We launched business accounts in October 2018, and are rapidly welcoming a base of small UK registered businesses. Offering two-day account opening, free domestic payments, low-cost international transfers, a bundled personal account and a free contactless debit card, the Monese business account is perfect for new or seasoned entrepreneurs looking for a world-class digital experience.
In an exciting new blog series, we ask our business customers the tough questions. What does it mean to start your own business? What are some of the hardest challenges you have had to face? How can business banking help or hinder your growth? We have a diverse range of companies using our accounts, and can’t wait to learn from their successes and failures when it comes to setting up your own business.
I started it as a bet.
Emma Bewick is CEO of CELO-Global, a multinational leader in event conception, design and management, established in 2013. Emma could be described as a serial entrepreneur, having run Juno Productions (which then morphed into CELO-Global) for 15 years prior to that. When I asked why she was running her own business, her immediate response was: “I started it as a bet.”
Emma’s success, however, was far from uncalculated. The clarity of her ideas along with her ability to make shrewd assessments when it comes to people and projects, is something that carried her through 20 years of entrepreneurship.
Emma began her life in the film industry, where she started to perceive a demand that was unfulfilled by existing network structures: “Celebrity endorsement is huge with brands. Celebrity talent is quite heavily guarded by publicists, managers and agents, but they’re all at film festivals to promote their product. They don’t often know how to connect with each other.”
She began creating a win-win situation for both parties, by connecting them at film festivals via exclusive industry lounges: “I connect investors, brands and talent in a safe space with a carefully selected guest list. As well as the networking, the lounges offer the additional business benefits of a media studio to promote the cast and films and fabulous hospitality encouraging new business development and relaxation between meetings and events.”
Experience is by far the greatest teacher.
Being in the somewhat unique position of having started two businesses, Emma was able to offer a lot of insight into how to deal with the challenges of starting and growing companies. When I asked her what she would’ve changed the first time round, knowing what she knows now, she staked experience as one of the only ways to learn when it comes to making the right decisions on people: “I don’t know that anything would have changed. Experience is by far the greatest teacher. Learning to trust your instincts, particularly in my industry, is a big one. There are plenty of people who give a good talk but actually have very different agendas. There’s no real way of knowing that you’re dealing with a less than honourable client until you’ve actually experienced it. But having a strong work ethic, building a good and solid reputation, and surrounding yourself with first-rate clients and mentors can deliver wonderful results and bring great satisfaction.”
I make sure the client understands that it isn’t just a walk in the park.
When probed on what was the greatest thing she had learned during her time, Emma talked about her relationship to her clients and managing their expectations: “I realise people take a lot of what you do for granted and they don’t know the sheer amount of work that goes into what you do. So now I’m very clear about the scope of the work and how much detail goes into that. I make sure the client understands that it isn’t just a walk in the park.”
She explained that this involves saying no to certain clients because of the scope of work, and the difficulty but importance of turning down exciting projects if clients are unable to pay for her time.
We asked Emma if she had gotten better at learning to deal with failure, but she said she had always been more adept at that than learning to deal with her own success: “I’ve always had more a fear of success than a fear of failure. When I fail, I’m good at getting back up, dusting myself off and getting back out there. But I think I suffer from imposter syndrome because I deal with very high-level clients and I often wonder how I got there.”
Emma explained that the way to manage this kind of fear is to push yourself in moments, not expect a full personality change: “It’s important to be very confident in yourself, even if it's only temporary,” and to approach single tasks with a view of: “What’s the worst that could happen? Just go for it.”
I worked with all different banks, they’re all very expensive, and with Monese, I loved the ease of it.
On the subject of banking, Emma explained what she had come to Monese: “I worked with all different banks, they’re all very expensive, and with Monese, I loved the ease of it. It’s the first bank I’ve trusted actually. I really like the idea that (Norris) set up a bank with entrepreneurs in mind, and I have now decided that Monese is going to be my main bank.”
Emma had some invaluable insight to share with us. Having a balance of clarity and boldness – being clear on your ideas and expectations, and bold in your pursuits – was what we understood from her to be the key to running successful businesses.
She is just one of the talented and diverse business owners who has chosen to migrate to Monese, so it will be exciting to see what else gets unearthed in this series. Stay tuned!