Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?
My name is Liam Francis and during this worldwide pandemic, I started two new successful businesses. My first one is called L.F Media, which is my photography and Videography company.
My second business is L.F Flooring selling and fitting LVT, vinyl, carpet, and many other different types of flooring. Continue reading to find out how I went from jobless to making £100,000 a year in 12 months.
What’s your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
We are both from small towns in Devon and originally felt we could never become successful living there. Most jobs where we are from are seasonal due to it being a holiday destination. My partner was fed up with working multiple jobs just to earn a normal wage and I really felt London would be the best place to grow my photography business. So In March 2020 I and my partner moved to London to start what we thought was going to be the beginning of the rest of our lives. With new jobs and our first home, we moved in excited for the next chapter.
Nothing comes easy in life but if you work hard and never give up even when things get tough then you’ll get to where you need to be. Your mindset is everything.
Before we moved to London I was a qualified floor layer living in Devon. I was taken on as an apprentice at a place called Finishing touch flooring when I was 18 years old. I worked for this company for five years and the owner Chris saw potential in me. Sending me on many courses and teaching me to become the best floor Layer I could be.
However, as much as i loved being employed there I new i had to leave and go to London to really kick start my passion for my own photography and videography business and go back to start my own flooring business once i kick start L.F MEDIA and that is exactly how I did it. Living in a small town myself and my partner decided that to have a successful photography business we’d have to move to the city and get normal jobs first.
Things seemed to be going well. We were enjoying exploring London and decorating our home. Two weeks after getting the keys to our first home we both lost our jobs due to the pandemic.
At this point, Covid19 had only just begun in the UK and there was no talk of furlough and grants. We’d lost everything before we had even started. Unable to afford our rent and now in lockdown, we spent our days wondering what would come next.
Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product?
After losing everything in lockdown I decided what else I have to lose so it was time to push LF.Media. I've done some shoots for friends and made some advertisement videos for local businesses in my old home town. I made a website and pushed my company on social media. My partner emailed every company that we thought would need advertisements once things reopened.
We started off offering to make videos or do a photoshoot for free in exchange for products. Our first clients were a clothing brand called TED72 and a beauty products company called Zuzka. They both sent us products and we made content at home for them. Once we got the ball rolling and built our portfolio enough we began to charge and the work just kept coming.
Describe the process of launching the business.
It wasn’t always easy and we had a lot of people unsure of when they’d need us. But all of a sudden things started to take off for LF.media. Many companies sent us free stuff to make videos at home for them. We had people booking in advance for photoshoots for when things reopened and we saw hope in our small company.
Due to everything needing to be at home this wasn’t as simple as we thought. After losing everything and needing to rebuild, affording lighting and backdrops had to come when we could afford it. However, we made do with what we had and didn’t have any complaints from clients.
I realized I missed floor laying and would love to open a business of my own. So LF. Flooring began.
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
Once allowed to travel for work we asked permission from our local police station if we were allowed to go back to Devon to start a business. With the reassurance that this was within the Covid19 restrictions, we headed to our relative’s holiday home where we would stay for the next couple of months. We began small using my old boss’ van that he kindly allowed us to use while starting up LF.Flooring. We continued to run LF.media while starting up LF.Flooring. If we hadn't been doing both at the same time I don't think I would be where I am today. They both helped fund each other and sometimes there were times LF. Flooring would be busier than LF.media and vice versa.
We printed business cards and leaflets to help get our name out there. While I was working twelve to fifteen hour days to build a good reputation, my partner spent her days walking miles putting leaflets through people’s doors.
We both knew what we wanted and were willing to put in the graft to get there. One of our biggest jobs for LF. Flooring was a wedding venue called Ash Barton estate which Lucy’s (My partner) uncle and auntie own. Being a small business with no van we had to get everything delivered to the property and started early in the morning and didn’t leave until midnight for four days straight with only myself and Lucy fitting a massive wedding venue just the two of us. We learned most customers like to get a job done as quickly as possible and didn’t mind if you stayed late if it meant it would get it done.
Word of mouth is one of the best forms of advertisement. Gaining happy customers was our main priority. People started talking about LF. Flooring and how we were willing to work early in the morning until late at night to finish within their deadline. This really helped us grow with other companies that needed projects done in a limited time.
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
The book that completely changed my mindset on business and life, in general, is Rich Dad, Poor Dad. This is a brilliant book written by Robert Kiyosaki who said: “Your future is created by what you do today. Not tomorrow”. As someone who has ADHD school wasn't always my strong point. Rich Dad, Poor Dad taught me that you're learning after school.
The school doesn’t teach you about money and how to make it work for you and that is one of many people’s biggest struggles in life. I never allowed my ADHD to hold me back in life. Although it wasn’t always easy I knew I had to find a way around any obstacles that stood in my way. Robert Kiyosaki who is now a multimillionaire once said “Failure defeats losers, failure inspires winners”.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to start or are just starting?
A few months went by and the small business that we started the back of someone else’s van and LF. Media was getting fully booked months in advance. We were now having to hire staff to help with jobs and find other photographers to take on some LF.Media projects. Now with our own van, we decided to say goodbye to our apartment in London due to our companies becoming so busy in Devon.
We moved to a house where we would have plenty of land and places to store our products for the two businesses that are still quickly growing. If you want something, don't tell yourself you can’t ask yourself how do I get it? What does it take to achieve your dreams? Nothing comes easy in life but if you work hard and never give up even when things get tough then you’ll get to where you need to be. Your mindset is everything.
Where can we go to find out more?
We are always looking for new and enthusiastic people to join our team. Currently, we are looking to take on a hard-working apprentice who would be willing to learn and potentially grow in our company in LF.Flooring. I myself started as an apprentice and would be happy to teach someone everything I know and eventually get them qualified in flooring so they can work their way up within the business. We have many types of social media to be able to find us. You can find me on Instagram at @liam_francis_media and @lf.flooring.
Also, I have a youtube channel where I do a lot of videos behind the scenes of some of my photoshoots and many more other crazy things that I get up to with my camera, I have used this platform a lot as its a very good way to show who you are as a person and a great way to build your audience for your business.
Hey! 👋 I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.
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