So, after being hassled and pushed towards blogging by our new Sales & Marketing Executive, Rebecca Burke, (thanks Becky) I’ve decided to write a candid monthly account encompassing everything from establishing a business, right through to running it, and the high and lows. My hope is that we can enhance our online brand, drive more traffic to our site and ultimately become a little richer (honest answer, kidding), but in all seriousness I don’t have the magic formula for running a business, and if my account of my journey to date provides people with a snapshot of either how to or how not to do things, then this will have been a success.
Why did I set up Aphex? I’ve always liked the idea of running a business, but never knew exactly what type of business I’d like to run. From having worked in restaurants in my teens, becoming a restauranteur was never going to be an option. I swear, people think owning a restaurant is a walk in the park and is a cash cow. It certainly is not. Now that restaurants were out of the equation and being in my early twenties with a chemistry degree, I still wasn’t sure of where I would like to work or what type of business I’d like to run. Would I take a page out of Walter White’s book and cook meth in the sandhills in Tramore in a camper van? Not for me, no thank you.
I knew I liked helping people and quite enjoyed working in pharma. I like to fix things and more often than not, I tend to break things, so I eventually found my groove in equipment validation, and as they say the rest is history. I setup Aphex with the aim of developing a software solution, Chemishield (more on that later), but in order to develop this I needed to have capital and a contacts list. Now, this brings me back to enjoying helping people. I figured that I really liked finding work for people, and saw that by being technical (to some degree) I could really help people prepare for technical interviews, by asking the hard questions. This was the genesis for the recruitment arm of our business where I’ve been able to pass on the knowledge to our team so that we can source really good candidates and put them through their paces.
Luckily, I’ve been blessed by having two fellow business partners, Craig and Tom, who bring massive experience to the table from all various disciplines in pharma including computer systems validation, quality assurance, commissioning and qualification to name a few. This has allowed us to serve our clients in an effective manner as we are not restricted by the politics of some bigger organisations. Our setup allows us to be agile and responsive to client needs from validation services right through to recruitment.
So the two arms or service offerings of Aphex are clearly defined, I’ve a team with systems and processes in place, along with capital and a contacts list, allowing me to execute and build the third arm of the business, Chemishield. Having a software platform that allows laboratories to manage the disposal of chemical waste by automating the disposal process gives me a great kick. Dealing with hazardous chemical waste is tricky business, but hopefully a lucrative one. Now that you know why I setup Aphex, what I’ll talk about next month are some of the struggles I encountered when setting up and how I was able to navigate through those. So now that I’ve told my story, ask yourself, as Simon Sinek would say ‘why do you do what you do?’