Electro Love: the business with electric dreams
We’ve partnered with Sky and Tim Campbell MBE to provide some of the UK’s brightest and best business heroes with a platform to share their growth stories. To kickstart the series, we sat down with the founders of Electro Love, Damian Walshe and Airon Baker, to discuss their nostalgic 80s and 90s themed experience – which comes complete with DeLoreans, disco balls and Duran Duran.
The business heroes making waves in the UK
Fuelled by a passion for music, determination to build something unique, and loyal relationships with local suppliers, Electro Love’s parties have gained local notoriety on the Isle of Wight and beyond.
So we sat down with founders, Damian Walshe and Airon Baker to hear their three key tips on creating – and growing – a successful small business. Read on to find out what they are – and tap play to watch the highlights of our interview.
Keep a clear view on budgets
Despite having worked in music and events for 20 years, the founders came up against a number of new challenges when starting Electro Love, particularly around managing customer payments. “Where we’ve come from before, it was just about selling tickets. Now we need to take bar payments – something we’ve not had to think about in the past.”
It was vital that the founders were able to have a clear view on the figures, to ensure they made a profit. Whilst they describe Electro Love as a ‘passion project’ – they acknowledge that it wouldn’t be a sustainable business if they were making a loss.
We went into our first festival knowing our budget and our breakeven number. Then it was just watching the profit line to see if we’d made it across the threshold.
Generating a profit in their first year gave them the confidence to come back – and to keep coming back, bigger and better every year.
Maintain a strong supply chain
Another key part of building a sustainable business is cultivating strong relationships with local suppliers. Electro Love does everything it can to keep the business locally sourced.
“We source everything from the island, from people to props. It’s important to us to put money back into the island – plus, keeping things local has benefits for our business, too.”
Damian and Airon have also embedded processes and solutions to ensure suppliers are paid on time.
“We rely on our suppliers. If we’re paying them late, they have every right to not work with us again. Then we have to go looking for new suppliers, which is always an unknown.”
Work towards the future
Working in events means that Electro Love always need short-term contingency plans in place, for any eventuality. However, this doesn’t stop them forming big goals for the future. They place emphasis on keeping things moving; to continue to surprise and delight customers in a changing and crowded market. While they have been running events for many years, and are proud to have brought Electro Love home to the Isle of Wight, the pair have now set their sights on mainstream festivals – right across the UK.
“We’re just going to continue to think outside the box. So, when people walk in, they think ‘Oh my God, what have these crazy monkeys done this time?’.”
At the end of the day, we deliver fun. And that’s priceless.
We’re all about championing small businesses – and here’s how you can too: Top 9 ways we can all support local businesses. Or, if you’re ever in need of cash flow advice, check out Who can you lean on in a business cash flow crisis?
Get in touch with us
If you’d like to hear how we can support your small business’ big dreams, call us on 0808 291 4273, Monday to Friday, 8am – 5pm. Or leave your name and number and we’ll ring at a time that works for you.