anyway?
9. Lastly, which social media platform has helped you get the most customers to date and why?
LinkedIn has been my most successful social media platform, possibly because it has the potential for business to business opportunities. Professional relationships and collaborations, are key to success and LinkedIn is the perfect forum for this.
Rochelle Strooh is a fun loving hardworking entertainment connoisseur. With a passion for service with a difference! Rochelle worked running a mobile bar in South Africa successfully for years until she moved to the UK to start it off on her own. She has been in business since 2016, and holds a level 2 certificate in food and hygiene. Along with her own personal liquor license she offers a range of services including free venue hire finding services, and entertainment add on’s to make any event extra special and personal.
This interview was conducted by Jennifer Corcoran, LinkedIn Consultant & Trainer, Founder and CEO of My Super Connector and Host of LinkedIn Local Croydon. Jennifer regularly writes and speaks on the topics of social media, personal branding, networking and being an introverted entrepreneur. If you need help with any of your profiles mail firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow Jennifer on Twitter @SuperConnector.