More people than ever before are engaging with Enterprise North East Trust – the organisation responsible for delivering the Business Gateway services in Aberdeen City & Shire and Tayside. Figures released recently show that more than 110 growing business workshops were delivered during 2009-10, reaching over 1,777 people in Aberdeen City and Shire.  In Tayside 19% of new starts are registering for VAT in the first year - one of the highest rates in Scotland - signifying a strong commitment to creating businesses with real growth potential. 

Securing the right advice for business can be crucial to success, whether it be in the initial stages of start up or knowing which way to take a growing company next. GeoKey, a provider of tubing conveyed perforating equipment and memory trigger services to customers in the North Sea, is just one of the firms to enlist the support of Enterprise to help drive forward its business growth.

Paul Lynch, business development manager explains, “We established the business in 2007 and during its four years, have developed our operations in the UK creating a base in Aberdeen and Edzell. Through demand for our products and services we’ve secured work internationally, providing equipment in Israel, Iraq and Uganda.  The business has grown organically to this point and a recent visit to the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston highlighted that there were several growth options available to us, which led us to enlist the support of Enterprise.

“The products we have developed are very specialised and there are a number of markets worldwide, which would benefit from our expertise.  Working closely with Ian Beaton, our business advisor at Enterprise we will be exploring various options through strategic workshop sessions with key decision makers in the business.  The session will be facilitated by an external consultant and this will be extremely useful in helping us look at how the business has developed, where we want it to go next and planning for how we achieve this. 

“It has always been our aspiration to grow but given the opportunities available to us in the domestic and international markets; we need to ensure we have the capacity to manage growth in both areas.  Via Enterprise we’ve been put in contact with Scottish Development International, who provide support with international development, and this has been invaluable to understand what is available to us to aid emergence into new markets and areas. On a local level, working with Aberdeenshire Council we’ve become aware of the funding assistance which is available to us and which will be extremely beneficial in helping us to grow. This source of funding, Support for Aberdeenshire Businesses, can provide a number of areas of assistance including development grants for the likes of the implementation of recognised quality systems, non-statutory training and market development. We are currently working with Aberdeenshire Council for grant assistance for us to implement a Quality Management System, which is a key business requirement for us.”

GeoKey generated £2 million turnover in 2010-11 and is on track to achieve turnover of £2.7 million in 2012. It has plans to employ an additional five people over the next six to 12 months, taking personnel from six to 11.  Paul has also enlisted Enterprise’s support to gain industry accreditation, which will be essential for securing more contracts in oil and gas sector.  He says, “Without the required industry accreditation, it is often the case that you will be excluded from tender processes or have to go through lengthy audit processes. 

“Industry accreditation is a must in today’s energy sector and we have identified that attaining ISO 9001, ISO14001 and OHSAS 18001 will open up new markets for us, especially in the Norwegian North Sea.  This will in turn create more jobs and develop the business further so it is a key objective of the support we are receiving from Enterprise and we aim to have all in place in the next six months.”

Ian Beaton, business advisor at Enterprise North East Trust says, “Businesses often come to a cross roads point in development where it’s difficult to decide which route to take next.  GeoKey has experienced significant growth in its four years, whilst this has been driven by demand for its products, getting support for the next stages will ensure that it is on a route which is manageable and achievable.  

“More and more companies are seeking support from external organisations as they want to be sure that they have a clear sense of where the business is going and an action plan for how it gets there.  The effects of the recession, and downturn in the economy, have made many business owners more cautious over their company’s development which has resulted in an increase in engagement with support services.  It is vital that existing companies continue to grow as this will help to put the economy on a strong footing, whilst generating new employment opportunities.”

For further information on the support available for businesses growth in Aberdeen City & Shire and in Tayside contact Enterprise North East Trust on 01224 289700 or 01382 443400 or visit

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