Paul Bromfield is a Coventry-based commercial drone operator and is approved to fly by the Civil Aviation Authority.
He runs ABP Drone Solutions and has been a member of one of the Peer Networks programme groups run by Burgis & Bullock since October 2020.
Paul, a former catering operations manager with more than 30 years’ experience, has been in business with ABP Drone Solutions for 18 months – with more than half of that time spent in Covid-19 lockdown.
The business can support with a range of services including surveying, inspection work, photography, videography and thermal imaging. Drone technology can help construction businesses to reduce costs and is increasingly being used widely in agriculture too.
He joined the Peer Networks to widen his network and take advice from his peers on growing his company after the devastating impact of the pandemic.
ABP Drone Solutions is now enjoying growth and has received a ‘business changing’ referral as a result of joining the Peer Networks initiative.
Paul said: “The Peer Network has clicked for me amazingly and now I’ve had a really strong, business changing referral, as a result of the networking side.
“The drone industry is a growing professional industry and many people aren’t aware of its capabilities, so I put a great importance on networking and joining as many membership organisations as I can.
“Peer Networks has been different to everything else I have been involved in and it has had a clear impact on my business already.
“It’s been interesting to deal with people from a range of different industries and levels. We’re only a small SME but that didn’t matter, we could all talk on the same wavelength, bounce ideas around and relate business experiences to each other.
“I used my previous career experience to advise a confectionary business on operations and staff motivations, and I’ve taken a lot away from it too – it has been a very informative experience. I hope to keep in touch with the other members of the group as my business continues to grow.
“Many sessions you go in feeling downhearted and come out with a more positive mind-set.”
“In the past I’ve been sceptical about these kinds of groups, but this has been the opposite and achieved so much.”
ABP Drone Solutions had been operating for six months when the Covid-19 pandemic hit and was not eligible for the majority of Government grant schemes.
Paul briefly went back into catering part-time to keep the drone business going, but now the hard work has paid off and he has his sights set on growth.
“I’m growing the business now and hopefully will be able to take on more staff in the near future,” said Paul.
“Ultimately the goal is to hand the business over to my grandson when he is grown up. The business has great potential and will only get bigger as more people realise the benefits of using drone technology.”
Burgis & Bullock has been delivering four cohorts of The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Peer Networks programme through the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) Growth Hub.
To find out more about ABP Drone Solutions visit www.abpdronesolutions.com.
For more information about Peer Networks with Burgis & Bullock visit https://www.bb-bmg.uk/peer-networks.