CSH Thermal Imaging Ltd
Set up by Christopher Harding, Bridgend-based CSH Thermal Imaging Ltd. (formerly CSH Thermography) provides diagnostic thermographic services to the Engineering and Manufacturing sectors, allowing you to instantly visualise and verify thermal performance in real time.
The business specialises in thermographic surveying for commercial, industrial and domestic clients by using a thermal imaging camera. The surveys show information such as heat loss through the property, insulation issues, water and moisture damage, as well as reducing unscheduled downtime, improving reliability and reducing expensive repair costs for industry, amongst others.
CSH Thermal Imaging Ltd was launched in 2017 and currently employs 1 person.
What they did
Chris was under threat of being made redundant by his employer, when he decided to utilise his skills and 25 years’ experience to start his own business, providing a thermographic service to the Engineering and Manufacturing sectors in Wales and England.
He carried out extensive market research on the potential client base and established many contacts through his current job. Although he had the industry skills and experience, as well as a good local knowledge, Chris didn’t have any experience running his own business, so he approached Business Wales for help with start-up support, business planning and marketing.
What would they do differently?
Nothing – Business Wales’ advice and support were extremely helpful for Chris as this allowed him to gain a clearer understanding of all aspects related to running a business. Had there been no support, it would have taken longer for Chris to take the plunge and start his business.
Their proudest moment in business
"My proudest moment was when I received my first call from a client and secured my first job. I was thrilled as it was at that point when I truly believed that I’ve become my own boss and have the power to make decisions independently."
Describe the type of support (financial / non-financial) they’ve received from Business Wales / Welsh Government
Chris got in touch with Business Wales to enquire about assistance with starting his own business. He attended a ‘Starting and Running a Business – Taking the Plunge’ workshop in Pontypridd to gain valuable business knowledge and was subsequently supported by a Business Wales adviser, Shahid Islam.
Shahid advised Chris on the start-up process and helped him with his business, financial and marketing planning. Additionally, he helped Chris with the legal requirements for a sole trader, tax and NI, tendering, pricing, VAT and further signposted the business to relevant support organisations or industry contacts, including Superfast Business Wales and Business Wales’ post-start workshops.
As a result of Business Wales’ support and guidance, Chris was able to gain the skills and knowledge to start his own business and successfully launched CSH Thermal Imaging Ltd.
Chris commented: "Once I completed the ‘Starting and Running a Business – Taking the Plunge’ course, Shahid got in touch with me about possible ideas and who to market CSH Thermal Imaging Ltd to. At the time, it was good to get the insight of somebody else, from outside my circle and offer their input. Given Shahid’s experience as a business adviser, his perspective was really important to me.
He has put me in touch with invaluable local contacts and I can just drop him an email or a text, and he is always ready to answer my queries. I am really grateful to Business Wales as I am new to business and it’s always nice to have reliable support and advice when I need it."
Here are Chris’s top tips for anyone else looking to start or grow their own business:
- if you have a business idea, don’t delay it – get the ball rolling
- get as much help as possible from anyone, absorb all the information you can and utilise it to help your business, having come from an industry background, I needed all the help I could get to promote the services as well as myself online; Business Wales is a great start, courses are free and the help and support is there when you need it
- use social media – set up Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages for your business alongside your website, social media adverts are very reasonably priced, putting them out can be easier, they can save you a lot of time and have the potential to reach a wider audience, compared to other traditional promotional tools such as delivering leaflets by foot