We love getting to know the people behind the businesses – so we caught up with Andrew Barass and the team at Decisive First Aid and asked them our “famous 5” questions:
1. What made you start your own business?
I chose to get involved in First Aid training because it plays to my strengths of being both a qualified teacher and a registered paramedic with the East of England Ambulance Service, which of course serves Bedfordshire. I think it helps that as a paramedic, I have attended all sorts of incidents, and so I can bring a wealth of experience to the classroom and offer my clients top tips and insights so that they make correct decisions. I enjoy teaching and so I hope to equip as many people as I can with the knowledge and techniques necessary for any health related emergency situation.
2. What does your business offer its customers?
Decisive First Aid offers First Aid at Work training courses. The Emergency First Aid at Work course (EFAW) is aimed at small office based businesses. Lasting about 6 hours, it contains all the techniques necessary to save a life. The First Aid at Work course (FAW) is aimed at larger businesses, or those who have specific increased risks. Lasting 18hours it contains all the elements of the EFAW course plus all sorts of life threatening medical conditions as well as various injuries. For those working in high risk environments, such as tree surgeons, construction, rail support services, butchers, glaziers, etc. there is also a 2 hour module that shows candidates how to manage catastrophic bleeding. All these courses are regulated so that companies can meet that part of their Health and Safety requirements. To keep all our clients as safe as we can from the threat of Covid19 we have invested in more equipment thus removing the need for sharing, classes are kept small and additional hygiene measures have been introduced.
3. What kind of customers are you looking for? Are there any types of businesses you would like to collaborate with?
I’ve had all sorts of customers come to Decisive First Aid for their training e.g. farmers, retailers, electricians, service industry. For large companies that want to send 4 or more candidates for training, the most cost effective way is to run a course at their own venue, in a conference room or training room. For small companies we have been running ‘open’ courses where they can book one or more places at a hotel venue. We try to accommodate our clients’ needs as much as possible. A tree surgeon once booked onto an ‘open’ course and also requested if I could run a 2 hour catastrophic bleeding module for him afterwards. A couple of phone calls to the Awarding Body, and to the hotel manager, and we were able to satisfy his request, enabling him to remain compliant, and keep working.
4. What’s the toughest part of running your business?
The toughest part of running my business is marketing. There is a big market out there for First Aid, but there are also many providers. I have to make myself stand out by promoting my experience and skills as being above the ordinary.
5. What piece of advice would you give to another business owner?
My advice for other business owners is ‘Be Creative’. I’ve used the lockdown period to create a learn-zone on the website and some new teaching aids for the classroom. I put a lot of effort into each and every one of my courses to deliver a quality experience for the learner.