In the latest of our blog series, we talk to another business we work with, to find out more about their journey, ambitions and top tips for business success.
Under the spotlight is Evabuild. Nick Evans, the company’s founder and managing director, worked as a civil engineer before establishing EvaBuild. The company, which was founded in 2011, is a specialist in civil engineering, construction and groundworks and provides professional site surveys, ground investigations as well as a project management service.
Here, Nick Evans shares what he's learned on his business journey so far.
Tell us about Evabuild
I started my business – and operated it – from home, but as it grew it meant we needed proper office accommodation and a location to match. We have that now in the centre of Newtown.
We are committed to excellence and quality in the work we do and are passionate about that too. Our recent Investors In People award is testament to that, and the work we do to lead and manage a team of dedicated staff.
What are your proudest moments in business so far?My proudest moment was winning the Wales Fast Growth 50 in 2015. We used this accolade to not just celebrate the company growth – 733% over two years – but to celebrate everything that we had achieved to date. The team had made huge personal sacrifices to build and establish the company, and this was a great excuse to celebrate that and all other things that we had achieved along the way.
If you were starting again, what would you do differently?
I don’t think we would do anything hugely different to the path we’ve taken – there are just some very small things which are detail and company specific.
How has support from Business Wales AGP helped your business?
The support we’ve received from Business Wales AGP relationship managers looking to conduct whole business reviews has been invaluable. We’ve also had support in marketing, branding, PR – and a very successful IT work package, which I think has been the most valuable.
What advice and guidance would you give other businesses starting out?
- The first is the fundamental DNA of your business: your WHY, VISION and VALUES. They are three key cornerstones that should be set at the very beginning. The really successful entrepreneurs know why they are in business and have a great story. They also have a clear and concise vision of where they want the business to go in the future. And great companies are founded upon strong core values. Getting these core values right will be transparent through everything – your business plan, your marketing, and should influence who you are recruiting.
- Build your network! In the early stages, it is key to your get your message out to the right people – the influencers. Make a clear plan of who to target and create what I call “circles of influence”. These people won’t necessarily be in your market sector. But choose influential people who will act as your messengers – your ambassadors.
- Have a distinct differentiation – your USP! It doesn’t matter how unique your business is, you need it to stand out from the crowd. Make a promise to your clients that your customers can’t. In a crowded and competitive marketplace this is crucial.
- As soon as you can afford to, hire your weaknesses. Business generally comes down to sales, process, and finances. Very rarely are entrepreneurs excellent at all three. Be true to yourself and work to your strengths – and hire brilliant people to do the jobs you are weak at. Don’t be afraid to hire people better than yourself and think differently to you. This is what you want. And when you build your fantastic team, you must let go of the baby! Learn to delegate and be comfortable with that.
- As your business grows, it’s imperative that you build robust systems to make your business run seamlessly. Build your systems so they run the business, and the people run the systems. Get it to the point where your systems deliver consistently high levels of service.