We had the good fortune of connecting with Laura Alotaibi and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Laura, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Every year around the same time, I faced a problem: it was difficult to book a birthday party for my triplets. I wondered each year why I couldn’t book the party online. I started thinking about all the marketplaces such as Airbnb and Etsy that empowered small businesses and wondered why a marketplace didn’t exist for the party market. I reached out to friends who all had the same problem, and no one had a solution. When I couldn’t find a solution, I built one myself! I created Venues N More to both empower small businesses and provide online booking to those in the party space.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Venues N More started as just an idea, to make booking parties easy. I wanted to build a business around that, but where do you start? I was a former teacher, what did I know about building a website? I started to do research, meet with companies and dedicate myself to solving this problem. I worked for four months finding a solution to my problem and in late 2018 I launched my website, Venues N More. I then had to go out of my comfort zone and step away from my computer to learn how to market my business. I started attending local networking events and even signed up to speak. My goal was to attend one meeting a week, which quickly grew to attending as many networking events as I could! The more I communicated about my business, the more it began to grow. Some lessons learned along the way are how to time manage while owning your own business and learning all about marketing. These are lessons I learned from listening to others advice and attending local networking meetings, such as: Moms Out Marketing, my local Chamber of Commerce and 1 Million Cups. I also sought help from book studies and learned some great lessons from the following books: Eat That Frog and Guerrilla Marketing.  Keeping an open mind to always learn something new helped fuel my growth which fueled the growth of my business.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My top destination for visitors in Dallas is always Reunion Tower! I love seeing the 360 degree, bird’s eye view of the city. You can grab lunch/dinner/drinks there.  My second stop would be a walk on the Continental Avenue Bridge followed by lunch at Trinity Groves area. The Continental Avenue Bridge is a bridge turned park! It is perfect for a mid-day stroll. The Trinity Groves area has a wide assortment of delicious restaurants, too hard to choose a favorite! You might have to stay for more than one meal. Another must see is Klyde Warren Park, followed by attending the Dallas Museum of Art. Klyde Warren Park is park built on top of an interstate, it is truly a beautiful park with food trucks that park there during the day. You can’t visit Dallas without a visit to Dallas Museum of Art. The collections there are amazing and there is always so much to see and do! Even the smallest visitors will enjoy a visit to DMA. From the DMA, you can catch the Trolley to have dinner and shopping in Uptown Dallas. Riding the trolley is an experience in itself! There are so many things to do and see in Dallas, I suggest taking more than one week to visit!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to dedicated a shout out the Allen Fairview Chamber of Commerce! They are a local group of business owners who care about their community and local businesses within. They welcomed me into their group with open arms, even when my business was just starting out. They were some of the first users and listings on Venues N More. The Chamber also gave me confidence to speak in front of large groups. As a former teacher, I was used to speaking in front of groups of kids but speaking in front of a group of adults I didn’t know yet was foreign for me. Attending their local networking meetings each week gave me a boost of confidence that I needed to communicate about my new business. Thank you Allen Fairview Chamber for your dedication and help to local businesses in our community, you truly make a difference!

Website: www.venuesnmore.com
Instagram: www.instagram.com/venuesnmore
Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/laura-alotaibi
Twitter: www.twitter.com/venuesnmore
Facebook: www.facebook.com/bookvenuesnmore
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCN2UwfNhCmMsOAybLUIwsIg
Other: Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/party-planning-radio-venues-n-more/id1451458679

Image Credits
1 million cups photo – Carey Stinston Photography <carey@careystinsonphotography.com>

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