Therapy company reaches for the sky thanks to growth support from Business Wales AGP

Behavioural therapy firm Skybound, which has been given growth support by Business Wales AGP, is the latest firm we feature in our blog series.

Founded by behavioural analyst Risca Solomon in 2012, who was a sole trader until 2019 when Skybound became a limited company, the firm employs a range of therapists specialising in behavioural, speech, occupational and social skills.

The company, based near Haverfordwest, now has 14 full-time and eight part-time staff.

Here, Risca Solomon tells the story of her business and shares ideas and help for other entrepreneurs starting.

 

Tell us about Skybound.

We are a multidisciplinary team of professionals all focused on helping children, adolescents and adults reach their potential.

Our delivery approach is centred around positive, applied behavioural support.

We’re unusual in that we employ highly-skilled therapists within one company. These experts can provide complex, integrated solutions to clients – it’s more usual for individual therapists to have their own business.

We run intensive courses, delivering specialist one-to-one care support throughout the UK and overseas.

The transformation from being a sole trader to where we are today is all thanks to the help of Business Wales AGP.

When I was a sole trader, my turnover was less than a third of what it is now. Although that was really successful for me, that trading structure, employment model and minimal strategic thinking, massively compromised future growth.

Since joining Business Wales AGP, we have incorporated into a private limited company, directly employing a large number of highly-skilled therapists, and we have a coherent growth strategy. 

Turnover has grown 30-35%, and we are now one of the top therapy companies in the UK, operating from our discrete rural setting in Pembrokeshire.

We are based at a family-owned farm, and I think our background and cultural values are an essential part of the company’s success.
 

 

What are your proudest moments in business so far?

Expanding our business means we can provide support to more families who are faced with disabilities and challenging behaviour every day.

We have helped children stop harming themselves and families who were living in fear with dangerous behaviours can now live in harmony, preventing their child having to go into residential care.

Because of the increase in processes, systems and staffing, we can support some families in crisis quickly and effectively.

Seeing the team grow and develop their clinical and management skills has also made me incredibly proud.

 

If you were starting again, what would you do differently?

If we had known about Business Wales AGP sooner, we would have engaged much quicker in the programme – which would have helped accelerate our development.

We would have networked more and sooner, to discover what help was available and could help us develop.

 

How has support from Business Wales AGP helped your business?

Since accessing Business Wales AGP, we’ve have been helped on strategy formulation, training and development of the middle management team, ICT diagnostics and implementation of new ICT systems, leading to much more efficient use of technology.

Regular quarterly discussions with our relationship manager have helped steer the strategic direction of the business. 

When I joined AGP, I had three full-time equivalent employees. With that now standing at 14 full-time equivalents and eight part-time staff, there is further significant growth projected, and we anticipate taking on more skilled people, working in new locations and developing new services.

There are exciting times ahead of us!

 

 

What advice and guidance would you give other businesses starting?

● Network. There is help out there, but sometimes you have to search for the right help.

● Find someone who will push you to continue to develop; a good relationship manager to have regular meetings with has been integral to our growth.

● Focus on what you want to achieve and keep going.

● Involve your staff team in decision making - they are your most precious resource.

● Ensure you learn to prioritise well and learn to delegate where you can.

 

For more information on Skybound visit here.

Further information on the Business Wales Accelerated Growth Programme.

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