Light + Design Associates are independent architectural lighting design consultants based in south London. They have transformed buildings from a shopping mall in Bury to Salisbury Cathedral; and the headquarters of Cisco to the Hackney Empire.
In 2005 Lee Prince, Managing Director at Light + Design Associates Ltd, took part in the Enterprising Business Awards (EBA) programme which offered him expert mentoring, support and resources from the Kingston University Entrepreneurship Team.
Lee says:"The EBA offered me the opportunity to step outside of the office and devote some time to think strategically about where my company was positioned, where it needed to be and how to get there, using the business expertise of my mentors as a sounding board'."
The programme also offers networking opportunities and invites speakers to talk about topics of interest to the group – in Lee's case, he particularly benefited from advice from an intellectual property rights specialist.
"When operating a small business on your own, one tends to focus on the operational side and strategy tends to get pushed back as the needs of clients take a higher priority. Also when decisions need to be taken there's no one to bounce ideas off, in a sense it feels like you are working in a vacuum."
Light + Design Associates were also at a point where their website needed a major redesign. Through the EBA, they were introduced to a web designer at the University and had the cost of their new site match funded.
As well as the new website, www.lightanddesign.co.uk, the support in developing his business plan and increased marketing efforts enabled Lee to grow his company both in terms of turnover and profit, despite the poor trading conditions experienced over the last two years.
Lee estimates that the company's turnover has increased by 25 per cent, which by investing in staff and technology, has enabled them to take on much larger projects.
The company's continued success is reflected in a steady stream of prestigious awards. In the past year, Light + Design Associates have had design projects shortlisted in the FX Design Awards and Sleep Awards. They have also been shortlisted in four categories of the Lighting Design Awards with three outright winning projects:
Winner – Low Carbon Design
Coworth Park Spa – The Dorchester Collection
Winner – Exterior Lighting
Winner – Retail
Arc Shopping Centre Bury St Edmunds
Finalist – Museums and Galleries
The Modern Galleries: Museum of London