Her Business Story: Jennifer Davidson, Founder of Sleek Events

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Jennifer tell us what your company does

Sleek Events works with companies and agencies looking to outsource their event planning and organisation to an experienced partner. From exclusive private parties to globally-recognised exhibitions and conferences, we can handle the entire process for our clients, both in the UK and overseas.

How long did it take for you to put your idea for Sleek Events into action? 

As I was already working freelance, it really was immediate. I knew I had to switch to a more structured business approach when one of my large clients signed up for a longer-term contract.

I started out managing a team of freelancers until regular client income meant I could begin employing a full-time team. We’ve just completed our second year and I have 6 staff and continue to use a trusted pool of freelancers. 

What has been your scariest moment as an entrepreneur?

Realising that not every person or company you encounter is as ethical or committed to providing an excellent service as I am. I’ve learned to read the signs now and avoid what could have been potentially harmful alliances. We often rely on partnerships to deliver events and it can be really scary when a supplier doesn’t care about delivering what they’ve been booked for – we’re lucky to have grown such a solid team of suppliers.

What about your proudest moment?

Getting an office outside of my home!

Up until May this year, I had a dedicated home office which often spilled out into my kitchen as final preparations began for large-scale events. It’s rare that all of the team including our freelancers have to be in the office at once but when they do, cramming them into my home was getting a bit tiresome! Our new office in Richmond is a breath of fresh air – space for meetings and storage. My home is my sanctuary once more.

What does success mean to you?

It has to mean being excited to get up for work on a Monday morning. Professionally, it’s important for my clients to be happy, not just at the culmination of an event but throughout the process with us. Personally, work-life balance is a big one – what’s the point of taking the risks as an entrepreneur and not enjoying the rewards? I often spend several weeks in some winter sun, even if I have to work from the side of a pool.

Has a mistake ever led you to success?

I once went in to the wrong room at a networking event and ended up meeting a Rolls Royce Ambassador. Despite the mistake, I made a great contact who recommended me to several people and it generated a lot of work and a long-term client!

What’s the best piece of business advice someone has ever given you?

Get a good team around you and make sure your accountant is the best. I know someone who had an accountant steal from their business – he ended up in prison but my friend still had to recover from the losses. Having a good relationship with the people who support my business has saved me so much time and many headaches!

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