Award-winning Shredbank carves out new growth as GDPR rules bite
Philip Bain of shredding company Shredbank shares the secrets of his entrepreneurial success with Damian Campbell of Fleet Financial
Entrepreneur Philip Bain, co-founder of Shredbank, the leading Northern Ireland mobile documentation shredding company, is on a mission to help other local businesses ensure they are legally and environmentally compliant when it comes to the disposal of their most precious resource - information.
Just named Best Established Small/Medium Business at the Belfast Telegraph Business Awards in partnership with Ulster Bank 2018, Shredbank continues to enjoy growth, with heightened attention around new data protection legislation and compliance
Damian Campbell, head of corporate sales at award-winning contract hire and vehicle management firm Fleet Financial and Belfast Telegraph award sponsor, finds out what makes him tick and how others are benefiting from his experience.
Q: Shredbank is a decade in business with many awards. How did you do it?
A: We offer a distinctive and increasingly vital service. Any organisation that generates physical, confidential information must have the means to destroy it in a legally and environmentally-compliant way, or face not only legal and financial implications, but the potential fall-out from a genuine data breach. Our mobile shredding service means we travel directly to our customer's site and take care of their needs within their full sight and without the need to transport their documents elsewhere. Our customers are witness to that event which means that they get full peace of mind. Confidential information is too precious to do anything else or to trust it with others.
Q: Who uses your services?
A: We work with companies and public bodies of all sizes and types, providing on-site services on both a retained and ad hoc basis from sole traders to multi-national firms with thousands of staff. We also supply locked document bins which clients can use to safely store confidential documents and materials before shredding.
Demand for our services continues to grow. Tightening General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation across the EU, as well as growing awareness of the implications of Identity Fraud and corporate compliance, means we're in high demand. By shredding on site, we fully eliminate all the risks involved.
Q: What's important to you?
A: Our staff, a drive for excellence, customer care and the culture of our company. We're focused. We've a strong business model which is built for growth but with flexibility built in. We're also passionate about the environment; what we do helps businesses to improve that too.
We are significantly involved with two charities - Alzheimer's Research and The Prince's Trust and I regularly speak on subjects such as entrepreneurship to universities, colleges, schools, council and enterprise agencies."
Q: Is corporate and social responsibility (CSR) important?
A: Absolutely. As a company, and through my own business start-up advice book Start to Grow, we've raised more than £65,000 for The Prince's Trust in Northern Ireland, a charity which helps young people through education and training. The book is based on my own personal experience of launching and growing a business during a recession and I'm really thrilled with the success it has become. We also support Young Enterprise, which does fantastic and important work in encouraging entrepreneurship amongst young people.
Q: What advice would you give to new start-ups or would-be entrepreneurs?
A: The first thing I tell anyone looking to set up a business is you've got to get to a point where working for somebody else fills you with absolute dread. You need a real desire for freedom, power and control.
If money is your only motivator, and you're not making any money a year after you start your company, then you're going to be demotivated. But if you've got the freedom to set your own agenda, you're going to persevere until the business starts to break even. Stick with it as long as you can, and, with the right approach, your reward will come.
Q: What's next for Shredbank?
A: After 10 years in business with my business partner James Carson, we remain committed on growing further and to continuing to deliver the most innovative and the most confidential solution to our clients. We've grown and traded well through the recession and we've enjoyed great success -but we never rest on our laurels. There will always be challenges but we feel we're equipped and well-planned to address them.