17 February 2017
The serious business of saving lives
Innovating for Growth is designed to help businesses scale up and grow by offering £10,000 worth of bespoke business advice. We have supported over 250 businesses in the past four years, and have seen 70% of them either increase their turnover and/or take on extra staff after just one year of completing the programme.
Covering key areas such as ‘developing a growth strategy’ and ‘maximising your brand’, the focus is on taking established businesses to the next level. An example of this can be seen with the progress made by Emma Hammett and her award-winning company, First Aid for Life. The company focuses on first aid training and its trainers are highly experienced medical and emergency services professionals, offering a full range of practical and online training, tailored entirely to your needs.
First Aid for Life joined Innovating for Growth at a point where, although it was trading comfortably and making a profit, the potential to scale up and grow further was not being realised. The programme helped Emma to look at every element of her business model and assisted in developing a solid grounding for consistent growth. As a result, First Aid for Life was able to protect its intellectual property and apply for trademarks, fine-tune its branding and focus on its core market segments. Emma credits her mentor, Penny Daly, as being “particularly supportive and inspiring”, helping her to implement all the advice gleaned from Innovating for Growth’s business experts.
Since completing the Innovating for Growth programme, First Aid for Life has grown at a rate of 30% year on year, creating a solid financial foundation from which to scale up. This security has brought the freedom to diversify, penetrate new markets and identify new opportunities for the business.
As Emma further explains, “there is considerable variation in the quality of first aid training providers, so we work tirelessly to differentiate ourselves by offering consistent excellence in all aspects of our business from first contact, to training delivery and aftercare. With a focus on flexible working practices that are family friendly, the company is constantly looking at more efficient ways of working both for staff and customers”. The development of onlinefirstaid.com which, is now the leading provider of online first aid training, has helped First Aid for Life to productise its service, enabling it to scale up and reach international markets; such advancements have also allowed First Aid for Life the chance to offer comprehensive stand-alone online training sessions that are regulated and fulfil both HSE and Ofsted requirements.
In addition to this, it has also been able to diversify by creating First Aid for Pets, giving them the chance to connect with a completely new market, many of whom have human and pet first aid needs. These innovations fully complement their core business, positioning them uniquely as First Aid Experts and engaging customers with flexible training solutions.
The work of Emma and First Aid for Life has definitely not gone unnoticed, and over the past few years, the company has won many awards, including, the Federation of Small Businesses ‘Overall Winner’ and the ‘Best’ Business for Service Excellence two years running.
The publicity garnered from First Aid for Life has also opened up new opportunities for Emma which has seen her portfolio continue to grow. Her second book, ‘Burns, falls and emergency calls’, endorsed and supported by the Child Accident Prevention Trust, Dr Amanda Gummer of the Good Toy and App Guide and Sue Atkins (The Parenting Expert), has been heralded as the ultimate guide to the prevention and treatment of childhood accidents. Her expertise has also lead to Emma becoming a well-respected voice on all things first aid-related and regular TV appearances have become the norm.
Such progress is impressive and clearly shows that First Aid for Life has been able to successfully scale-up and grow. As Emma concludes, “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. Thank you to the British Library for all of your help”.
Are you an ambitious business owner looking to scale up, like First Aid for Life? Innovating for Growth is a free three-month programme to help you turn your growth idea into a reality.
The programme is fully-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the British Library.