You get out what you put in as an entrepreneur

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I’D BE tempted to tell you that my husband and I have worked our whole lives as hoteliers, but I believe honesty is the best policy.

We didn’t know a lot about the hotel industry when we started, but we both knew one thing, and that was exactly how we’d like to be treated.

We’ve done a lot of travelling together, so we’ve seen the best and the worst of them, and every time we stayed somewhere new, we couldn’t help but feel that they lacked that little something to make it a memorable stay.

My background was based in human resources and Lawrence, my husband, came from retail, so we had very transferable skills for the hotel industry.

During our travels, we also noticed there was a gap in the market for good value group accommodation. In 2004, we took the first steps into our deep plunge – Signature Living.

We started by making ourselves a strict code of conduct and never wavered from it. We knew we wanted to give back to people, by focusing on luxury, but most important to us was service.

That’s what had been missing for us for so long wherever we had stayed.

We started with our first location in Victoria Street, with 12 apartments including a 12-bed group accommodation and it grew rapidly from there.

We now have apartments that can cater for up to 25.

We’ve opened new locations and have up to 160 beds with a further new location on the way next year.

Apartment features include double whirlpool baths, cinema screens, and our newest function room apartment has a bar and dancefloor – guests love it.

We really do push ourselves to make every single detail count. Stag and Hen do’s are a bit of a speciality of ours – you’d have to work hard and spend a lot more money to find an experience that could top what we do at Signature Living.

We are number one on Trip Advisor in Liverpool for service.

We can arrange everything, so there’s never the usual stress of organising a weekend to remember or any celebration.

We don’t just do the usual discount on local bars – we have reps to take you round them on a top night out in our great city.

Whenever we stayed in hotels, we noticed it didn’t feel very inclusive – which for group accommodation is so important.

Putting the emphasis on this type of service gives all our guests a memorable stay, there’s always a great, friendly atmosphere – and that’s what has made us so successful with a “can do” attitude from all our staff.

It would be an understatement to suggest that we weren’t nervous before starting out and it was very hard. I have done every job in my business from cleaning to check- ins and linen, although I would always give maintenance a miss. It was no way an easy ride, but, for us, that’s what entrepreneurialism is all about.

Mistakes are just as important as the successes, but I’d say most important is drive – you only get out what you put in.

We lived and breathed our business for the first couple of years and still do and we’re so glad, because we made it what it is today – a truly unique experience and the perfect stay.