They say Necessity is the mother of invention. But whenever an invention is caused by necessity, an entrepreneur is born.
What differentiates an entrepreneur from a businessman is a proposition. A businessman embarks on an idea that is already tried and tested by others, but an entrepreneur creates an entirely new venture based on the necessity of the market.
When an entrepreneur needs something that is not readily available in the market, they take matters into their own hands and create a business. Because they know that there are others who would also be needing the service. This measure is not just the base of creating a successful business, but it also takes care of the needs of the community.
Doing exactly that, Rosamund Tagel, Founder and CEO, started Glow Concierge because, as a young mother, she didn’t want to miss out on beauty treatments and spa visits despite the lack of time and mobility.
That’s why she came up with the idea of offering a concierge service for beauty, wellness, and lifestyle treatments, that one can have at home, in a hotel, or at the office. Today, under Rosamund’s leadership, Glow Concierge has a presence in various cantons all over Switzerland.
Insights Success had a brief interview with Rosamund in which she shared significant information about her journey and her story behind starting the venture.
Below are the highlights of the interview:
Briefly describe your professional journey up until now.
Having studied History of Art at university, my first job was as an Analyst for an oil and gas broker, makes sense, right? After 5 years in London, I moved to Zurich to work for a family office for a year, that was 11 years ago. I started Glow Concierge in late 2018 but it was only in late 2020 that I started to focus on it.
What challenges did you face along the way?
Three days after finding out I was pregnant, I found out that my boss was moving the company to the US, and I would be out of a job staying in Zurich. I started working remotely for a UK company, doing something totally different, such a great company with so much flexibility. It allowed me to start Glow Concierge alongside it. My hours were not your average of 9-5, so it worked very well for me.
What significant impact did you bring to your industry?
Glow Concierge was the first of its kind in Switzerland. While these sorts of services are the norm in the USA and UK, in Switzerland, it was totally new. It is now becoming a lot more common, but for the first year or two, probably 90% of our customers were ex-pats. It took some time for the Swiss market to get used to the idea of someone coming into their home.
Tell us about your company and its foundation pillar.
I started the company with people like me in mind, ex-pats who are at home either because they are still working for a company in their home country remotely or at home with children. Childcare is extremely expensive in Switzerland, $30 an hour for a babysitter, more for an experienced nanny, the nursery can cost up to $4,000 a month depending on where you live, and kindergarten finishes before 12 pm.
Suddenly if you want to go for a manicure, you have to factor at least 2 hours of childcare into the price. With Glow Concierge, you can have the manicure come to you. Our partners are very comfortable with kids running around, nappy changing breaks, and general disruption; this flexibility is what we pride ourselves on.
How does your company promote workforce flexibility, and what is your role in it?
All the partners featured on the website are self-employed, so they set their own hours. They can choose their own prices, choose where they want to work, and basically choose to work how and when they want. As for the admin side, I work from wherever I happen to be in the world. Taya, who deals with social media and marketing, is from Ukraine and now lives in Germany. We’ve met in person a handful of times; we speak on the phone about once a month but generally just communicate through email and WhatsApp.
In the future, with more employees, I would hope to have an office outside of my home. I think in-person meetings can be very helpful, but I would still offer a flexible approach. I am not someone that works well in a rigid set of hours. I like to do my emails before I get up, then take a few hours to work out, of course with a Glow Concierge and personal trainer, have breakfast, shower, and read the paper before doing a bit more work before lunch.
What is your take on technology’s importance, and how are you leveraging it?
Technology is the cornerstone of the business, a booking system, and an app that is entirely reliant on the technology working. Without it, we don’t have a business, and we don’t have a physical location, so if the internet went down, so would we!
What will be the next significant change in your industry, and how are you preparing for it?
Rising interest rates and the cost of living will I’m sure, influence how often people book beauty treatments. We have recently opened an online shop that stocks things such as sheet masks for a fraction of the cost of a facial. We hope to increase the sales of products to offset the potential loss in bookings.
What are your goals in the upcoming future?
I would love to have partners in other territories, the UK, USA, UAE, and other European countries. I already have the domain names, and I aim to offer the software as a service and franchise the platform. If I could change one thing about how I started, I would buy the technology. Starting from scratch is very expensive, takes a lot of trial and error, and takes time to get right. If someone had offered me a website and app ready-made that I can use as a template and just add my text and images that would have been fantastic!
What advice would you like to give the next generation of aspiring business leaders?
So much has changed since I started university; it used to be the be-all and end-all. But I think unless you want to study something like medicine or law, it could be better for you to get market experience.