It all began with a wonderful chance meeting with a chap called Ian who had a small health and safety company based in Rotherham. My history has provided me with many years of experience in the sales industry including selling to the construction industry. Ian suggested that we joined minds, his knowledge in health and safety and my expertise in sales and marketing. I was so intrigued by his suggestion, we decided to trial it and see how we worked together as a team. Ian’s company was already quite well established so we decided to lead in with the existing clients he had. We attended meetings, I asked many questions which led to more business we could provide for his clients. It seemed to work well. After several months of good work, we decided that we were ready to approach new clients. I contacted several of my old clients I was still in contact with to see if they would be interested in our health and safety services. We were in luck. A contact of mine informed me that there was a new company in the UK who where building Energy from Waste facilities. He gave me the UK health and safety director’s details to contact. A meeting was set up immediately as he said ‘this was just what he was looking for’. We signed an agreement on the second meeting to become suppliers of health and safety for an international EfW (energy from waste) company. It was time to discuss our next move.
It was at this point unfortunately, that Ian had decided to begin his retirement and hand over the clients to me, if this was the direction I wanted to go in. Of course, I didn’t have to think about it, of course I wanted to continue, even though I would dearly miss working with Ian on a daily basis and his much needed knowledge. I had to then work very hard and long hours to learn and educate myself in all that is health and safety, whilst maintaining the existing clients and taking care of the training team. Get the qualifications needed and required, get CLS accredited and approved ready to work with such large international companies. It was a very tough time but we did it, eventually. I did not know at this time, how much work and energy went in to running a professional health and safety company but I learned very quickly. My knowledge and interest in everything health and safety quickly became my passion. I have never worked harder. This was the beginning of CLS.
What became very obvious very early on, was that health and safety training was like ordering a takeaway in many respects. Companies ‘googled’ what course was required and then came the important costings. Very few companies had any business relationships with their providers for their training. Then the actual training! All that was offered was box standard ‘off the shelf’ training. None specially targeted or tailored to the client or the actual industry they were working within. Could CLS be different and how could we be different?
With a passion for people and communication, we began to think and look at what we could do for the clients that would make that change. We began by introducing ourselves as ‘consultants’ not just trainers, we spoke with the clients about their needs and wants and ‘how could we make it better’.
On site training became a ‘must’ for a lot of clients due to the fast moving world of construction and offering the training at times to suit the client. Weekend work, traveling throughout Europe to the clients’ offices was also a big plus for our clients. It was not long before business relationships started to build. Clients began to trust and rely on our ability to listen to what was required by the company.
CLS then began building bespoke courses, with the specific company in mind and their needs and requirements in health and safety. Always with communication at the forefront of our minds, which is vital for any company to achieve success. After time, we had established clients on our books with much repeat business and recommendations to new companies to work with CLS. This led us to the accreditations and approvals for all the courses, and trainers, we now provide throughout Europe and the UK. Now in our 9th year, as we continue to improve our services and grow with our clients, we have begun to work alongside a very well established training and learning company in the Netherlands to provide online training to sit alongside our classroom based courses. Our team of trainers and consultants continue to grow and flourish as will CLS alongside our clients.
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