A Preston-based innovation agency is doubling its staff base on the back of a surge in international enquiries, thanks to Boost, Lancashire’s business growth hub.
Geminüs has seen 25 per cent growth in its R&D tax credit claims service and is receiving over 100 international enquiries monthly for its new ‘innovator international’ programme.
The agency plans to increase the team to ten over the next 12 months to further meet demand for its services.
The growth comes after Boost’s Growth Mentoring programme helped the firm’s founders Richard Harrison and Nick Roach reshape their digital marketing strategy and direction for the business.
Richard Harrison worked in business support for nearly 20 years and set up Geminus Training Ltd in 2016 to provide innovation services, including training and consultancy to help people think differently about business. Fellow director Nick Roach joined the firm 18 months later.
Richard was already familiar with Boost and joined its Growth Mentoring programme. He was matched with mentor Peter Dickinson who specialises in creative and digital marketing.
He said: “Peter’s input was fantastic. He took time to listen to our marketing challenges. He made us step back from what we thought we needed to do, to instead focus on core issues.
“We didn’t deal with what we had thought were our problems until the last session. By then, as Peter had addressed the underlying challenges within our digital marketing strategy, the problems pretty much solved themselves!”
Geminüs’ services have become so successful, that it now has a global presence targeting large national and international firms and overseas investors.
This is a result of the company securing a contract with the Home Office that enables overseas investors seek innovative business opportunities in the UK.
Boost is Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub and is led by the Lancashire LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership) and Lancashire County Council and supported by funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
Boost’s fully-funded Growth Mentoring programme is designed to support individuals and SMEs in Lancashire. It offers mentoring support to help them to deal with challenges in sales, marketing, finance, business planning and internal processes.
Peter helped Richard and Nick reappraise their digital marketing strategy and recommended they create a new identity for the business.
Peter said: “Richard and Nick have a very dynamic working partnership and are leading experts in their field. It was a real pleasure to work with them. They quickly grasped the business and marketing concepts used in the business tools I introduced them to, in order to formalise their thinking.
“By the end of the mentoring we had developed a strategy and implementation plan to help them grow to the next level.”
Richard said: “Without Peter’s support our R&D offering would not have been the success it is, and we wouldn’t have been able to expand our services across the innovation side of the business and to gain our contract with the Home Office.
“The support we’ve received has been incredible, to the point that it’s almost impossible to measure the impact it’s had.”
Fellow director Nick added: “Before the mentoring, we didn’t know how to create a robust digital marketing strategy. Peter came in with clear direction, resulting in an immediate impact and a stronger online presence.
“I would strongly recommend Boost’s Growth Mentoring programme to anybody who wants to grow their business.”
Operating from its base at Society 1, a co-working space in Preston, Geminüs is now considering opening offices in Manchester and London. If the growth continues, there may even be further plans for a presence in China, the main source of its international enquiries.
Boost has received £3.8m of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for ERDF. Established by the European Union, ERDF funds help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.