A COVID success story for the West Midlands

05 May 2021

Don Cross set up Bespoke Electrical Training in Staffordshire in March 2020, just as the first lockdown began to bite. As much of the UK slumped into an extended period of inactivity, Don and his Office Manager, Leanne Davies found themselves caught up in a flurry of great activity at the start of an amazing year which has seen their business grow from strength to strength.

LCL Award’s Quality Assurance and Relationship Manager, Tracy Harker, caught up with the pair last month, just as they were about to celebrate Bespoke Electrical Training’s first anniversary.

TH: Congratulations on a successful first year of trading. It’s great to see you again and hear that things have gone so well for you this year, when others have been struggling to keep established businesses going.

DC: Thanks, yes, we’re really pleased that all our hard work has paid off. Although I’ve had over seventeen years in the electrical industry and worked as an assessor and lead IQA safe guarding officer, Leanne and I hadn’t run a training centre before and we were building from the ground up. It’s been hard work, but I reckon one of the reasons we’ve succeeded is that we’ve started from scratch. Our focus is simple: to deliver top quality electrical training.

TH: What is it, do you think, that’s seen your business grow in such a difficult period of time?

DC: Whether they’re looking to up-skill or starting a new career, in the current climate, people want courses that will really benefit them. Our promise is that we will use our experience, professionalism and expertise to the maximum, in order to help all of our candidates achieve real results in their chosen careers.

LD: We pride ourselves in offering excellent value for money, delivering great courses in a friendly and safe environment. We set up at the start of the pandemic, so we were able to address the safety issues from the very start, to make sure everyone can learn in a COVID secure environment.  In fact, things went so well that we had to move to new, bigger premises in August. Bespoke is now spread over two floors, so there’s plenty of space. We can provide free parking for all our customers as well as snacks and lunch. We want everyone to feel relaxed and comfortable – so they can concentrate on training.

TH: Why did you choose LCL Awards as your awarding body?

DC: We did our research into the different awarding bodies and it’s simple really, I liked the sound of LCL Awards. As well as the full range of electrical courses they had to offer. I knew the LCL Awards External Verifier who looked after courses at the last training company Leanne and I worked at together. He’d been supportive and accessible when we needed to check things, so it made sense to go with them for Bespoke.

TH: What LCL Awards are you offering at the moment?

LD: We’ve started off with half a dozen electrical qualifications, but we’re planning to offer more courses and apprenticeships as the company continues to grow. At the moment we offer 18th Edition, Domestic Electrical Installer, Inspection and Testing, In-service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment, Level 2 Electrical Safety Awareness in Social Housing and Residential Dwellings and EV Car charging.

TH: And how do you market yourselves during a pandemic? Presumably it’s hard to organise open days and centre tours?

LD: We use Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn and we market ourselves by sending out mail shots to our customers and local companies. We registered with Trustpilot to gather reviews from all the customers who have attended the courses. We are rated ‘EXCELLENT’ so that helps!

TH: I can see you’ve worked hard to ensure that you have everything just right. You’re both very positive and your can-do attitude has delivered the rewards you deserve. I’m looking forward to continuing our relationship and watching you develop from the strong foundations you have built this year.

Bespoke Electrical Training is based in Amington, just outside Tamworth in Staffordshire To find out more about Don and Leanne and the COVID compliant training they offer in the Midlands, click here.

If you’re looking for support in setting up electrical qualifications at your training centre, please get in touch with LCL Awards or click here, to find out the full range of building services qualifications we have to offer.