Husband-and-wife Tony and Stephenie Altham have a gift for helping other businesses. As owners of AdGiftsOnline and the BNI Staffordshire franchise, the Newcastle couple support scores of companies – from large banks and Bentley Motors to micro-businesses and one-man bands.
Founded 28 years ago, AdGiftsOnline supplies promotional and corporate gifts to businesses across the UK, including advent calendars and USB sticks to golf balls and bone china mugs.
While BNI Staffordshire is a networking and business support company which boasts more than 200 members across eight groups.
Now, to celebrate growth across both businesses over the last 12 months, the couple have entered The Sentinel Business Awards in the Entrepreneur of the Year category, sponsored by APT Health and Safety Training Ltd.
Tony said: “We currently have 12 staff split between the two businesses and our forecasts show growth to a 25-strong team over the next five years.
“The gift market is growing and is becoming ever more imaginative in terms of what companies can offer their clients and staff.
“While AdGiftsOnline and BNI Staffordshire appear to be very different companies, there is a strong ethos of supporting other companies running through both – and that is where our main satisfaction comes from.”
He added: “I became a BNI member after we founded AdGiftsOnline and I used the referral marketing system it encourages to grow our business. When the chance became available to buy the franchise for Staffordshire in 2015, we seized the opportunity as we knew it had potential to grow.
“Now several of our chapters are on course to pass more than £2 million each in referrals in the calendar year and we have two Stoke-on-Trent groups with around 50 members each.”
Matthew Dashper-Hughes, managing director of Office Prime Supplies, is a member of BNI.
He said: “Staffordshire BNI offers a structured, well-organised, professional environment with business people who attend regularly so you can build up proper, meaningful relationships. The emphasis is on reciprocity; helping one another.”
Source: StokeonTrent Live