There was no doubt that the Pandemic affected every business on the planet and at the start of lock down 1.0, Xacom like many businesses had concerns on just what affect the restrictions would have on the market in general and specifically the performance of their business.
Since Michael Higgins founded the company in 2011he has essentially bootstrapped the growth of the business and has done a great job as Xacom celebrated 10 years in business in February 2021.
But as lockdown began to take affect it became apparent that market demand could be significantly reduced, particularly the training side of the business.
So Michael decided he would utilise the downtime to seek the support of the Boost Growth Mentoring programme to focus on rebranding and business planning to improve his marketing and business ‘message’ with the aim to winning further work.
With this new focus Xacom not only survived the pandemic but significantly increased its turnover.
Michael commented on the support “The Boost Growth Mentoring programme enabled me to take a step back and discover why we really operate as a business. Having the opportunity to have someone to talk to about the business has increased my personal confidence and put our business in a better place for continued growth. Through my mentor’s guidance, we created new branding, increased our website traffic which resulted in an increase in training enquiries and subsequently that resulted in doubling our turnover.”
Boost is Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub and is led by Lancashire County Council and the Lancashire LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership). It is supported by funding from Lancashire County Council, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
The fully-funded Boost Mentoring programme places an experienced mentor in a business to work alongside its owners and leaders to help them tackle the challenges they are facing in developing and growing their company.
Michael heard about Boost support through his connections at Society 1, the co-working space in Preston where he operates from.
He received mentoring support from Paul Bury, an experienced Marketing and Business growth specialist, through the programme. Michael also received a Boost Your Recovery Covid 19 recovery grant from Boost last year. The grant was part of a £1.1m funding pot made available to by the Government to Lancashire businesses in their recovery from the pandemic.
Michael said “Paul and I met regularly each week to discuss marketing and business development plans. The support was invaluable. Since receiving the support through the Boost programme, Paul and I have continued to maintain a working relationship.”
Paul Bury, Boost Growth Mentor said: “Michael was a pleasure to work with on the programme. He was enthusiastic and really engaged with the process which enabled us to make excellent progress and help empower the business to move forward.
“Xacom is a high-quality consultancy and training organisation driven by Michael’s passion and core values and it’s great to see the business grow.”
Working with a small group of associates to deliver projects and consulting work, Xacom plans to grow their network of specialists and is also looking to develop a catalogue of e-learning programmes to reach a larger audience.
Councillor Aidy Riggott, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Growth, Lancashire County Council said: “Xacom is an excellent example of how support from Boost’s Growth Mentoring programme makes a real difference to Lancashire companies. We supported Michael during a critical period for his business and it has recovered and grown significantly since then.”