25 Years of Image Plus – Interview with Alan Hartin
This year is a big one for us all at Image+. No, it’s not because we get to work from home in our PJs – although this has been a dream come true for some. The reason is that we are celebrating our 25th birthday!
Yes, that’s right. The big two-five.
And although it has been somewhat different from what we had planned due to the lockdown, it has given us a chance to reflect on all the successes and obstacles over the years and appreciate how far we have come. This has been especially true for the founder and managing director Alan Hartin who has kindly agreed to share his insights with us all. Take a look below…
So Alan, is this where you imagined your company to be 25 years ago?
Having originally set-up the company in partnership with a friend in Nottingham, where I then lived, I thought that’s where the business would always be based. But about a year into the business, circumstances had changed. I had to move from Nottingham to Leamington Spa for my wife’s work. Because of that, sadly, my friend and I decided it was best if I ‘went it alone’. So, no. I couldn’t have imagined having an office in Coventry with a brilliant team of twenty designers and developers. I certainly couldn’t have imagined – as is the case today – having an empty office in Coventry with the whole team working from home and having meetings via the internet (which obviously wouldn’t have been a possibility 25 years ago)!
Also, setting up a business with no customers, no prospects and only a few ideas, I was only hoping that the business would still be going in 25 months – if that!
What was the riskiest business move and did it pay off?
The riskiest move was definitely setting the business up and – without a question – it has paid off.
What are your top 3 highlights?
In no particular order…
After a few years of working from home – then renting small office units – moving into our first office at Electric Wharf, in Coventry, was definitely a highlight and a turning point for the business.
Employing apprentices. We took on our first apprentice Ryan around seven years ago. Since then, we have recruited seven more apprentices. All of them are still with us – Ryan is now a senior developer – and they are all developing, growing and adding huge value to our team.
Providing a positive working environment for young, talented people to grow and excel in. I get a great sense of pride each time one of the team drives into work in their first car or shows me photos of their first house. They have achieved these things because they are talented and hardworking individuals. It’s just rewarding, knowing that working for Image+ has given them the environment and opportunity to achieve all these milestones.
Where do you see the company in the next 25 years?
I believe most businesses have started to realise the benefits that can be gained by replacing information being filled in on paper with collecting and processing data via an App. And with Covid-19, I believe this is happening and will continue to happen at a quicker pace. Given our experience in this area, I believe the future of the business is very bright. In 25 years time, I’d love to think that several of the existing team are still working for and running the business. Personally, in 25 years time – if I manage to reach 80 years old – I’d love to be playing golf on Portrush Golf course. Or failing that, having a pint of Guinness in the Harbour Bar in Portrush.