Growth explosion at support service

Russell Berkeley at Darbus Ltd, Metropolitan Busiess Park, Blackpool, with from left, Lorna Berkeley, Holly Wadeson, Sarah Monks, Laura Davidson and Hayley Clayton.
Russell Berkeley at Darbus Ltd, Metropolitan Busiess Park, Blackpool, with from left, Lorna Berkeley, Holly Wadeson, Sarah Monks, Laura Davidson and Hayley Clayton.
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A BUSINESS support service founded in Blackpool is making the advice it gives to multi-national corporations available to smaller firms.

Darbus, based in Preston Road, was founded in 2010 and turned over a profit in its first year – which is set to more than double in its second year of operation.

Co-founder Russell Berkeley said: “Our business is about giving the right information to the right person at the right time.

“Essentially what we do is go into businesses – usually with over £100m turnover – and sort out its people, processes and tools.

“We have a standard charge per day which is non-negotiable – because we’re worth it. It’s simple business fundamentals.

“But now we’re also looking at small businesses that grow to three or four staff where it becomes people versus process.

“You have to have robust processes – we do, so people can move and do another job in the company if needed, thanks to a very simple flowchart.

“There’s always a procedure for them to follow.”

The help offered by the firm is now being made available to those smaller enterprises through a subscription system which offers year-round support.

Russell added: “In a recession, we’re exploding – there’s no other word for it.

“Everyone is now after value for money and that’s what we provide.

“For example, we invested £2,500 in a phone system when we had just four people.

“It uses Voice Over Internet Protocol and can grow to 200 call centre users – every decision we take is based on the fact we’ll be ten times bigger.

“I’ve even developed an iPhone app that staff can use to take a picture of their receipts and it sends it through to the accounts department.

“People are still willing to pay extra if they’re getting a little bit more for it.”

Darbus was formed in August 2010 and turned over £270,000 with an operating profit of £63,000, set to more than double this financial year.

The firm has created two divisions for consultancy and resource management. A further division for recruitment is in them pipline.

Darbus also has an office in Yeovil, with part-time staff based there as well.

Hugh Evans of the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce said: “You need these companies to come in and take a look at organisations.

“The first option many firms think of is shedding staff, but companies like Darbus have proved you can save more by looking at your internal processes.”