This week’s Business Focus is with founder of Elland-based Vapour cloud, Tim Mercer.
Why did you start your business in the first place?
I never doubted that one day I would run my own company. Surrounded by friends in business it was inevitable it was going to happen. After years working in the tech industry, I noticed a gap within the sector – exceptional customer service. I knew that I could fill this void by providing technical and innovative solutions whilst putting the client first.
What is your business motto?
Customers are key and they’re always number one! We aim to deliver incomparable customer service at the same time as providing cutting edge technology to both SMEs and blue-chip companies.
What advice would you give to anyone starting their own business?
Bite the bullet and do it! People give themselves an array of excuses as to why they can’t get going. There’s always something that pops up, so don’t use it as a reason not to start. If money is the issue, there’s plenty of funding out there if you know where to look. If it’s time, you need to find the time or make the time.
What was the biggest challenge you faced starting your business?
There have been two challenges. Firstly, building trust and relationships with clients. It’s never easy as a start-up. Secondly, finding the right team. I need colleagues who share my vision to continually deliver the mind-blowing service we pride ourselves upon.
What do you enjoy most about being self-employed?
I have the freedom to make a change within the business and if an idea doesn’t work it’s OK – I’ll just try something different.
What do you enjoy least about being self-employed?
The responsibility of knowing that I am accountable for paying employees’ mortgages.
Which business figure do you most admire and why?
I admire those who have made it from nothing and have become fully-fledged. I wouldn’t say I really have a single business figure who I admire, but when it comes to visionary people, Elon Musk would be up there. He’s impressive and has an admirable goal to help change the world and humanity.
What achievement in your career are you most proud of?
Getting venture capital funding! In true Dragon’s Den style, I was interrogated on all things Vapour. I knew nothing about raising capital but had the idea, gave it my everything and secured it!
Where do you see your business going in the next five years?
I would like us to be one of the leading tech firms, with a turnover in the excess of £30m, as well as having a strong, honest team that bolster the delivery of technical and innovative solutions all over the UK.
If you could invent one new product, what would it be?
It may sound cliché but time travel – so I could go back and invent something that could cure world disease.
If you could work for one company, who would it be and why?
I can’t think of a specific company, however it would be one that does something for the greater good. I love to actively help people, so a not-for-profit organisation that provides support to those who have suffered from tragic events such as the Grenfell Tower fire, would be a great example.