Giving start-ups a step up
We are New Way. We (Adam and Paddy) began working together in 2000 and have both been keen building services engineers – or M&E (mechanical and electrical) engineers – ever since.
When we decided to join forces to develop New Way into a larger business (or a ‘proper business’ as we used to say!) we decided our mission was to make M&E a priority for clients wherever we could. Now we are an Engineering Project Management business. We pride ourselves in managing projects where engineering is vitally important – meaning it’s not possible for a non-engineer to deliver (though many try!).
Between the two directors, we have over 40 years of combined experience in M&E. We have worked in new building projects, refurbishments, small and large plant upgrades, infrastructure upgrades, major M&E projects, programmes of works and more.
We are a young, energetic and passionate pair that really enjoy our jobs! We are building our internal team at New Way and currently have two great staff members.
Q1 - Tell us a bit about your yourself and what led you to working with the Business Centre
Back in the days when New Way was a one-man band – prior to joining forces with Paddy – I used to rent a desk from an old colleague of mine who had already built a business and had premises in Leeds city centre.
I always thought being city centre-based would be a great benefit for meetings and felt that working from an office would give me a more professional outlook. When Paddy and I joined up, desk space was the first problem to address. We had to look for somewhere larger.
We had a look around a couple of shared working premises in Leeds but never quite felt like we found anything suitable. We knew we wanted our own office ideally, so we could talk in privacy about our business and our next steps.
Individual offices were far too expensive, with long contracts, and individual desks had a lack of privacy. And that’s not even getting into the additional costs some places wanted for furniture and other ‘extras’.
In looking around the office at 7 Queen Square, we found something absolutely ideal for us. It being furnished with great Wi-Fi was good – but even better was the relatively low commitment we had to make (i.e. if it all went wrong, we could cancel our contract and not be on the hook for say, 12 months’ rent, like other places).
We started off renting only two desks, but knew the tenants from the three-person office upstairs were soon to be vacating. If our business worked out, our plan was always to take the next step and move into the three-person office. Which it did, and we did!
Q2 - What have been the benefits of working with us?
The tenancy agreement itself is low risk to a new business and this was the first most attractive thing to us as a start-up. But once we got settled in, we started getting unexpected additional stuff too which was really great.
So, we’ve had some great business advice sessions with Steve Baker, and we were invited to attend a ‘Leading to Grow: Digital Adoption’ seminar at the Radisson Blu Leeds (hosted for free by LBU).
From here we met with a business coach who, over the coming months, spent time chatting through our business ideas and offering some invaluable advice from his own experiences.
Also, LBU had a relationship with some accountants that we took the opportunity to meet (all organised by LBU). At the time, we were having a hard time with lack of service from our existing accountants and took the opportunity to move our business to the accountants we met. We’ve had a good relationship with them ever since.
Essentially, we feel like we’re looked after and supported by the super friendly, super responsive staff at LBU, and for that we’re really grateful.
Q3 - What would you say to someone thinking of working with the Business Centre?
For a start-up it’s a no-brainer really. It’s low risk and high quality. The premises are looked after with no involvement from us (allowing us to focus on our own business), and the extras wrapped around the great value feel genuinely established with only one thing in mind: to support us, as a start-up, to grow.
The staff members are really helpful and, inevitably, we bump into other start-ups on site who we can relate to and chat business with. The courtesy shown by LBU in not charging / halving rent through the lockdowns was quite amazing and much appreciated.
Q4 - What are your plans for the future?
We want to become known as the best engineering project managers around. We want people to think of upgrading M&E services and immediately think “New Way are the guys we need on this”. Our plan to achieve that goal is through delivering project after project successfully. We want to continue to win repeat business to build up our project portfolio and our client base.
We have been lucky enough to continue to operate through the pandemic and to actually acquire new clients. This has resulted in us recruiting two new staff members within the last year. The face-to-face experience is irreplaceable (compared to Teams calls / Zoom calls) and having the office space at an affordable level allows us to maximise this experience. Our plan is to continue to grow.