Improv4Business, which is a company that helps employees develop key employability skills such as presentation, communication and teamwork through improvisation masterclasses, is celebrating a successful first 18 months in business.
Having won repeat business from prestigious clients including ITV, Whitbread, a national newspaper and other multimillion pound businesses, the company attributes its success, in part, to the early support it received from the Berkshire Growth Hub.
Improv4Business is the brainchild of Alexander McWilliam, a 29-year-old actor and teacher from Reading. Alex, who has been teaching acting for over 10 years, decided to set up his own business early last year with the idea of using improvisation to address the need for core employability skills.
Alex explains: “I had an idea of what I wanted to do and where I wanted to take the business, but the Berkshire Growth Hub helped me develop my plans and implement them. The great thing was that all the advice and support was tailored to me and my business. I received practical advice I could action, which has really made a difference to my business.”
As part of the Growth Hub’s support, Alex attended clinics on intellectual property and digital marketing run by industry experts. From these he learnt how to promote his business, develop his website, understand search engine optimisation and how to protect his business idea. He also had one-to-one sessions with a business adviser, who helped him with setting up and developing his business, from ensuring he had the right kind of insurance to helping him develop his business plan.
“I don’t think my business would be where it is now if it wasn’t for the support I received from the Berkshire Growth Hub,” explains Alex. “The programme has given me a solid foundation and my business is going from strength to strength with referrals and repeat business growing.
“Starting your own business can seem overwhelming at first, but it is satisfying to have created and developed something from scratch. When I look back over the last year, I realise how much I’ve achieved and just how far the business has come.”