Imagine that you’re at home relaxing on the couch and your spouse comes back from a long day of work and announces that he’s found a new job. He seems totally excited, so you catch the excitement bug too. But then he tells you that the job is in Paris, as in France, and that he’d like to move the whole family there–within the next two weeks.
This is what happened to Carolyn Moncel. Well, she wasn’t relaxing on the couch when her husband, of French origins, told her they’d be moving off to France, but it’s pretty close. She did, though, have to pack up her house, her kids, a dog and cat, and move here to Paris–all within days. Luckily for her, Carolyn has her own business, so when the big move occurred, she just packed up her computer and hit the tarmac.
Moncel is the President and Founder of MotionTemps LLC, a company that she started in 2001 back in her home town, Chicago. MotionTemps is a virtual office assistance and marketing communications company for English speaking home-based professionals, small-business owners, non-profits and small-to-midsize consulting firms. Using the latest technology Moncel services clients both in the United States as well as in France and the U.K. The company specializes in removing administrative obstacles so that small-business owners can concentrate on improving or expanding their companies.
One of the great things about having a company like Moncel’s is that you can be anywhere in the world and still work efficiently. With the time difference, if her customers are asleep in the U.S., Moncel is at work for them over here in Paris. However, if you’re American and find yourself here for a business deal, or a presentation that you need to give, and need backup, or if you’re a sleepy traveler here in France on vacation but you’re still in need of assistance, then you can visit the Eiffel Tower in peace knowing that MotionTemps is working for you to meet those pressing deadlines or forgotten emails back in the States.
Moncel has more than 10 years of experience in office management, marketing and public relations. Prior to MotionTemps’ launch, she served as Communications Manager at Amdur Spitz & Associates, a full-service marketing communications agency in Chicago. Moncel began her Internet marketing career at A2S2 Digital Projects, an Internet publishing company, based in Chicago and Washington, DC. Serving as PR Coordinator she assisted in the launch of two bipartisan public policy web sites.
“I have worked in a lot of start-up and creative business environments throughout my career,” says Moncel. “It’s been the best training for my business because no matter what my ‘official title’ may have been, I always ended up doing a lot of multi-tasking and wearing a lot of different hats, and I still work this way with my clients."
Some of the services offered by Motiontemps include administrative/secretarial and general correspondence–including e-mailing, photocopying, faxing and scanning, client meal and entertainment recommendations, travel reservations, copy editing, spreadsheets, answer and message service, data entry, reminder services, reservations and morning wake-up calls, special projects, Powerpoint presentations, conference/seminars/meetings, and some on-site assistance available by request.
Taking her services to the next level to meet her client’s more complex communications needs, Moncel also offers highly-specialized media relations, marketing communications and media training to small-business owners as well.
When asked what she’s most proud of regarding the work she does for her international client base, Moncel’s answers without thinking, "I am most proud of the fact that despite the distance, I’ve been able to develop a personal relationship with all of my clients. This is important in the United States but especially so in France. I have been to their homes; I know their families and they know mine. Each client is different, and I get a chance to learn his or her businesses inside out. I am that liaison between my client and their clients. We respect each other as partners, and the relationship is no different from an executive or consultant who has and a long-time assistant. There is a high level of trust and friendship."
The big move to Paris wasn’t as hard for Moncel as it could have been, and she realizes she’s lucky to be able to pick up and move her job the way she has. When asked how working here in Paris is different than working back in the States, she simply smiles and says: "There is no difference at all. That’s what’s great about it. Because of the Internet, there has never been another time in history where work innovations have been more plentiful. I stay ahead of local and national news by reading newspapers and listening to the radio online. I collaborate with my clients online using instant message and net meetings. Having this type of immediate access helps me to keep up with the stories and issues that impact my clients. Sometimes my clients’ contacts and vendors back in the United States forget that I am not there. Clients back in the States know I’m here working while they’re sleeping and my clients who are over here in France and need emergency assistance know that they have an English speaking person here who also speaks the local language, who can assist them in whatever they need. It’s just a win-win situation for everyone."
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