The rise of the entrepreneur is steadily growing, since 2008 it has grown 70%. From postable flowers, to Apps, to the creation of Art stock markets. These are all new ideas or products however there seems to be new companies popping up offering age old services but standing out as they are executing their businesses well. I spoke to Jessica founder of Conker Events to get the ins and outs of setting up a service industry start up in a climate where there is perfect market competition.
“What does it look like to take the bull by the horns and go into the world of an Entrepreneur?” She laughed and said it felt like it was the only natural way to go. Thinking that she would enter the world of Marketing after doing a psychology degree at Newcastle. She randomly (she says) ended up working at a charity and happened upon organising a fundraising event for them, which led on to another and then another and before she knew it the world of marketing seemed like a faint dream and instead she was immersed in a world where you could spend a day talking about what shade of taupe should the table cloths be, or how many flowers is too much. After a couple of years of working out that she had the knack for throwing together a good bash, she set up Conker Events. I asked her if she was scared at all to leave the world of a 9-5 and a comfy pay check. Instead she confidently said “no, I was just excited, it made sense to me and it happened pretty quickly. If I did have time to think about it I don’t think I would have been so brave.”
“Were you not worried about the competition you were faced with?” She smiled and said that she didn’t really think about it “I just aim to provide the best possible service, creating exceptional events within the budget, however big or small.”. Conker Events identity is focused on each project working with the client to make a unique occasion for the individual and does not remanufacture the same event in different guises. “People always want to celebrate and thankfully there is still enough money around to employ people like me to provide that service.”
Jessica said that a good event is a seamless experience where the participant is led to believe that whilst a lot of work and preparation has gone into it that no work or effort is happening around them, the event is almost as though they stepped into a world that has always been there and everything is working like clockwork.
Conker Event’s office is based in the delightful district of Chelsea surrounded by well-manicured stores and prim houses whose pictures should be adorned on overly priced chocolate boxes. I ask her what inspires her and she replies, that by being in the heart of Chelsea she is surrounded by excellent things. But what really gets her inspired is going abroad often (a key benefit of working for herself). Last year she was cruising down the Irrawaddy river in Myanmar and a month later skiing the mountains in Val Thorens. Although, this may sound like a rather ritzy way of life, the travelling does have its benefits inspiring different themed parties and also opening her eyes to authentic details that you wouldn’t find on pintrest or instagram.
Since setting up shop she has had some exciting projects, such as an App launch for Heelo (a successful instant messaging service in Asia) which was featured in the press and fundraisers that casually had Miranda Hart as host. She also booked Dynamo the famous magician for an event and told me that she was relieved that he had not included her in one of his acts!
The future looks exciting for Conker Events and she hopes to employ someone else full time, as the event requests are coming in thick and fast from here and also across the pond. So my conclusion is that although people may dissuade you from going into a service industry that already has a lot of competition if you market yourself well and are tenacious about your own brand identity then what is to stop you from getting regular business and becoming successful?