Zoe Wadsworth started her event management company, Fab Events, in 2016 as a hobby business alongside her regular job. It developed over the years into a viable part-time enterprise before Zoe finally took the plunge in March 2019 and left the security of full-time employment to run her business.
Offering event management services for workshops, seminars, and large corporate dinners, less than a year later she was faced with the choice of whether to pack it all in or make some changes.
“I lost 98% of my business overnight with clients pausing services when the Covid pandemic hit in 2020. I could see the big exhibition centres cancelling their events and knew that it was a domino effect which would eventually filter down.”
With just two clients left on the books, her business coach asked what she could still offer, what problems she was seeing and what clients were asking for. As a result, Zoe quickly shifted her focus and began delivering Fab Strategy services.
“Offering a multi-service approach had always been my vision and when people started asking for consultancy about changing direction or marketing their business, it made sense to push forward and add Fab Strategy to my services. I now deliver both event and marketing strategy, using my four step marketing process to help clients develop their own action plan.”
Initially working from an office at home, Zoe started looking into renting office space following conversations with her family about the isolation that comes with self-employment and multiple lockdowns.
“I missed having a team, going to work, and interacting with people. After looking at different business centres, I quickly discovered that The Business Village has a strong focus on community, business growth and taking your business to the next level. The community aspect was a big factor in my decision.”
Zoe also wanted the option of flexibility when choosing where to locate her business.
“Because of the pandemic, I wanted the smallest office available in case things didn’t work out. But I also wanted the flexibility to easily move into a bigger space as my business grew. The approach and attitude from the team at The Business Village makes that easy. I have the option to quickly move into a bigger space if needed but also, if the worst happens, The Business Village’s short notice period is ideal. Other business centres don’t offer that kind of flexibility.”
Since moving into her office in June 2021, Zoe has found new purpose and said she enjoys the feeling of getting in her car and going out to work. She’s found that businesses look out for each other and keeps her office door open so anyone walking by can stop and have a chat.
“The Bistro area is a great break out space for working, networking and socialising with other people that work out of The Business Village, you just never know who you are going to meet in there.”
Combatting loneliness and enjoying a sense of community are the biggest benefits Zoe has found from moving into The Business Village. She can now enjoy the company of others, interact with other businesses, and feel part of something.
The future for Fab Events is looking positive, with Zoe now focusing on strategy and building up people’s knowledge of the range of services offered. She’s had a work experience person with her for six months and is about to employ a Kickstart trainee to look after marketing and sales.
“I’ll employ a work experience person every year as I love training people and seeing the changes in them. My biggest vision is to build a team with the opportunity to buy into the business, so we eventually become employee-owned.”