Our city’s continuing emergence as a centre of creative business and innovative industry is leading companies from all across the UK, Europe and even from further afield to choose Birmingham as its new home. Here at The Big Peg, we have a lively hub of diverse and vibrant businesses, spanning a wide range of sectors and specialisms, that make it the perfect setting for companies looking to expand and grow. One of those exciting businesses is Zest Education who have been part of The Big Peg community since 2015. We caught up with the company’s MD Brad Johnson to find out more about their business journey.
Tell us all about Zest Education and what the company does.
Zest Education is an education-centered recruitment business, providing high caliber teaching and support staff to schools and learning provisions across the Midlands.
At school I was the type of student who was easily distracted and disengaged and so in order for me to want to learn, I needed teachers that had the ability to bring lessons to life and make them as interactive and fun as possible.
On leaving school, I fell into recruitment (in the Healthcare sector), which seemed to compliment my traits perfectly – it was multi-faceted, fast paced, demanding and rewarding.
After a short amount of time in this sector, I decided that Education recruitment was the field I really wanted to get into, as I wanted to help make a difference to the learning of young people, and particularly those ‘harder to reach’ students like my younger self.
So, after almost a decade of honing my aptitude in education recruitment with two established and well-respected agencies, I decided to take the leap of faith and set Zest Education up in 2014.
For anyone that is wondering, the word Zest was chosen for two reasons. Firstly, it holds a special place in my heart, because it was the name of a club night that I used to run back in the late 90s (all those years ago), and also because of its more obvious connotations with vibrancy, enthusiasm and zeal.
What was the inspiration that led you to that decision to start your own business? Do you still feel the same way?
Whilst setting up and running a business is far from easy, as most business owners will agree with I’m sure, I would not change anything about my experience of doing so.
There is no greater sense of satisfaction than creating a brand that people choose to buy in to, and then seeing it grow and develop over time, and ultimately become a successful, sustainable organisation.
How do you build a successful customer base?
Our customer base is built via a number of channels, including CV job boards, social media channels, and our website, however I feel that much of our success can now be attributed to a substantial increase in client and candidate referrals, which is achieved through continuing to deliver an exceptional service from start to finish.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Aside from the fact that the Zest Education brand is still operating four years on from its inception (which we are incredibly proud of), our biggest cause for celebration is gaining the prestigious Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s Audited Award – The Gold Standard for Recruitment, which in turn allowed us to apply for and secure, a place on the Crown Commercial Service’s Supply Teachers and Temporary Staffing for Schools Framework. This accreditation and the framework demonstrates our ongoing commitment to operating to the highest industry standards possible.
Why did you choose The Big Peg for your office?
We chose the Big Peg for Zest HQ for several reasons. Mainly because of its location, and ease of access for candidates, but also because the Big Peg gives us the option to expand our office space if and when needed.
The rates are reasonable and competitive, which is particularly important when starting a business up from scratch, and the Jewellery Quarter itself is steeped with charm and a vibrant hub for small and creative businesses. Plus there are many great places to eat and drink at – a great benefit where ‘team meetings’ are concerned!
To that end, I would absolutely recommend The Big Peg to anyone either looking to take the plunge with a new business venture, or is simply looking at moving to a premises and part of Birmingham that offers good value within a lively and supportive business community.
The Big Peg is extremely proud to have highly-regarded sector-specialist companies like Zest Education among our bustling community. We aim to provide a setting for businesses to grow and prosper right at the heart of Birmingham, so if you’re interested in following in the footsteps of Zest Education, why not take your place here at The Big Peg – get in touch now. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
You can find out more about Zest Education and its services by visiting the website.