IT business eyes expansion following growth support

John Cahill and Stuart Lee
X The Business Desk

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A Preston-based IT services company is on course for expansion thanks to Boost, Lancashire’s business growth hub.

Genesis IT is looking to recruit three to four new staff and is in the process of opening a new office in Blackburn after engaging with Boost’s Growth Support Programme over the past 18 months.

The company was founded in 2003 by Mike and Marie Rushworth.

Current directors, Stuart Lee and John Cahill, bought the business in 2015 following Mike’s passing in a motorcycle accident as Marie found it too difficult to continue.

The management buyout qualified the business for Boost’s fully-funded Growth Support Programme, which supports pre-start businesses and new business owners within their first three years of trading.

Stuart said: “We’re techies at heart so when we bought the company the idea of running and growing a business was quite daunting.

“Through the Growth Support Programme we have learned about sales, marketing and finance. We always knew where we wanted to take the business, but now we know how to get there.”

Genesis provides IT services for SMEs and larger businesses across Lancashire. This includes desktop and server management as well as internet and network security.

Stuart was introduced to Boost through a networking session hosted by the BNI at Burnley Football Club. He met Lateef Badat, a growth explorer at Enterprise4All, which delivers the Growth Support Programme on behalf of Boost.

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).

Stuart attended events about selling, developing his vision for the business and understanding the value the business provides. He also received one-to-one support from Lateef to understand growth barriers and other challenges the business was facing.

“Having access to the events and advice through Boost has also enabled me to work out what our strengths and weaknesses are,” added Stuart.

“We have identified key potential opportunities, understand how to meet them and we have the confidence to overcome the key obstacles.”

Following the support, Genesis IT is now looking to increase the team to seven and hopes to diversify its operations to include web development as part of its services.

Rafik Adam, chief executive at Enterprise4All, said: “Stuart and John had a deep understanding of IT services, but running a company was new to them. Establishing a clear vision and building the skills to run a profitable, growing business is a steep learning curve.

“The company engaged completely with the Boost programme and is now reaping the well-deserved rewards.”

Boost has received £3.8m of funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.