A Telford based businessman has been nominated for ‘Scale-up Entrepreneur of Year’ in the prestigious Great British Entrepreneur Awards, after impressing judges with his rags to riches success story.
Facing spiralling consumer debt, Rob Stone developed the idea for Instaloft – now the UK’s largest installer of loft storage solutions – when scrolling through different franchise ideas before finding one for loft ladders.
Determined to build a successful business, Rob conducted his own research and found a company called Loftzone that had patented a raised floor system designed to protect loft insulation and meet relevant building regulations.
After watching multiple YouTube videos, Rob purchased some tools via a £200 credit card, created a basic logo and launched Instaloft via Facebook, despite his family and friends pleading with him to just get a job.
Instaloft was officially launched in October 2014 and within a 7-year period, Rob has successfully scaled the business from a ‘one-man band’ operating from a 3-bedroom semi-detached house in Telford, to a £14-million turnover empire, which now employs 127 skilled installers across 6 UK depots.
Rob explained: “I founded Instaloft during a very challenging time in my life, where I didn’t even have enough income to feed my family. Although I didn’t have experience in loft installations, the LoftZone solution made the process incredibly safe and easy and following my first few successful jobs, orders started to come in.
However, it wasn’t until I sprained both wrists when falling down the stairs in a customer’s home that I realised the real value of working on the business instead of in it. Unable to work, I hired my first employee to complete the installs and quickly realised that the more time I spent on sales and marketing, the quicker the business grew. With zero external investment, we have gone from £125K revenue in year 1 to £14 million at the close of year 7, which is just amazing.
Having built the business from incredibly humble beginnings, I am, therefore, delighted to be nominated for ‘Scale up Entrepreneur’ of the year and hope my story inspires other start-up entrepreneurs embarking on their own business journey.”
Founded in 2013, The Great British Entrepreneurs Awards acknowledge the journey of entrepreneurs and businesses across the UK, celebrating the incredible stories that have taken individuals to where they are today, regardless of company size or turnover.
Headquartered in Telford with regional offices in Essex, Reading, Peterborough, Newport and Wakefield, Instaloft is also a shareholder of LoftZone, after Rob acquired one third of the business to safeguard the future of the company.