10 November 2016
First Aid for Life – growing a business, and taking it to the next level with Innovating for Growth
First Aid for Life is an award-winning first aid training business. Our trainers are highly experienced medical and emergency services professionals offering a full range of practical and online training, tailored entirely to our customers’ needs. I established the business nine years ago and we joined the Innovating for Growth programme at a point where, although it was trading comfortably and making a profit, we still felt in start-up phase.
Joining the Innovating for Growth programme
We were lucky enough to be one of the earlier cohorts on Innovating for Growth, and the programme helped us look at every element of our business and get everything in place to provide a solid grounding for consistent growth. We secured our IP and applied for trademarks, fine-tuned our branding and focussed on our market segments.
My mentor in the Innovating for Growth programme, Penny Daly, was particularly supportive and inspiring and also helped me implement all the advice gleaned from the other experts. Penny has kept in touch past our involvement in the programme and continues to be an invaluable guiding force and support.
Since that point, we have grown consistently at a rate of 30% per year. We feel comfortable that we have solid financial foundations and have clearly evaluated opportunities to diversify, penetrate new markets and identify new challenging opportunities for the business.
How First Aid for Life has grown since joining Innovating for Growth
We have created and developed the First Aid website which is now the leading provider of online first aid training and has helped us productise our service, enabling us to scale and reach an international market. We offer these as stand-alone online training and fully-regulated blended learning and were first to market with regulated training fulfilling HSE and Ofsted requirements.
We have since diversified further into First Aid for Pets enabling us to connect with a completely new market, many of whom have human and pet first aid needs. These innovations fully complement and integrate our business, positioning us uniquely as first aid experts and engaging customers with flexible training solutions.
We have won numerous awards, including the Federation of Small Businesses Overall Winner Best Business in London and Best Business for Service Excellence two years running. We work hard to nurture our customers and have a sophisticated CRM system enabling us to personalise our communication and send relevant gifts and updates. We have developed free information products, newsletters, videos, courses, posters and published a book in response to client requests and needs.
Innovating for Growth has been pivotal in our success in ensuring we have a solid base upon which to grow and a thorough understanding of business principles to enable us to plan and formulate sensible business decisions.
By Emma Hammett, Founder of First Aid for Life and onlinefirstaid.com. Highly experienced Nurse, ESOL lecturer and First Aid Trainer and leading authority on First Aid and related topics.
Apply now for over £10,000 worth of business advice
Are you an ambitious business owner, looking to scale up like Emma Hammett of First Aid for Life? Innovating for Growth is a free three-month programme to help you turn your growth idea into a reality.
Covering everything from intellectual property to reaching new markets and branding, we'll guide you through every step of the process.
The programme is supported by the European Regional Development Fund and the British Library.