Success stories and positive feedback are the spur for Julie

Celebrating her 5th anniversary of being a franchisee Julie Harris gives her views on her success in bringing love to Northern Ireland Speed Dating comes of age in Belfast in March, with the landmark of Julie Harris recording 5 years as a When the Music Stops franchisee is celebrated. Time has flown by for Julie and it only seems like yesterday that she ran her first event back in 2007.

But so many people ought to be joining Julie in raising a glass or two – as literally thousands of couples have been brought together during that time and many of them are very much still together as a consequence of the many successful events that she has run. Dating has boomed during the last decade and Speed Dating has been part of that revolution. Thanks to Julie the good people of Belfast and Northern Ireland have been right at the forefront of it all. It was way back in mid 2007 that Julie ran her first highly successful event in the Fly in Belfast. Since then literally thousands of people from all over Northern Ireland have given speed dating a try and whilst there were initially plenty of reservations, Julie has very much won people over and built her business into one that is vibrant and thriving. We caught up with Julie to congratulate her on the success she has enjoyed and to let her tell us why she feels speed dating has become so popular.

Says Julie: “It’s been something that we have built slowly and steadily. And it’s something we have had to win people over on, as initially narrow minded people who have never attended an event tried to put customers off with old fashioned views and mindless horror stories! Northern Ireland is a small country where everyone knows everyone else, a lot of people do not want to date in their own town. Speed Dating was very new at first but the quality of our events and the fact that Speed Dating is a winning formula has very much helped convert people. Slowly and steadily we have won them over, we get a lot more word of mouth referrals now and our events are really popular – we are often sold out for ladies months in advance”

She continues: “There have been many highlights and running a successful and profitable business is enjoyable but more than that it has always given me a real buzz receiving feedback from couples who have met at our events, each time we hear about another When the Music Stops engagement or marriage is wonderful and the highlight of 2011 was definitely the news that our first Speed Dating baby is on the way – it doesn’t get any better than that”. Mike Parker, Managing Director of When the Music Stops added his own view “It has been a pleasure to work with Julie and her Business Partner Elaine over the last 5 years and it has been a joy to see the success that she has generated, not only in Belfast but across Northern Ireland. They have both been very focused, highly professional and single minded about their success. We believe there is plenty more to come too and we’re looking forward to the next 5 years”.

So an insight into Julie’s world of dating and why she has succeeded. Dating is one industry that has boomed in the recession and should continue to expand. We thanked Julie for her time and wish her luck for success in the next 5 years too. But knowing Julie I doubt very much that luck will come into it – more like hard work, professionalism and good old fashioned customer service will be what is needed. More of the same in fact.

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