Exciting Future for Growing Cirencester Tech Company
For Cirencester digital transformation company, Energise Technology Solutions, 2020 has been a memorable year for all the right reasons.
Energise works with education and non-profit organisations of all sizes to help them operate more efficiently using technology and digital solutions.
“We’ve actually had an amazing year,” said founder Neil Cullen, who started Energise in 2017. “Just before lockdown we bid on a couple of projects and we won both of them, so we went from a team of two people to four permanent employees and two contractors.”
The business has continued successfully despite Covid-19, and Neil has taken additional office space at UBC in order to accommodate his growing team.
A “blended approach” to Flexible Work
Energise has come a long way since Neil founded the business in 2017. This came after more than a decade working for Tribal Group, a leading software supplier for the education sector.
“I used a virtual office while I was starting the business. It gave me a proper address and meant I didn’t have to take calls when I was in my previous job.”
When Neil decided to focus full-time on the business, the virtual office gave him a professional presence without committing to full-time office space. “I worked from home initially. It was fine but I missed the human interaction, so after 6 months I thought it was time to move out of home and get some structure.”
Neil moved into a coworking space at UBC Cirencester last summer, which provided a dedicated desk in a shared office. This gave him a place to work and hold meetings with clients, along with the opportunity to build connections with other businesses in the building.
“It was a good starter office. It really helped move the business forwards.”
By the end of 2019, the business was growing, and Neil decided to take on his first employee. At that point, he felt it necessary to move into a private office.
“It was within the same building and UBC made the transition easy. Having our own office meant we had privacy for phone calls, as our project work needs more confidentiality.”
In early 2020, Neil hired more people after taking on new projects. Even when Covid-19 and the lockdown hit, Energise was able to continue operations and adapt to the unprecedented situation - despite initial uncertainty.
One thing Neil didn’t have to worry about was a long-term office lease.
“UBC’s flexibility really works for us. We have a blended approach to working, so instead of taking a bigger office to bring everyone into work safely with social distancing, we’ve created our own hot desk environment. We time-share during the week and meet up together once a week in a meeting room, so we still get plenty of human interaction.”
To help the company adjust to the situation and protect his employees, Neil was able to apply for small business rates relief along with a bounce-bank loan to ease cash flow.
“Jen [UBC Centre Manager] helped me with the applications - she dealt with all of it and told me what to do! She’s always got her ear out for useful initiatives that will help our business.”
Looking ahead, what’s next for Energise Technology Solutions?
“We want to grow our customer base. Currently, we have a solid base of 4-5 customers, who are brilliant and keep coming back. Now we want to bring on new customers and we’re also launching some new products, including a really exciting new project coming later this year - watch this space!”
Find out more about Energise Technology Solutions and their range of digital transformation services at www.energisetechnology.co.uk.