Doubling growth in Year Two is Sam's target following business support
"Sam’s resilience and talent has shone through and I am delighted that the support of the CW Business: Start, Grow and Scale programme proved so valuable on his pathway to expansion."
An events company in Coventry and Warwickshire is on target to exceed £1 million turnover in its first 18 months – and is eyeing a new office to continue its impressive growth.
Above & Beyond Solutions was set up by Sam Stockmans in November last year after working in events for more than 15 years, before deciding to go it alone.
He has been supported in his venture by the start-up team at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, receiving advice from Business Coach Rita Booth.
Working 1-2-1 with Rita, Sam received free mentorship to help him develop his skills in financial management by looking at cash flows and forecasts, as well as strategy development and how to improve marketing of the business.
Sam, who was diagnosed with ADHD last year, has now seen his company grow to a team of 10 in its first year, with its client list including the likes of Gymshark, LookFantastic and Mateus Rose – and, closer to home – working on the likes of Godiva Festival and the International Children’s Games in Coventry.
It is on track to exceed £1m gross revenue by 18 months, with the company now looking to move from its hybrid working model to its own premises in 2023 which would create four new jobs.
The support received from the Chamber, on behalf of Warwickshire County Council, forms part of the CW Business: Start, Grow and Scale programme, which is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), Warwickshire County Council and all five District and Borough Councils.
It is available to start-up companies in Warwickshire and provides mentorship from advisors who all also run their own business, so understand the challenges and complexities faced with starting a new business and making it a success.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better first year. It’s gone really well and we are looking at doubling growth within year two,” said Sam.
“I was diagnosed with ADHD a year ago now and before then I’d always felt like I wasn’t treated fairly and it frustrated me across my working career. I worked in the industry for more than 15 years but it resonated with me that I’d been dedicating myself to other people’s businesses for years, yet repeatedly felt underappreciated. I promised myself when I owned my own business, equality and inclusion would be part of the ethos and culture.
“Events is a hard climate to be in, especially after Covid hit, but I was very confident when I started the company that the team could deliver, I just knew I needed that additional support to help with the legalities and admin side of things as that’s what I struggle with the most.
“I started getting support from Rita after the first three or four months, helping manage my way through difficult decision making, and looking at grants and funding which will be a big investment for us to be able to buy new kit.
“The growth in the first year has been fantastic, so to already be looking at hitting £1m revenue in the coming months is great and the new office space will take us to the next level. We’re still looking at exactly where that office will be, but definitely want to stay local.”
Above & Beyond Solutions is a full-service brand experience agency that can help businesses with everything from event activation and sponsorship acquisition to exhibitions and ticketing.
Rita added: “Sam has shown real courage and entrepreneurial spirit to not only quit his job and go it alone, but make it a fantastic success in its first year. I wish him the best of luck as the company expands with its new office next year.”
Warwickshire County Council Portfolio Holder for Economy & Place, Cllr Martin Watson, said: “The growth of Above & Beyond Solutions is a real success story. Sam’s resilience and talent has shone through and I am delighted that the support of the CW Business: Start, Grow and Scale programme proved so valuable on his pathway to expansion.”