International Women’s Day is celebrated across the world on the 8th of March and highlights the achievements and success stories carried out by women across the world.
A woman’s journey of success that’s closer to home is that of Marketing Smartly founder Abbie Parrish, who began the dream of starting her own company just under a year ago. Here’s the story of how and why she began Marketing Smartly and her vision as she continues to grow the business.
Who are you and why did you start your own business?
“My name is Abbie, I am 28 and I am from Hampshire, UK..”
“During the pandemic/lockdown one I decided to start MarkSmart. It wasn’t a planned venture, it was due to circumstances and I was never good at not doing anything. The business originally started off to help small local businesses who relied on face to face sales before the pandemic to keep up with the changing times and it just grew and developed from there. ”
What’s your favourite thing about running your own business?
“The thing I’ve enjoyed most about owning my own business is the flexi hours/days. Although no one lies when they say starting a business is hard, I had no idea how hard it would be. Even just these past eight weeks we've onboarded three new clients and I have been working 12 hour days. But it's 100% worth it to see your creation grow.”
What are your top tips for any woman planning to start a business?
“Maybe not for starting a business but I am someone who’s had a career in a male dominated industry. In fact, I have never once worked for a female owned business or had a female manager. That in itself can be quite intimidating when it comes to business. However, it has taught me many things and the first thing is that confidence is key. If you can walk into a room, look someone straight in the eye and say what you need to say with pure conviction, you're winning! It’s much easier to do this when talking about your own business as you have all the answers and make the decisions."
What does a normal day look like when you run your own company?
“I have to say that there is no ‘normal’ day, everyday is different. Coming from the event industry into marketing, it really prepared me to expect anything and that really is the case. Due to Covid I have been mostly working from home and going to a few client meetings here and there. I am looking forward to when this is over to see how my days will change, I already have photoshoots and PR days booked in so it is going to completely change the way I work. ”
What life skills have you had that have later on helped you start a business?
“I have had a very full life, in fact people often say I've lived three people's lives in only 28 years. I travelled a lot as a child with my parents and I gained natural skills in adapting to my surroundings and being with people from different cultures. I was also always a very hard worker, during my degree at University I completed over 150 hours of volunteer work in just two terms. I knew having a degree wasn't enough to make it in the events industry and I was absolutely right, I put myself out there and I went on to have an amazing career in events across the globe. This work ethic I had from an early age was what helped me through the really tough times when starting a business, I didn't give up. So my advice to any students out there reading this is, your degree won't be enough, push yourself to get out in the industry you are training for and just do it. "
Where do you see Marketing Smartly in the next 5 years?
“If you would have asked me this at the start of my journey, I would have given you a completely different answer because since lockdown I have experienced a growth in demand for our services that I couldn’t have foreseen back in 2020. I am already in talks to create a partner business of MarkSmart which is exciting. However, I can already see that in five years that Marketing Smartly will be flying. The good thing about Marketing is that things are always changing and things are always needing improving so there is no end in sight. I also hope for myself and the other women at MarkSmart that in 5 years we will be incredible working boss mums…. It's 2021 people, WOMEN CAN HAVE IT ALL! ”