National Business Women’s Week – Courtney Smith

Courtney Smith standing on the balcony of salomons estate

1.) Tell us a little bit about yourself and your typical day.

I am outgoing, hardworking, kind, I love to bake and I enjoy taking part in any sporting activities, oh and I love a good meme (this is beginning to sound like a terrible dating profile!)

I sell weddings across all three of Markerstudy Leisure’s venues, my day tends to revolve around which show rounds I have booked in. In between appointments I will be responding to new enquiries as well as managing existing leads and prospects. My job is very reactive, which I absolutely love, I like to keep busy.

2.) How did you get where you are today, and who/what helped you along the way?

I am fortunate to have some great role models around me to learn from and bounce ideas off of. I very much believe the more you put into something the more you’ll get out of it so I try to apply this to all aspects in life.

3.) How do you achieve work-life balance?

I am still trying to figure this one out, it helps that I love my job. As long as I have my Saturday evenings free and Sundays to play football I am happy.

4.) What is your motivation to stay focused and do well?

I am very competitive, so if I am set a challenge I will always try my very best to achieve it no matter how impossible it seems. I have always worked in a very target driven environment and thrive on being the best.

5.) As a Commercial Sales Manager for weddings and events what’s one of the biggest advances in your sector over the past five years?

So many places now are licensed for civil ceremonies, whether its the farm just down the road from you, the pub around the corner or a castle you once visited on a school trip. Couples are now spoilt for choice and always seem to be looking for something different, a wow factor that not only they can share with guests but for the whole world to see on social media. With this in mind, suppliers are for ever evolving, 3D invitations, 12 tiered cakes, selfie mirrors, beautiful chairs and even a ‘build your own karaoke shed’ has been discussed…. which has seen an increase on supplier spend, and ultimately cutting into overall wedding funds.

Another big change I have noticed is more couples seem to be paying for their own wedding rather than the tradition of the parents, with either a small or no contribution at all. As a result, couples may be a little more cautious when making a decision.

6.) Describe a major business challenge you had and how you resolved it.

Pre Markerstudy Leisure I used to sell advertising space for a number of different trade magazines *yawn* (unfortunately it was nothing glamorous like SO mag). With a noticeable decline in circulation we had to come up with some new ideas to increase our readership and ultimately create a desire for our advertisers. We had a digital platform but like all of our competitors it was very flat, the content didn’t differ to our print magazines so I came up with some creative ideas to get readers more engaged. Not only is it important to keep up with trends but to stay ahead of the game and make yourself stand out from your competition. Continue to invest so you can continue to grow.

7.) What’s an accomplishment that you are proudest of?

Last month I hit a new personal best of £126k net for the month (which is 150k gross! I hate reporting in net figures it robs me of my glory). This consisted of 18 weddings across all Markerstudy Leisure’s venues, including Salomons Estate.

8.) What advice would you give to young women who want to succeed in the workplace?

My advice to women in the workplace would be to keep your head down, work hard and know your stuff. The more you know the more powerful you are, always be thorough and be confident in sharing ideas, speak up!

Strive to be the person people count on. When something is asked of you, put yourself in your co-worker’s shoes, your clients shoes, your managers shoes. If you’re resourceful and let your wisdom speak for itself the woman thing, the age thing or the education thing or any other barrier will fall to the wayside.