It was while sat around a kitchen table telecoms experts Jonathan Walker and Garry Grant logged on to an idea for a new specialist telecoms business.
At the start of January 2015, Datatel Solutions was born and they moved into their very first Preston office, big enough only for the two of them.
Two months later there was already a need to expand, with a new site at Preston Docks.
Fast forward two years and the company, now rebranded as Halo Connect, has upgraded again, with bigger premises to home their 22 staff.
Their ambitious expansion plans also include 50 new job vacancies within the next few months.
Halo Connect is a one-stop shop to supply businesses with their telecommunications needs. With 30 years of experience behind it, Halo offers bespoke packages for businesses to help them stay connected.
Recognising the need in the local job market, especially for young people - the partners have developed a dedicated training academy for their staff to help build confidence and equip their workers with the right skills for the job.
The Halo team are split into three key departments to help businesses receive the best possible service: sales, IT and support and customer services.
Business specialist Lucie Rhimes, 22, joined the company last summer with no prior experience and describes her training as ‘amazing.’
She says: “I am a telesales agent working on the Virgin Media business campaign business so I sell business to business telecom solutions.
“I love everyone that I work with and how much I have developed thanks to our managers who gave me full training on all of our products and the correct sales process. They have helped me develop my skills and are great at rewarding their staff.”
Formerly a recruit of the Royal Artillery in the British Army, Daniel Caines, also 22, is a senior sales manager, who has progressed from within the business.
He says: “I ensure monthly sales targets are met using a number of methods, ranging from delivering training to new staff members, to coaching our experienced agents to maintain company standards and develop existing skill sets. I ensure staff are motivated and enjoy their working environment with exciting incentives, the generous commission structure or career progression. I deliver feedback on overall performance and organise buzz sessions/games to keep staff engaged.”
The management pride themselves on having a young and vibrant feel and staff are given incentives with a range of exciting outside work treats to celebrate achievements.
Staff know that if they work hard, fantastic development opportunities are available to them at the company. All members of the leadership team started off in entry level roles and have been promoted from within.
Daniel adds: “There is nothing better for me than when I see the whole sales floor push for a target, over achieve and be rewarded for all their hard work. “Incentives are frequent as we have a work-hard play-hard mentality and it’s good to be a part of it.”
As well as rewarding staff, Halo Connect has strong links with local community organisations and good causes. The firm sponsors the Staining Juniors Under-6 team and help raise funds for Trinity Hospice and Brian House Children’s Hospice in Blackpool.
Marketing and recruitment executive Paul Morris says: “I enjoy working under directors Garry and Jonathan plus the management team.
“They have had a huge influence in my personal and career development.
“They are extremely motivated which makes you put 110 per cent into everything. They believe in creating a team-orientated, fun and rewarding environment which involves incredible incentives.”