Ben Dainton, Iridium Co-Founder and Co-Director, reflects on the past four years of Iridium... Where the idea for the business came from, what he and Sinclair Elliott have achieved, and learnings along the way... 
An idea that snowballed… 
“My background was a technical one, and then took a turn towards winning business and needing to pull together the right people into project teams to deliver very specific sets of deliverables. Sinclair and I had both worked for consultancies and utilised recruitment companies, and we felt strongly there had to be a better way to provide bespoke, industry-leading solutions that offered value and speed. 
One because large consultancies are very expensive and often provide a generalised, not specialised, service, whilst recruitment companies are great at getting getting bums on seats but don't offer a service wrap. 
Our idea to revamp the outdated consultancy model with our hybrid approach picked up pace, and what started off as a small nugget snowballed into something big.” 
A clear vision 
“Growing our service practices was where we always wanted to go. Initially working with top consultants to deliver our work, then bringing in our own specialist practice leads, but still utilising contractors a lot of the time - as they’re often the best people for very specific pieces of work. 
As such, our own practices are commissioned by organisations to manage the delivery of large projects, where our clients enjoy the benefit of our in-house specialisms, such as QA, cloud, cards & payments, delivery, PMO and risk & compliance, bolstered by our network of 200 top associates who are the very best at what they do.” 
Did it go to plan? 
“We thought about our idea so much over the years, that when we did launch our company, things went exactly how we thought they would. The practices came about a bit sooner than anticipated, but we’ve always grown at an organic pace. In the early days, it was just Sinclair and me doing the work. Then, when new clients came to us, it meant more work, so Matt joined us, and the rest is history. We now have 22 people working for us internally. 
Sinclair and I are proud of the way we’ve grown. We’ve stuck by our idea, and it’s a great feeling to have been proven right! We gave ourselves some aggressive targets and we’ve smashed them out of the park, and the key to all of this is bringing in the right people at the right time in the right areas.” 
A few curve balls 
“Of course, whereas changing economic climates are always a risk, we couldn’t have planned for a global pandemic. But to be honest, the past two years have really shown us just how resilient we are as a business. As a team, like many businesses, we’ve had to completely adapt the way we work, whilst coping with additional pressures to life and family, but it’s been all hands on deck - from all sides - and we’ve continued to thrive.” 
The advice I would give to myself if I could go back four years 
“Stick to your guns and have faith in your idea. We stuck to what we knew we could do well and didn’t have our heads turned by opportunities that weren’t quite right, even when the going got tough, and I’m pleased about that. 
We’re also really good at communicating with each other and it's important for all of us to take the time, no matter how busy we are, to circle back and discuss decisions and doubts. Sharing the load is critical, along with trust.” 
My advice to other people with an idea they cannot get out of their head… 
“Talk to people you know and trust. Bounce your idea off them and really listen to their opinions and questions (even if you don’t like what they’re saying). It doesn’t matter what industry they’re in, in fact, it’s better to speak to people outside as well as inside your sector, as they bring a different, unclouded perspective.” 
The next four years for Iridium 
“We’re looking to further expand our business and deliver many more great outcomes for our clients. To do this, we plan to increase our practices in new areas, and bring in even more fantastic people to service our growing client base and service portfolio. It’s the people that really give Iridium its value, and no matter how much we grow, it’s extremely important to us, above all else, to retain our strong family-orientated culture and make sure Iridium is always a fun and rewarding place to work. 
After all, what’s the point in running a business and coming to work if it’s not enjoyable?” 
Speak to Ben 
If you’re interested in working with or for us, or if you have any questions or feedback, please don’t hesitate to drop Ben a note: 
Tagged as: business
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