Ten years ago, Declan Meighan was serving in the UK special forces - a long way from running a successful corporate security company. After leaving the army and doing a bit of private security work, Meighan went to work for a consultancy. There, he was responsible for training the employees of big corporations in personal security when travelling. Historically, that would mean standing in a room, delivering it personally. 'That's when I realised that e-learning, or a DVD solution, was far more lucrative than instructor-led awareness training,' he says. But his employers were nonplussed and canned the idea.
So he left, taking his plan with him - acquiring an impressive client list including PwC, Avon and BT along the way. Typically, in this market, companies charge on a so-called 'seat at the table' basis, but Meighan decided to cap prices at £8,500 for 1,000 employees or more - a strategy that's paid off nicely. Revenue will increase sixfold this year and the company stands to make a decent profit too. And all this despite Meighan being hospitalised by Crohn's disease five times last year and having to undergo emergency surgery. This one's a trouper.