James set up his first business aged 20, hiring out mobile discos. He went on to found a club and event promotions business, which he ran in the 90s. Building on that success, he set up an events and party planning company in London, and in 2000 he co-founded a bar, restaurant and members' club in London. Following a miserable romantic weekend in the Lake District, James Lohan began working on Mr & Mrs Smith with his partner Tamara Heber-Percy in 2003, and the boutique hotel directory escalated from there.
In this video interview James Lohan talks about gaining capital to fund his business idea from friends and family, and the benefits and problems that could arise. He also suggests ways on how to give a good pitch and the importance of "smart money".
Lohan also gives expert advice on marketing strategy and how brand is everything. The personality of the name Mr & Mrs Smith has helped the business grow rapidly and James suggests that PR is the best way of spreading the word about your company. Standing out from competition is also crucial as people tend to adopt brands.
Having stayed at over 700 hotels over the course of 5 years, James Lohan has a wealth of knowledge on the characteristics of what makes a good boutique hotel and hopes to use this understanding to potentially create the companies own hotel.
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