Glasstorm is one of Britain’s most exciting glass blowing studios working in the design and manufacture of luxury products. Their main customer is the drinks sector, for whom they create bespoke bottles for high end ranges.
Although Glasstorm has always been successful, it had not addressed the market shift which took place following the recession. “We were so busy fulfilling orders, we weren’t putting ourselves out there,” says owner Brody Nairn. In consequence, although Glasstorm was forward-thinking and enjoyed high status in the ultra-premium sector, that message had never got across to its current or prospective customers.
Glasstorm decided to consult HIE, who recommended the Innovate Your Business Programme (IYB).
The company’s innovation challenge was to develop a modern communications and awareness strategy, improve production systems and output – especially for larger orders – and create a more efficient collaborative process with clients, starting with a more structured database.
With the help of the IYB grant, Glasstorm produced two short films which promoted their services, and arranged presentations with clients, which proved very effective. “The biggest hurdle was time,” says Brody. “Everyone is very hands-on, so we had to find the time to fit in all the new things we wanted to implement.”
The grant also helped Glasstorm streamline its production processes, and HIE supplied a consultant who helped the company focus its thinking on what it was, how it was perceived, and how it could drive future growth.
“The process has allowed us to think very creatively about the business,” says Brody, “and we’ve implemented new strategies like addressing social media opportunities and attending events, which have been great for meeting new customers.”
My advice to other businesses is to give it a go. Diversification is the key to success. If you’re stuck in a rut like we were, there’s the potential for failure. Innovation means the opportunity to rethink how you do things - and if you’re open to that, the possibilities are limitless.
Since its participation in the Innovation Programme, Glasstorm has greatly improved its client communications and has already gained new contracts and secured seven jobs.
Since its launch in 2004, Belladrum has grown from a small annual event to a household name that welcomes 18,500 festival goers per year, and has launched an independent record label, Belladrum Records.
Dunnet Bay Distillers is the story of a couple who long dreamed of starting their own business and combined their passions with a desire to get back to their roots to open their own distillery.
Combining rustic horse trekking through the Highlands with a balance of luxury, Wilder Ways offers a holiday experience like no other.
Meatsnacks Group is the story of four entrepreneurs who shared a vision of creating great tasting healthy snacks, and a passion for home-grown quality produce.
Offering a range of services to young people across the Highlands, Calman Trust has established itself as a support line for many young people who are looking to live independently.
Equal Adventure combines a love for the great outdoors with the importance of inclusion.
Paving change for those living with hidden disabilities, Friendly Access is an accessibility social enterprise based in the Highlands and Islands that is dedicated to creating a fairer society for all.
Crùbag is no ordinary textiles company, it fuses a knowledge of science with luxury fashion.
Aurora Sustainability are a circular economy and sustainability consultancy firm based in Forres
A Black Isle entrepreneur has been able to transform her customers’ online experience through the support of HIE’s Innovate Your Business Service.
Proterra’s involvement with IYB has created new possibilities for product development designed to meet specific client needs.
TrixPix’s is proof that wherever you are in the Highlands, applying innovative thinking and principles to business systems and outward marketing can help your business achieve standards of excellence.
"To be able to share my ideas for business growth with HIE was fantastic from the outset as they understood my needs and how to further my future goals."
Russwood Ltd is a Scottish supplier of high-quality, sustainable timber products. As wood specialists, they pride themselves on offering their customers an extensive range and unrivalled technical advice
Yolo Ltd are an Inverness-based, new start business that aims to bring to market an innovative cosmetic product for Men.
We helped Linnhe Creative with advice on reshaping their business focus and strategy, and advised how they could develop from a software consultancy into a SaaS recruitment software provider.
HIE assisted the company with their grant application and with the procurement of professional management qualifications and CMI qualifications.