Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in events services but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Lynette McCarthy, Owner of Ballroom at Windsor - McCarthy Tree Farm, located in Middletown, Delaware, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

We are a Wedding Venue and Christmas Tree Farm in Middletown, Delaware. Our customers are couples looking for a unique wedding venue to hold their wedding. They are looking for a venue where they can hold their wedding all in one place, from getting ready to the wedding ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception. They want a venue that is unique and that they can decorate to reflect their style. Having a venue that is exclusive to them for their big day is also very important to our couples. And having amazing photo opportunities to capture their wedding day and choosing their own vendors also tops their list.

Tell us about yourself

I am a romantic at heart, and I love meeting amazing people and sharing one of the most important moments of their lives. I am very motivated and organized, which helps me keep all the moving parts of planning a wedding together. This also allows me to work with my husband on something we both love to do. I love to plan and design, and he loves to build things.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Tackling the obstacles of building and opening a venue when COVID hit and the country was shut down. We had been planning the venue for 10+ years, and our official opening day was when the governor shut the state down. After COVID, the venue is moving forward into what it is today. I love our couples, the wedding industry, the work that is needed to maintain & upgrade a venue, and seeing the happiness and smiles of the couple and their families on their wedding day. It's the couples that make all the hard work worthwhile.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

Creating and maintaining a strong online presence and highly functional website. I love learning new things and always strive to do better in whatever I do. I've had to move out of my comfort zone and get used to new social media platforms to get in front of today's couples, as well as learn more about SEO. All of this is done while caring for our customers' weddings and what they need, reaching out to prospective couples and our family, and having a somewhat work-life balance.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Research your market and determine how you will be unique. Determine what you will offer that fills a gap in the market. Owning and running a business is hard work.
  2. Learn different aspects needed to run a successful business and the costs associated with building, buying, or leasing a storefront or other items (website build, marketing, social media build and maintenance, staff, etc.). And what is needed to keep things fresh both online and at the physical location.
  3. Know nothing comes easy, and the business will require continued effort. You may need to do multiple roles to get started, even if it's not something you care to do. Be prepared to work long hours and have some failures. There is no substitute for hard work, staying focused, and sometimes doing things that are tough or tedious. Once started, you can't just let things stay stagnant if you want to grow to the next level.

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