Spotlight on Dragons Den

We talked to Sarah Smith, owner of Dragons Den.

What do you do?

We are a children's Party & Play Adventure venue. The core part of the business is catering for birthday parties for kids of all ages. We have both a multi-level play frame aimed at 4-11 year olds and a multi-level play area for 0-3 year olds, and we serve food all day long for both parents and children.

Why do you do what you do?

The idea to go into business was borne out of having four young children ourselves and wondering what we could do with them to keep them entertained. That is where the spark came from.

What drives you?

Passion. Passion for the business and expanding it. A passion to deliver outstanding customer service. I want the children AND the parents to go away with a great experience and to ensure they have had value for money.  The standards that are set are important to me and the business and I drive constantly to ensure these are being met.

What's your greatest success story?

Our greatest success story is building a successful, strong, consistent business with very little staff turnover in a notoriously high turnover industry. All this has been achieved in a recession! We have great successes every day when the children leave with happy lifetime memories.

What's the most important lesson you've learned whilst building your business?

There are a few lessons that we've learned along the way, all of them important. First of all, whenever you get knocked down, pick yourself  back up, dust yourself down and move forward. Nothing is insurmountable.

The second lesson seems like a given but it really is worth stating – deal with issues in a professional manner. So many people don't and it reflects so badly on your business.

Next, instead of cobbling through something that you are not sure about, use the services of someone who knows more about it than you do.  It will get done properly the first time and you will learn from it.

Finally, never take anything for granted. And try to always regain the enthusiasm and excitement you had in the beginning. This above all else reflects to the customers and staff.

Dragons Den