Marc Stewart is a Director of www.trophyme.co.uk and well-established retailer Coventry Trophy Centre.
He has been a member of one of the Peer Networks programme groups run by Burgis & Bullock since October 2020.
Coventry Trophy Centre has been in business for more than 25 years, and has been based in the Radford area of Coventry for 10 years.
Last year the business launched TrophyMe.co.uk and has spent the pandemic diversifying into new areas – with a focus on becoming a personalisation hub, where customers can bring products to be personalised.
It has recently invested in a new UV Printer – joining its existing laser machinery and diamond engraving machines – to support the growth of the business.
Prior to joining the Peer Networks programme, Marc had avoided involvement in networking initiatives.
The programme has now concluded and it has helped him to further see the value in networking and provided an important sounding board for him over the last six months.
Here’s what Marc had to say about his Peer Networks experience.
We’ve really broadened our offering over the last year to be more Covid-proof and this has allowed us to branch out into new markets.
While trophies are still our primary business we have started to design and fabricate new products for schools and offices as well as providing screens, and signage too.
The whole of Covid has been a massive change for us and now we are doing things that we never dreamt of doing before. We have managed to use our time during the pandemic, to improve our machinery, skills, suppliers, products and a restructure to our services having taken place.
I was contacted direct about joining the Peer Networks and it wasn’t something I would usually consider. I have tended to avoid networking events for the last 10 years, but this experience was definitely different to what imagined it would be.
Through the groups I have made some good contacts and gained some great feedback through the one-to-ones. I’ve recently delivered one of our new planters to a group member who is going to help me get the product in front of the right people.
It was quite relaxed and the sessions were full of discussion to help people solve issues. For me, I got some great advice on how to prioritise certain work when you have a number of projects on-going.
I’ve been able to pass that guidance onto my staff and it has helped with organisation and productivity.
It’s been especially useful in these Covid times to see that other businesses in group are going through similar problems and issues.
David Mack was excellent and supported the group, I’ve recommended his services to a few friends who I think would benefit from his one-to-ones.
Going forward it has definitely helped me to realise there is a value to networking and reaching out to people in different industries.
Burgis & Bullock has been delivering four cohorts of The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Peer Networks programme through the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) Growth Hub.