Entrepreneur Friday – Julie Beze
Time for another Entrepreneur Friday where we interview fabulous business owners. This week we have Julie Beze from Experience Engine.
Tell us a bit about your business
We are a new world promotional staffing agency run by females dedicated to the activation and production of flawless Experiential and Staffing campaigns.
We’re the first agency to specialise in Tech and International led activations for businesses across sectors with high aspirations in these areas.
What inspired you to start it?
A walk in Victoria Park, fueled by a strong flat white. I had returned to work after my maternity leave and realised that the routine and commute was not sustainable. I was spending 3-hours on the tube every day, barely seeing my son and working for a company were I could not see myself progressing any further. I believe in risk reward, so I had to take the plunge.
What is your career background?
I actually started my career as a Legal Adviser in France and unsurprisingly the role didn’t let me use my creative and entrepreneurial skill set. London had always been the place I wanted to move to, so I left Paris in exchange for London. Initially, I needed money to pay for rent and bills, so I joined an experiential staffing agency and progressed rapidly. I loved that every day was different and the buzz around it all. But deep down, I always knew that I wanted to set up my own business, so honed by client servicing skills and learnt from others.
What is your vision for your business?
I want to keep the business boutique in size, as I have seen other agencies grow and lose the DNA and culture that made them successful in the first place. We’re a people business, so I am creating a bright team that do not have to fit in with job decriptions. The UK has one of Europes lowest productivity rates, we design jobs badly and don’t utilize peoples skill sets. Therefore, we are adopting more of a Scandinavian model of more productive ways of working and flexibility. Being chained to a desk for 10 hours a day is so old world and outdated.
I’m delighted to say we’ve already won quite a lot of business and I can see the team growing further by the end of the year. We also plan to open a French and Australian office in the next few years. We want to remain a tech focussed agency with global coverage.
You’ve balanced being a successful business woman with raising a family. Any advice for other women?
It requires a lot of planning and organization. Being able to see my son growing up and spending more time with him was one of the reasons I set up the business. We have a part time nanny and I organize my diary and meetings with military precision so I get to spend as much time as possible with my son Louis. My partner has been great and hands on since day one, and he also believes in flexible working. I could not have done it without him!
How do you maintain a good work/life/family balance?
It is tricky, I often find myself working before my son wakes up and as soon as he is in bed, which doesn’t leave much time for my partner. It is still early days, so I guess I need time to settle into a routine, there is so much to do when you set up your own business – I am basically managing multiple jobs in one, but you know my feelings on job descriptions!, match a job around the skill set of the candidate.
What was your light bulb moment? When did you realise you wanted to be an entrepreneur/business owner?
The classic lightbulb moment of working for somebody else, and realising you can be more successful and happier going alone! Freedom of time and freedom of money are two goals that I want to achieve, and sometimes you have to have the fear factor to achieve objectives.
Who and what inspires you?
Travel inspires me.
Do you have a daily routine or rituals you do?
I feel that living, working and playing, used to happen sequentially throughout a life span, but now these areas and all joined up in one bundle. I am always connected, but have to prioritise my tasks between urgent, important and not urgent and not important. If too many tasks are urgent and important at the same time, then people burn out. So, I try to stay effective.
What is one thing you wish you’d known when you first started?
That business owners can spend most of their time chasing invoices and finance departments!
Tell us your favourite tools that make your life easier (apps, websites, software etc)
Wave, DropBox and Wix.
What is your favourite quote?
Be your worst critic, listen to others and negotiate hard.
Julie is a bilingual event professional with a single minded focus to make brands and people more productive in the new age of tech and flexible working.
The UK has one of Europe’s lowest productivity rates, with badly designed jobs that don’t utilize employee skill sets. She feels that the office environment is dying and is outdated. She is following more of a Scandinavian model by adopting more productive ways of working and flexibility for all staff.
Tech is embedded into everything she does, as she advises clients on how to bolster their credentials in this area and how to turn great ideas into tangible gains.
Find Julie Online:
Thank you for taking part in Entrepreneur Friday Julie!
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