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Research and Experience Launch Inspirational Business
When Roy Thompson set up his Lincolnshire-based commercial interiors business, he made the most of Business Link’s help and support.
The Team at aci™ designs, supplies and installs inspired working environments for commercial office, retail and industrial premises. “We are passionate about creating environments that motivate and inspire,” says Roy. “Our knowledge enables us to ensure clients get the most from their valuable space, making customers feel welcome and employees valued, which in turn increases efficiency.”
The range of products available from aci™ includes commercial interiors and mezzanine floors through to storage solutions, with all combinations able to be designed, supplied and installed by the company.
Based on experience
Established in 2009, aci™ goes from strength to strength, due in no small part to Roy’s experience, teamed with the research he carried out before launching his enterprise.
“Setting up in business may seem like the obvious thing to do when you are made redundant but unless you are 100% sure you can run your own company, this should not be your default option,” he explains. “I invested many hours looking at alternative routes to market and ways to differentiate aci™, I am sure that these long hours and constant questioning have helped aci™ get to the point where it is today.”
Once he had decided that setting up a business was the right thing to do, contacting Business Link was a natural step for Roy. “Over the last five years I have had a good relationship with Business Link and valued the help that they had given to the previous businesses that I had been involved in.”
Roy acknowledges that starting a business can be difficult, even in a prosperous economy, but in true entrepreneurial style he hasn’t let a tough economic climate put a stop to his plans. “As long as you research your market correctly and make sure you have the backing of your suppliers there’s no reason not to start a business.
“Being a small business with low overheads in a recession actually makes you an attractive proposition to prospective customers,” he adds. “You can represent good value for money while being small and flexible enough to deliver a great level of customer service and product delivery.”
When Roy started aci™ he was keen to complement his marketing with a significant web presence. With the help of his Business Link adviser he was able to access funding to help create the new company website, something he says was invaluable at business start-up. “It helped us to create a more significant web presence with great search engine optimisation which we wouldn’t have been able to achieve so quickly without this assistance.”
With a growing client base, Roy is pleased with progress. “We’
With aci™ developing strongly, Roy is now looking at expansion. “The help I received from Business Link, along with the performance of the business has given me the confidence to look into developing a new, complementary business to aci™. This is an exciting time for us and it’s great to know that Business Link is on hand to help us as we grow.”
Roy’s top tips:
• Understand the marketing mix and where you are getting a good return on your investment for your marketing spend and replicate this.
• If you are unsure about anything, get some advice.
• Be prepared for a rollercoaster ride. As long as the highs are higher than the lows, keep going!
• Stay focused and keep asking your customers questions. That way you will be there for the long haul of business ownership.
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EMB is a young, vibrant, enterprise development company. We specialise in delivering public sector contracts which improve the prospects of individuals and businesses, maximising their contribution to the economy.