Appearing this week in the Channel 4 show ‘The Money Maker’ featuring as the van conversion partner for the mobile barber business TRIM-IT, Bri-Stor Systems’ Managing Director Simon Webb, is passionate about supporting the nation’s emerging entrepreneurs and small businesses, as he explains.
“Our economy, particularly post-pandemic, has never been more reliant on the success of the small business sector. MSMEs (micro, small and medium businesses) account for about 99%1 of all UK employment and as we emerge from COVID-19 the innovative and entrepreneurial-nature of small business owners will undoubtedly underpin our recovery. There’s no question, millions of people across the UK have used the pandemic as an opportunity to take stock of their lives and their livelihoods and as a consequence, we are likely to see a sharp rise in the number of new start-up businesses emerging over the next two years.”
While very few emerging businesses make it onto TV, Bri-Stor Systems has a strong track record of working with hundreds of successful small businesses and start-ups each year as Simon explains: “we love the energy and passion that comes with working with small business owners and entrepreneurs, typically we are working directly with the van user and owner to design and fit a bespoke van racking solution. Whether it’s a plumber, joiner, construction-firm or valeting business, whatever the nature of the business, we take great pride in really understanding the needs of the van user and how this translates into work space and storage. It’s very common that a MSME customer will have previous experience of using a works van so our engineering team is able to extract from that experience and develop the ultimate van conversion solution. This was certainly the case for TRIM-IT, our job was to create a luxury barber shop environment within the constraints of a Citroen Relay – the result is spectacular and a true reflection of the commitment from our team and TRIM-IT.
Often MSME customers will turn to us because of our undiluted approach to innovation. We have a strong reputation in the delivery of large fleet conversions and applying this vast learning to the world of sole traders and entrepreneurs is what differentiates us. Typically we’ll be working with van users to develop ideas and concepts that enable them to operate more efficiently and safely, going way beyond storage. Working with our prototype and new product development (NPD) team we’ll often be looking at solutions to deliver power, heating and lighting in precisely the way the customer demands it. Post-COVID we are now integrating solutions that enable a van user to fully integrate handwashing and sanitising rather than relying on a vast supply of hand wipes and sanitiser spray knocking about inside the van. Working with our colleagues in HEX Signs and Graphics, we’ll also be designing external livery, creating stand-out vehicles that not only optimise user performance and welfare, but also deliver a stunning visual on-road advantage.
For every MSME vehicle we convert we’ll be taking our extensive knowledge from the fleet side of our business and optimising it for the small business market. By way of example, increasingly MSME customers are talking to us about the impact and suitability of hybrid vehicles. For many businesses, particularly those without the luxury of a fleet manager, navigating through the options and deciphering what will work for their business can be mind boggling, but with vast experience in this space we are able to offer the support and guidance to enable business owners to make an informed choice about which vehicle might be suitable, how it can be converted and the impact on payload.
Ultimately, our job is to design and deliver the ultimate work space for the MSME market, a responsibility we take very seriously. The last 18 months have been incredibly challenging for many small businesses and we have a real duty to support this important market as we move towards greater economic stability. As a nation we need to focus our efforts on Build Back Better and by continuing to support the MSME community we are playing our part.”