Instant impact from Grow Cornwall

Mike Quest, MD of Quest Environmental Solutions (2nd from right) with members of Oxford Innovation’s Grow Cornwall team

The directors of Quest Environmental Solutions (QES) are focused on a bright future following assistance from Oxford Innovation’s High Growth Coaching programme.

While QES was only introduced to the Convergence-funded Grow Cornwall programme last September, the results have been instant.

Geoff Ribbens, a member of Oxford Innovation’s coaching team, explained: “When I first met QES, their business was based on heating, plumbing and water hygiene – their specialist skills were in the area of assessment and monitoring of water systems for the prevention of Legionella, the organism responsible for Legionnaire’s disease.

“The company was surviving the recession but turnover and profits had suffered. Just months on, Quest Environmental Solutions is trading at a monthly profit, has identified more high revenue customers and is now moving into exports. The projected turnover for the next year is over £1 million with a respectable profit, quite an achievement in just six months!”

Under the High Growth programme, a company with ambition can receive up to 30 days fully funded support from experienced coaches to help them achieve high growth.

Coaches Geoff Ribbens and Alan Bartlett explored QES’ business strategy with company directors Mike Quest, Spencer Culley and Mel Quest. The coaching methodology enabled the directors to conclude that they lacked focus. This led to a strategic decision to focus on the water hygiene business and move away from the less profitable areas of heating and plumbing.

Interventions from other Oxford Innovation team members, Sarah Livingstone, with expertise of financial management, and Mike Jobson, a sales and marketing specialist, provided support in cash flow forecasting and developing a focused marketing strategy. The resulting improvement in financial control was a crucial factor in QES securing a loan from Ascendant Ventures which provided the underlying financial stability necessary to position the company for growth.

Andrew Farmer, programme manager for Oxford Innovation, said: “Companies engaged in the Coaching for High Growth programme can tap into the wide ranging expertise of the Oxford Innovation Grow Cornwall team to help resolve their growth challenges. QES’ success is a clear demonstration of the value that our team can bring to businesses in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.”

Mike Quest, managing director of QES, commented: “The new company ethos is ‘Passionate about water’. We are also passionate about our business, and are delighted with the support that we have received to reinvigorate what we do. We now feel ready to deal with our future growth.”