Preston training firm doubled turnover with a little help from county's Boost project

A Preston training and project management business has doubled its turnover and has plans for fresh growth after getting support from Boost’s Growth Mentoring programme during Covid-19.

Wednesday, 24th November 2021, 12:30 pm

Xacom Project Controls, founded by Michael Higgins, is a consultancy that specialises in project controls helping business to manage risk and improve efficiency.

Michael’s portfolio of major clients includes Amey Consulting, Poyry plc, Costain Group plc and DekTek.

the start of the first COVID-19 lockdown in 2020, Michael estimated he had less than six months left in business, assuming his advisory and training work would drop off as clients adapted to the restrictions of lockdown.

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Xacom based in Cross Street Preston has plans to double its turnover every year thanks to help from Lancashire's Boost project. Pictured are, Paul Bury (Boost Mentor) with Michael Higgins (from Xacom) and Councillor Aidy Riggott.

So he used the downtime to seek the support of the Boost Growth Mentoring programme to focus on rebranding and business planning to improve his marketing and business message with the aim to winning further work.

With this new focus Xacom not only survived the pandemic but doubled turnover. Michael now has a target of doubling turnover year on year over the next five years.

He said: “The Boost Growth Mentoring programme enabled me to take a step back and discover why we really operate as a business. Having the opportunity to have someone to talk to about the business has increased my personal confidence and put our business in a better place for continued growth.

“Through my mentor’s guidance, we created new branding, increased our website traffic which resulted in an increase in training enquiries and subsequently that resulted in doubling our turnover.”

Michael heard about Boost support through his connections at Society 1, the co-working space in Cross Street, Preston where he operates from.

He received mentoring support from Paul Bury through the programme and also got a Boost Your Recovery Covid 19 recovery grant from Boost last year.

Paul Bury, Boost Growth Mentor said: “Xacom is a high-quality consultancy and training organisation driven by Michael’s passion and core values and it’s great to see the business grow.”

Michael is currently working with a global helicopter business and an international consulting and engineering firm, to review their schedules, improve operational efficiency and thus reduce costs and increase profitability.

Boost is Lancashire's Business Growth Hub and is led by Lancashire County Council and the Lancashire LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership). It is supported by funding from Lancashire County Council, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Councillor Aidy Riggott, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Growth, Lancashire County Council said: “Xacom is an excellent example of how support from Boost’s Growth Mentoring programme makes a real difference to Lancashire companies. We supported Michael during a critical period for his business and it has recovered and grown significantly since then.”

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