Rising star: Stephen Casey

Stephen Casey has built his temporary structures company Accio Group into a solid business with a revenue of £2.7 million.

Where did you get the idea?

I left the army and wanted a job that kept me busy and outside in the summer and left me free to go skiing and shooting in the winter. So I decided to go into outdoor events. However, I soon realised that this approach to running a business wasn’t sustainable.

How did you get funding?

It’s been entirely self-funded. For four years I was relying on my own savings while the business got off the ground. There were points when I was tempted to take out a loan, but I didn’t want to put my house down as security.

How did you grow the business?

We had to diversify. I was just haemorrhaging money for six months every year. We were doing really well on the events side, having done events for celebrities and the royal family. But we decided to move into the education, retail and storage sectors too.

What was your marketing strategy?

When we started out it was mainly through word of mouth. Later, we decided to target the individuals at the top of organisations, through networking and ringing contacts. I was working on the basis that we’re only six phone calls away from anyone.

Where next?

We’re moving to build more permanent structures. We’ve taken the best bits from temporary buildings and used that to create designs with 45-year lifespans, which we can get up and running in ten weeks. That’s particularly useful in education and retail.

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