University Alliance > Blog > Start-up: Bill's story 6 months on

Start-up: Bill's story 6 months on

Naomi Weir
Published on September 20, 2013

Bill’s life changed forever after he returned to university to enrol in a Masters in Computer Animation at the University of Bradford. He built Distant Future Animation Studio from scratch and is aiming to establish them as one of the premier computer graphics facilities in the country and – one day – the world. Read the beginning of his story here. Here is Bill’s story 6 months on…


Bill BeaumontIt’s funny, it doesn’t feel that long since I was walking through the Houses of Parliament at the launch party back in April, but when I think of what was happening here at Distant Future Animation Studio back then, it feels like ages ago.

We’re now in the middle of our most successful year to date and we’re on track to achieve a rise of over 100% in turnover for the second year running.  With figures like that we’ve needed to expand and have been able to find good local talent to help us keep delivering our promises to our ever-growing client list.

The skills in our team are complementary yet diverse which is perfect as the work we do is always varied.  Over the last six months we’ve done work to help companies promote their new products and promote their services to prospective and existing clients, we’ve created medical animations to help parents understand leukaemia, we’ve created animated branding to help breathe life into corporate identities and we’ve helped philosophers visualise a historical representation of the entirety of existence!

Personally speaking, my role here has changed quite dramatically.  In the past I’ve split my time between managing the business and doing production work.  This has been great and has got us where we are today, but to keep growing we’ve needed to evolve.  Now I spend 100% of my time on managing the business, developing our offer and can now drive things forward in a much more focussed way.

It’s been an incredibly valuable transition as it’s helped us truly understand our strengths and USPs and has enabled us to better identify and address our weaknesses.  With all this in place we’re able to put some real strategic planning in place that should see us maintain or even exceed our trend of 100% growth.

I often think back to earlier stages start of the journey, such as when Steve and I were sat in a pub talking through our plans to create Distant Future Animation Studio, or when we took on our first new people to help us meet demand.

We’ve achieved a lot and I think that’s why it feels like more than two years and eight months since the studio was born.  Maybe that’s why my internal chronometer starts seeing double when I reflect on the six months since the launch party at the Houses of Parliament.

For me that’s one of the most exciting things about running a successful business that you’ve set up from scratch, looking back to see where you’ve come from, then thinking ahead to where you’re going to be.

At the risk of sounding slightly sycophantic, we wouldn’t be here today without the help offered by organisations like the University of Bradford, University Alliance and the other support channels there are, so a big thanks to everyone who’s helped us on our journey so far, I owe you all a beer.

Read Bill’s start-up story here! 

 

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