28th April 2010
Recession? What Recession? Layth Karagholi, director of Total Displays, says that his staff refused to let the downturn get them down and as a result the company enjoyed a successful year, despite others struggling.
While many businesses within the events industry saw huge drops in sales, Total Displays' exhibition stand design brand Popup Direct continued to go from strength to strength.
"We've gone from two years ago, starting with just myself, and now we've got ten employees, we've expanded into the unit next door, we've increased our production department, invested in more machinery, so we've done particularly well in the last year," Mr Karagholi explained.
And now that the economy is picking up, he predicts that the company will do even better.
"We've got lots of opportunities in the pipeline and to be totally honest [the recession] hasn't been a factor on our radar," he explained.
"Due to our exceptional service levels, our repeat business is extremely high so as we grow and acquire new customers, coupled with retaining our existing customers, our customer base is growing from strength to strength."
One of the main "opportunities" that Mr Karagholi is looking to make the most of is the internet.
"Our website is an important part of our business strategy and we're looking to focus heavily on that in the next year or so," he revealed.
"The online arena is extremely competitive, everyone kind of knows what each other's doing, it's a difficult market to get ahead in. So we're working very hard to become the market leaders in that arena and that's where we think we'll be in the next 12 months."
Part of these plans includes re-launching the website, which should take place in May. The business is also being rebranded, with the company name Total Displays being used as the brand, rather than Popup Direct.
"What we're in effect doing is migrating pop-ups direct onto the Total Displays domain and that's going to be our main brand," Mr Karagholi explained.
The company's online presence, as well as its competitive pricing, was what helped it to succeed in the recession, Mr Karagholi said. Total Displays was well placed to take advantage of customers deciding to shop around for the best deal.
Businesses that may have had an incumbent supplier for four or five years were suddenly "opening their eyes to another supplier in the interests of getting a better price and better service".
"We really benefitted from that and we see that getting stronger this year as more people look to come back into the industry, they're going to search online and hopefully find us," Mr Karagholi added.
He believes that the events industry is getting stronger and that Total Displays is ready to make the most of that.
"We're probably one of the biggest volume producers in the country and with the sheer volume we do we can maintain our low prices all the time. Our prices are always keen and great value and that's why we did particularly well out of the recession," he concluded.