Earlier this year, Southall Associates were crowned as a finalist in the Lloyds Bank Small to Medium Sized Business of the Year shortlist.
Dubbed the “Oscars of great British Business” by David Cameron, the Lloyds Bank National Business Awards will reveal it’s winners on the 13thNovember.
In the run up to the Awards Ceremony at Grosvenor House, we caught up with CEO John Southall and Founder Angela Southall.
What do you currently do at your company day-to-day?
Southalls is one of the UK’s leading providers of health and safety support with a proprietary cloud-based health and safety management solution, ‘Safety Cloud’. Organisations, from a range of industries worldwide, trust us to keep their stakeholders safe and generate measurable improvement in their company’s compliance, underpinned by Safety Cloud. As Founder of Southalls, I run the company on a day to day basis, focusing on strategy and growth but still meet with customers on a regular basis.
What was the inspiration behind your business?
Frontline experience as a health and safety enforcer sparked the idea for Southalls and Safety Cloud – a new kind of Health & Safety consultancy, one that makes real impact, with innovative, cloud-based safety management software. Southalls started in 2003, grew at phenomenal speed and now boasts a staff headcount of 30, supporting over 550 clients with over 90,000 Safety Cloud users.
Who do you admire?
We work closely with many businesses and the people I admire the most are business owners who have started with nothing and built a successful business and generated employment, through hard work, commitment and resilience.
Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?
Looking back, if I had my time again I would have invested more in sales and marketing in the early years of our business in order to scale up faster.
What defines your way of doing business?
Southalls has clear direction and family values at the core. It’s all about the people! Southalls works one-to-one to provide a health and safety solution that eases the burden of legal compliance and delivers peace of mind to employers. Staff retention is key to providing a top-class service which goes hand-in-hand with our 98% customer retention rate. With customers achieving measurable results including a reduction in accidents and associated lost time, cost savings and improved company-wide safety culture, Southalls offers a compelling solution!
What advice would you give to someone starting out?
Start with a business plan or growth plan and set goals to achieve. Be prepared to work hard and put in long hours. Be passionate about what you do and this will come across to staff and customers. Don’t get knocked back by failure; instead learn from it and keep going!