Dean Pattison set up Rotherham-based Utility Source Limited earlier this year with a little help from Launchpad. Here he talks about tackling the stigma associated with utilities and how the Sheffield City region became a ‘fantastic circle to work within’.
Tell us all about your company:
Utility Source Limited is a consultancy service which educates developers around the process of installing gas, water and electric infrastructure into new buildings, whether that’s a housing site, a single house, or an industrial or commercial building. We walk the customer through the process from beginning to end so they can budget and plan correctly and we see ourselves as trusted partners who go the extra mile. There is a bit of a stigma with utilities that it’s a difficult experience. I’m trying to help people to see that it doesn’t have to be that way – communication with the client is key to making it a smooth journey for everybody.
When did you first decide to start up on your own and what inspired you?
I’ve worked for various companies over the last 15 years, but over time I found myself moving in a very different direction to what is deemed and accepted as the norm. Growth was generally their focus – a critical part of any business – but I felt that it was coming at the expense of quality, effective delivery and client relationships. I got to the point where I wasn’t enjoying it, decided it wasn’t for me anymore, and looked at my options. I’d contemplated starting my own business for a few years previously, but took the leap in January 2018.
How has Launchpad helped you?
My main experience has been with Julia Millea from Rido, who has been an excellent mentor. I was taken aback with how much support is there. I went to mentoring support sessions which helped me think deeper into my business plan and gave me the opportunity to bounce off someone impartial. I also attended well-structured workshops and training events which really got me refocused on how to make my business the best it can be.
What do you think of the Sheffield City Region as a place to start a business?
There are so many new businesses being created in this region, many of which are becoming very successful. I have encountered a whole range of opportunities to introduce myself to people who are in a similar industry and are interested in my services. It’s been such a positive experience. Wherever I go, people are building and expanding, and I have started to recognise places and people from all the networking sessions, creating a fantastic circle to work within. Prior to taking the leap, I didn’t think that there was so much support and opportunity out in this region, but I’m so glad I chose to start here.
What are your hopes and aims for the business?
My aim is to create an established footprint in Yorkshire which I believe is now becoming a thriving business region. I’m confident that there isn’t a company like mine which I hope to use to my advantage to flourish. Ultimately, I would love to get to the point where I have a well-established brand, significant local customer base and a turnover of around £3million. I love the idea of bringing apprentices in and working with them to add a fresh and dynamic approach to what we do – learning and development is my passion and giving people opportunities will be a big part of my business in the near future.
Launchpad Business Advisor Julia Millea said: “Starting and growing a business is not easy and that’s why the Launchpad programme was created. Part funded by the European Regional Development Fund and our partners means there is no cost to the entrepreneur so we can get straight to work on turning those dreams into reality.
“Stop dreaming and do it.”
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