Ahead of our next IMAGE Young Businesswomen’s Forum on Wednesday, May 10 at The Westbury Hotel, we sat down for five minutes with panellist Jennifer Taaffe, CEO of iZest Marketing Group.
How and when did iZest begin, and what does the company do?
I set up iZest 5 years ago, it started it as a consultancy while figuring out what I wanted to do next in my career! I started by working from home and I had about 5 clients in the first year. Last year we worked with over 50 clients on Strategy, Branding and Digital Marketing projects, and we move into our new HQ offices this week! Our clients include retail, hospitality, and technology companies as well as a select group of high profile individuals.
What is your role, and what do you spend most of your time doing?
I run this business with my husband Alan, and we split running the business between us. I lead the business strategy and I look after the Account Management and Design Teams, while Alan leads the technical and financial side of the business, working on the website development and digital marketing projects.
Are things changing quickly?
Yes! We grew a lot last year, and we knew we needed to find new office space, it took us a long time to find somewhere suitable. This year has been great so far, we’ve just had two of our biggest revenue months since we started the business, and there are a lot of exciting projects in the pipeline!
What’s new, and exciting you at the moment?
Within the last few months, we have put a lot of focus on our branding projects, and we are launching a new brand under the iZest Group to cater purely for branding projects. We are working on a high profile and top secret branding project at the moment that we will be unveiled in the middle of May. We are also working on opening an international office at the moment, which should be open by mid-year. There are so many exciting opportunities for us at the moment!
What have been your greatest challenges?
There have been so many! Growing the business to where we are now with no investment or funding has been really challenging but also very satisfying. We have put everything we have into this business – time, money, passion and every bit of energy we have! I think self belief and confidence are what have got me through some of the really tough times. There have been many days where I’ve wondered if its all worth it, but usually that doesn’t last more than 24 hours, as something good always happens to completely change my perspective on the business and the future. In saying that every day something gets thrown at you – it’s not for the faint hearted!
Where do you see the business going in the future?
I see us growing the core iZest business substantially over the next 2 years, with at least 2 international offices opening up. I’m very excited about the launch of our new Branding company, which we will establish in the Irish market over the next 12 months.
If you were to give digital influencers one piece of advice, what would it be?
Keep it real and be selective! Don’t do partnerships with brands you don’t believe in and keep a good balance of brand promotions and ‘real’ content.
Hear Jennifer and fellow panellists Siobhan Byrne and Joanne Hynes talk about their businesses and how they started up at our IMAGE Young Businesswomen’s Forum.
WHEN Wednesday, May 10
Drinks and canapés from 6pm
WHERE The Westbury Hotel, Dublin 2