Our,’ Ten Minutes With,’ series of interviews gives businesses the opportunity to tell us how they’ve adapted in response to the Covid-19 crisis, what their experiences have been and as we learn to live alongside the virus, what their business plans are in the future.
This week we’re talking to Dave Broadhurst, founder and Managing Director of Newcastle-under-Lyme based AIB Solutions Limited.
Tell us about your business?
We’re asbestos removal and remediation specialists and we have a team of 17 who work across the country.
We remove or repair asbestos safely, adhering to all the strict guidelines and regulations that are expected in this industry and hold a full HSE Licence.
Our team works across both the private and commercial sectors so one day we can be removing a roof from a domestic garage, the next we can be working in a school, a factory or even a nuclear power station.
I launched the business back in 2003 and it morphed into what it is today two years later. At the core of our business is customer service – we pride ourselves on that and no matter how big we get; customer service will always be at our core.
In terms of the market, work is coming back in now, we’re getting more domestic enquiries, probably because people have spent so much time at home, they want to make changes.
Commercial enquiries are starting to come back too and the stream of work we had pre-Covid has been delayed but is programmed in, so I think a degree of confidence is very slowly starting to return.
What did you do before launching your business?
I actually trained as a primary school teacher but I realised it wasn’t the career for me. My head turned to other things. I was a landscape gardener for a while before starting to work in asbestos surveying and testing.
Tell us about your yourself.
I’m a born and bred Stokie and grew up in Bignall End. I have three beautiful daughters, aged 11, 21 and 24. I met my lovely wife Heather at our local cricket club where I played, and we married 14 years ago.
I love family time, playing golf and taking our dogs for a walk. Our newest addition Mabel has just started puppy training classes!
What’s the first thing you ordered on-line during lockdown?
A few weeks in, I ordered some plastic golf balls so I could practice chipping in the garden. I was quite sporty when I was younger and used to play a lot of cricket so decided to use the time and the beautiful weather we had at the start to practice my golf swing.
How did you cope in lockdown?
Everything ground to a halt at the start workwise and we had to furlough everyone. Luckily work has started picking up now and we’ve been able to bring everyone back.
It was tough at times – like everyone I had the odd wobble but all in all felt very lucky to be able to spend far more time with my lovely family.
Have you learnt anything about yourself?
I’ve always known that family and friends are the most important things in life and the last few months have reiterated that.
It’s also made me realise that there’s no point worrying about things I can’t control and that I should only concentrate on the things I can.
Are you going to do anything differently?
From a personal perspective I want to try and maintain more of a work life balance – I just haven’t worked out how to do that now we’re back at work.
I hope as a nation we don’t go back to our default setting pre-Covid and we manage to find that balance more, going forward.
What are your plans for the future?
Our growth plans will continue and I want to take more people on. I think it’s really important to support the local economy and help create jobs in the area.
And finally, what was your dream job when you were at school?
One of my earliest memories is drawing a stickman petrol pump attendant! I think it was because I liked cars. Self-service scuppered those dreams though!
If you’d like to be one of our, ‘Ten Minutes With,’ interviewees find out more by dropping us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org