Copyright 1995-2003 Idea
June 23, 2003
SECTION: Spotlight on Top Business Owners
in Advertising, Marketing & PR
Company Name: MotionTemps, LLC
Name: Carolyn Moncel
Location: Courbevoie, France, Metropolitan
Type of Business: Virtual Assistance, Project Coordination,
Marketing and Public Relations
Q - What does your business do?
A - MotionTemps provides
office support, marketing and public relations consulting services
to home-based professionals, non-profits, and small to mid-sized
consulting firms. When and why did you start the biz? MotionTemps
has been in business for almost two years. The company started
in a spare bedroom in a Chicago apartment. I started the business
because I wanted to spend more time with my daughter, who was
in pre-school at the time. Having my own company has become
even more important since my husband was transferred to a job
in Paris. Instead of giving up, I just brought the company with
me. Now I spend two months out of the year working in Chicago,
and the other 10 working in Paris.
Q - How Many People are in your Company?
A - I am MotionTemps!
Where's your office? MotionTemps now has two locations – Chicago
and Paris. In Chicago, MotionTemps is now located in my mother’s
basement. In Paris, my office takes up half of my dinning room,
and I have a wonderful view of the Eiffel Tower from my window
on a sunny day.
Q - What's the toughest part of running your biz?
A - Finding American clients
in a country where everyone speaks French. Trying to explain
to French business people how the virtual assistance industry
works and how it can improve their businesses – especially having
an assistant whose mother tongue is English.
Q - What's the most fun part?
A - Working virtually
and being able to talk to my clients while walking around in
my bunny slippers. I love being able to complete projects while
my clients are still sleeping. It’s been great holding on to
my long-time clients in Chicago, and love it when they say,
“Carolyn, you did a terrific job!” Every time one of my clients
says “thank you,” I just want to go out and help even more people.
Q - Anything you would have done differently?
A - I would have held
on to my day job a little longer. I got so excited by signing
my first two clients right away, that I thought I could make
enough money and devote all of my time to expanding MotionTemps.
I was wrong, and you need to evaluate your growth opportunities
very carefully, taking into account changes in the economy,
marketing, etc., before making the leap and leaving your full-time
Q - What's next on the horizon for your biz?
A - Growing my company
so that it truly becomes a multinational corporation. We will
return to the United States on a permanent basis in a few years,
and I don’t want to miss a beat during the transition. I want
to acquire clients in France as well as in the United States.
Q - What advice do you have for others?
A - Find a niche for your
business. Really take the time to research your industry and
your location to discover what truly make you different from
the competition so you can showcase your talents. Study your
competitors and pay attention to what they do well, and try
to learn from their mistakes.
Q - How do you use Idea Cafe to help your biz?
A - I value all of the
small-business resources and articles that are available here
at Idea Café. While researching my business, I stumbled across
the web site, and the information I found here helped me a great
deal in formulating my business plan. When you work for yourself
– particularly as an independent contractor, you spend a lot
of time working alone, so you no longer have the ability to
stand around the water cooler and talk. I get that here at Idea
Q - School (where, still in school, degree)?
A - Loyola University Chicago,
B.A in Organizational Communications; Minor in Political Science
Q - Prior jobs or business?
A - Communications Manager,
Marketing Manager, PR Coordinator and Account Executive, Political
Campaign Strategist, Executive Assistant, Community Relations
Q - Favorite Food?
A - Mexican and Chinese
Q - What are your pets' names?
A - Bo (French Shepard);
Q - Is there any one person or event in your life that
led you to go into business for yourself?
A - Having more time for
my daughter and the opportunity to become my own boss were the
main reasons why I decided to work for myself. Before starting
the business, I worked in corporate communications and my hours
were very long. When I decided to go out on my own, I worked
to create a company that allows me to use my talents and work
on the types of projects that I personally enjoy, plus the flexibility
allows me the opportunity to spend more time with my two daughters,
ages six and eight months.
Q - Anyone you publicly want to thank?
A - Thanks to my husband,
the rest of my family and friends for their unyielding support.