Sphere Solutions

Origins

Both founders wanted to build a reputable brand from Wales. No one had really established themselves as a key consultancy from South Wales, and coupled with the prospect of major projects such as St David’s 2 in Cardiff and other schemes at the time, there were attractive opportunities which their previous employer and competitors would not have actively pursued. In addition, both had a bullish confidence that they had to do it "now or never". Luckily or intuitively, they chose the former and had the energy and the network, though not necessarily the "know how". However, they remained positive and this enthusiasm inspired confidence and optimism with their customers.

Our main challenges when starting the business

The biggest challenges initially were two things – the competition and the initial reluctance from some clients to start using a small independent company in Cardiff. The founders overcame this by meeting people across the UK and convinced them they could deliver and, as a result, these people are some of Sphere’s best clients to this day. Another challenge which remains is the apathy to recruitment companies in general. Sphere is continually striving for high levels of customer service to promote the industry within the construction arena. It overcame the initial reluctance by completing high quality assignments with minimum inconvenience to clients, making the recruitment process simple, fluid and efficient. Indeed, it was able to set itself apart from the larger multi-nationals by offering a more personal account management service and were able to push itself ahead of other competitors by focussing on quality rather than quantity.

Success Factor

Sphere has been able to attract high quality people in the right roles. Its consultants are well trained with their own entrepreneurial flair, and its front and back office are extremely efficient, minimising overlap of departments. This all helps to create a fantastic team environment which customers appreciate. The company has also endeavoured to work with the best and its customer base reflects this as does its supply chain. It has learned from mistakes and brought in advice and innovative ideas from customers, suppliers, staff and advisory bodies to continue to improve working practices beyond customers’ expectations. Sphere’s commitment to developing new business is constant and, over the years, it has diversified recruitment services to best serve customers.

The Future

Sphere Solutions Ltd intends to set up three new offices in the near future. Bristol is now signed off, as is Exeter, and it intends to launch in Manchester, Glasgow and London in 2012. With this increased investment, staffing levels will rise to 30-40 staff with all company administration being retained in Cardiff. The target turnover for 2015 is £15m and the business needs to continue to diversify, operating in other niche sectors within the construction industry. Sphere also has additional plans to establish an international network of offices in the Middle East, Australia and the Far East. In addition, the business also has a keen interest in moving and developing in other industries, although this will depend on the achievement of the current business plan.