Last week we celebrated our ‘Celebration of Success’ awards, allowing us to share the fantastic achievements of some of the businesses we have supported with growth. Excelerate Labs continues to support men and women running B2B businesses in the Greater Manchester area looking to innovate, diversify and grow creating new jobs.
We caught up with one of our award winners Fiona Hull, Director of Construction Q, a quantity surveying practice based in Bramhall, Stockport about how they’ve gone from strength to strength with 6 members of staff and an increased turnover of 750% since their first-year trading. Founded in 2010, Construction Q carry out quantity surveying services on projects from £100,000 to the largest currently at £30,000,000.
After being employed as Quantity Surveyor by a main contractor, The flexible working life and her love for contributing to the professional world of construction persuaded Fiona into self employment.
Fiona told us “After having 2 children I found the juggle between childcare and a full-time job to be impossible. By working for myself I could have flexible working.”
Never destined for a typical female role, Fiona describes her younger self as a “bit of a tomboy” citing her main drive behind her success as her family, her husband, 2 children and golden retriever, Silva. Turning 40 this year, she plans to celebrate by carrying out 40 acts of kindness, including sponsored runs and helping out at local food banks, she also isn’t shy when it comes to helping the local community, and most recently spent the day helping out St Anne’s hospice by collecting Christmas trees in her van.
Speaking about the support from The Women’s Organisation through Excelerate Labs, Fiona spoke fondly of Business Growth adviser Mike Marsden: “Mike has been fantastic. A great sounding board for ideas but also supportive and full of suggestions. A key strength for me has been the contacts that The Women’s Organisation have and the connections that they have made for me.”
On building links with key brands, Construction Q have several contractors on retainer contracts and repeat business from 12 different architect practices. Speaking about her clients, Fiona comments “These regular clients are hugely important when looking at business growth and the value of the company”
|Fiona Hull, Director of Construction Q
Speaking proudly of their Pro Bono work, Construction Q believes it sets them apart from their competitors by putting charity before profit and feel great to be able to contribute
“Despite our expansion and extremely busy office we have carried out 3 Pro Bono projects this year for local charities. One of these, The Joshua Tree Foundation, we continue to support, and all Quantity Surveyor services will be provided free of charge over the next 18 months for this £2m respite centre. These are the projects that excite me. It feels great to have become so successful that we can do this. It’s not all about the bottom line for us.”
And Construction Q’s key to success?
“A lot of our success comes from repeat business and word of mouth. I spent a lot of time networking in the early years, so brand awareness was crucial. We also sponsor local football and cricket teams and support the local schools. If you give time generously to your community then it will come back.”
Construction Q has dealt with issues including clients going into administration whilst owing substantial sums of money, and when asked about the lessons learned during Construction Q’s journey, Fiona comments
“Always be straight, trust your instincts and treat others as you wish to be treated, There have been a few battles along the way, but everything happens for a reason and we have come out stronger”
Alongside Construction Q, Fiona also runs another business whilst bringing up her 2 children. Being her own boss allows Fiona to also help with local charity events, coach a under 9 football team and sit on the school PTA. “It’s exhausting but extremely rewarding, my biggest achievement to date is growing a successful award-winning business whilst still being a mum!”
of course, we couldn’t not ask who her role models were… “Pep Guadiola, for his drive and ambition, but also managing to remain calm and dignified at all times, I also have a lot of time for many of the individuals involved with the charities I work with”
Construction Q’s future looks bright, securing several large commercial projects in recent months and are currently recruiting for 2 new Quantity Surveyor’s. “What is hugely important to me is that we continue to have values and be an ethical business.”
and Fiona’s last words of advice:
“Work hard, Play hard! It’s been tough, lot more wrinkles and grey hair than when I set out 8 years ago but if you believe in your product, are fully committed, and always put your customer first then you will succeed.”
Thanks Fiona, sounds like there is nothing slowing you down! and so great to hear about the growth and achievements of Construction Q!
Fiona also recently accepted the award at our Excelerate Lab ‘Celebration of Success’ Dinner for Women in Construction Business which you can read all about here
|Jackie Williams, Fiona Hull and Mike Marsden at the ‘Celebration of Success’ awards
If you would like to find more out about Construction Q then you can contact them on their Website
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