Ashley Reid, Manager of Springfield Hall, Sandiacre
In the first of our chats with business-owners on all things business and marketing, we talk to Ashley Reid, the owner and manager of Springfield Hall in Sandiacre. In just four years, Ashley has transformed an overlooked old building into a stunning venue proving extremely popular for wedding receptions, parties and other events. Described by guests as “A beautiful place and a lovely atmosphere” and “A lovely and unique place to have a party”, Springfield Hall has certainly made a big impression in a small amount of time! So what took Ashley down this path in the first place? Well, as he explains,
“It all started as a happy accident. I’d started doing bar work at Risley Hall and was also in a band. This place was derelict and my parents, who had bought the building, were using it as a factory room for their furniture-making business! We started thinking that maybe people could use it for dances. We were asked to hire it out for someone’s daughter’s 18th birthday party and it went from there! Having started off doing things like music nights and comedy nights, we’ve moved more into wedding receptions this year and the response has been incredible! We have adapted the space, but the fundamentals haven’t changed. People are stunned by it.”
So far, so good, but as every business-owner knows, setting up and running a business comes with its fair share of challenges! Ashley says:
“There have been a lot of learning curves for me along the way! I I’ve learned so much. I would say that one of the biggest issues is finding out about all the things you have to pay for – the unexpected things that come up! Then there are the times when it goes quiet on the enquiry front. Fortunately that only happens very rarely! I’m really proud to have set up the business and got it going with no money.”
As you would expect, we really want to know what has and hasn’t worked for Ashley in marketing his business:
“The biggest thing that’s helped us has always been word of mouth. We’ve tried other things too. While we haven’t found that newspapers or magazines have done too much for us, we have done well from social media. I think that’s got a lot to do with the nature of the business. People can share photos of their big day and tag themselves and that makes it more personal. We’ve also recently updated our new website at www.springfield-hall.co.uk which has had a great response.”
All this hard work is obviously paying off, because Ashley tells us that the venue is booked up for the next six months! But what about further down the line? What are his plans? Ashley explains that he’s always continually improving the hall and the business as a whole. He also has some exciting plans involving his comedy nights and expanding his wedding event options – so watch this space!
It’s clear that Springfield Hall is now well and truly on the wedding reception and parties map. But what does Ashley believe lies behind the success of his business?
“I think it’s about being firm but fair. People understandably get emotional about their wedding day. But communication is key. I also think it’s about enjoying what I do. It’s great being my own boss and having the freedom to do things my own way. Plus there’s always something to do! The whole project of doing up the building was great fun. I particularly enjoy being able to host people’s weddings – the atmosphere, the fun – all of it!”
So what would Ashley say to anyone wanting to make their wedding reception or party really special?
“Visit our website at www.springfield-hall.co.uk or find us on Facebook. Don’t be worried about giving us a call to chat about prices too. While we are booked up in advance, we do sometimes have a few spaces and can negotiate on costs. If you just want to come along and see the place for yourself, feel free to get in touch!”.