A Doncaster business security specialist is planning for significant future growth after securing support from the South Yorkshire Business Productivity Programme.
OLS Limited is hoping to double its workforce from 15 members of staff to 30 within the next three years after the match-funded grant programme helped it to revolutionise its sales processes.
Headquartered at Avro Park, OLS Limited provides a wide range of access control, CCTV systems and bespoke security integrations, helping its customers to embrace cloud-based technology to keep their physical sites secure. The company currently supports a diverse range of businesses ranging from food manufacturers and logistics operators to gym chains, serviced offices and even schools amongst its growing client base, which spans the UK and Europe.
When Covid-19 forced many businesses to encourage members of staff to work from home, company founder Ollie Law saw demand for the company’s services boom as businesses sought to keep their unoccupied premises secure.
Despite receiving a healthy number of orders throughout the pandemic, Ollie was shocked to discover that his website failed to generate a single new business lead and realised that the sales processes that the company had relied upon for many years were no longer fit for purpose. Unsure of how to capitalise upon the market opportunities, Ollie decided to reach out to Business Doncaster for advice.
Working with key account manager Sharon Finch, the company decided to implement a number of new measures to improve its sales processes. Ollie identified that the company’s website required significant investment, and through discussions with Sharon, his business decided to apply for a Business Productivity Grant: a match funded grant designed to help businesses based in South Yorkshire to overcome barriers to growth.
With funding in place, OLS engaged with the services of a local marketing company, which successfully redesigned the company’s website, whilst Ollie and his senior management team began implementing new measures within the business to track the sales journey of its customers, helping the business to communicate more effectively with both existing and potential clients.
Since successfully completing the work, OLS has seen orders boom. It has achieved record growth in the UK, as well as expanding its client base in Germany, Belgium, Spain and the Republic of Ireland. The measures implemented through the Business Productivity Grant have been such a success that the company has recently seen its turnover hit the million-pound milestone, and the company is already planning for further growth and expansion.
Ollie Law, managing director, OLS Limited, said: “Having the right security systems in place is vital for almost every business. In recent years, we’ve helped a wide range of businesses to protect themselves by developing security solutions that meet their needs, but I also felt that we were missing out on chances to grow and develop the business further because our sales processes were not fit for purpose.
“When lockdown forced businesses to work from home it was essential that business owners could be assured that sites not in use could remain safe and secure. We felt there would be a high demand for security, something borne out by the number of visitors we received to our website. However, we realised very few of the visits were converting into sales.
“We knew this meant we were potentially missing out on new leads, so we decided to contact Sharon to see if our business may be eligible to receive help. She advised us to apply to the Business Productivity Programme.
“The funding we’ve received has transformed our business. It’s only been a few weeks since we launched our new website, but it’s already generated more orders in the time it’s been live than our previous site did in a decade. It’s also helped us to put into place systems to help us understand our customers’ needs more effectively and to improve the way we communicate with them.
“The support we’ve received has enabled us to focus upon scaling up our business further, and we’re confident that the measures we’ve put in place will help us to lay the foundations for significant future growth, enabling us to create new skilled jobs, both in Doncaster and across the UK.”
Sharon Finch, key account manager, Business Doncaster, said: “OLS has come a long way over the past decade, and despite enjoying year-on-year growth since the company was founded, Oliver knew that for the business to continue growing, it was vital to spend time looking at the barriers to growth. For OLS, this meant changing their sales processes.
“The Business Productivity Grant has helped them to access specialist support to upgrade their Web presence by investing in a marketing team, which is already reaping dividends in terms of business growth.
“The success OLS has achieved isn’t just great news for the business, it’s great news for Doncaster and South Yorkshire, enabling the company to embrace new opportunities, as well as helping it create and retain skilled jobs within the local economy.”
OLS Limited was founded by security specialist Ollie Law in 2009 after being made redundant from his job as a security engineer. Using his redundancy money and his life savings, he has successfully grown the business from being ‘a man with a van’ to a company that has achieved a seven-figure turnover and employs 15 people.
The Business Productivity Programme is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and provides businesses with 50% grant funding up to a maximum of £12,499, and the other 50% must be provided by the business.
The maximum project application is £24,999 and can include investment in new equipment or machinery and consultancy services to help them overcome barriers to growth. The scheme is delivered by Enterprising Barnsley, Business Sheffield, Business Doncaster and the Rotherham Investment and Development Office (RiDO).
Any business based in South Yorkshire wishing to find out more about the grant funding available through the Business Productivity Programme should contact the Enterprising Barnsley team via: https://www.enterprisingbarnsley.co.uk/business-productivity-grant/