Having completed the Goldman Sachs?10,000 Small Business programme ?last year at Manchester Metropolitan University.?James Brayshaw (Managing Director) was delighted to be invited to Business Insider North West?SME Growth Breakfast 2013 for an interview?with Dr Clare Scofield from the MMU business school about the role of higher education in helping small businesses:
Q1: Can you tell me a bit about what you do?
AdaptiveComms provide IT and telecoms products and services to other businesses. This includes everything from computers & phone systems to mobiles & landlines. What sets us apart from the crowd is our unique blend of service, after sales care and expertise ? meaning we don?t just supply the goods but ensure that our customers not only get the right products but get the most out of them too.
Q2: What?s the history and the size of your business?
Eleven years old now, AdaptiveComms began as a telecommunications provider but from the very first day we put really great service at the centre of what we do (which was pretty unusual at the time). Following the first few years, during which time we went through the usual challenges a start-up can expect, we reached a stage of establishment and started to really look at what we could become in the future. This led to us putting together a plan to increase our product set to include all aspects of IT and telecommunications, to do this we had to significantly expand the workforce and skill sets of the business. We passionately believed in keeping fantastic service at the heart of everything we did; whilst not without its difficulties we enjoyed the challenge and are delighted with the outcome. A couple of years ago we recognised that we were about to enter a third phase of growth and realised that this was the time to really grow our customer numbers. Today we turnover ?1.5 million and employ 18 staff whilst servicing several hundred clients.
Q3: How have MMU and AdaptiveComms worked together?
Whilst looking for some form of structured course to assist me in laying down my plan for growth I came across the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business programme which seemed perfect for me, so I applied and found that MMU were running the course in the North-West. Since then they have been fantastic; helping us with recruitment, delivering further short courses for the management team and have continued to be generally supportive of our aspirations for growth.
Q4: How has it benefited your business?
The course itself, along with the assigned independent tutor, really forced me to take an introspective look at the business and encouraged me to discuss with the team (in a more open way than ever before) the direction that we wanted to take the organisation in. I was delighted to find that the team shared my vision and were as committed as I was. In doing this exercise I was able to really focus my thoughts and energies, delegate responsibilities and approach the business with a fresh, reinvigorated mindset. The impact from this is that we are well on target for a 50% increase in turnover in this first year alone, after this we feel that the skies the limit. Rather than just having an idea of where we want to go as we have had in the past, we now feel like we have a map.
Q5: What advice would you offer to other businesses thinking of following suit?
Do it (unless you?re competing in telecoms and IT, in which case I?d say don?t)?
Q6: What?s your future growth plans?
We are in the throes of opening a Manchester office and anticipate having around twice as many staff and a ?3million annual turnover within the next 18-24 months. We are also considering the acquisition of a competitor.
The story has also been covered on the business insider website. Click here