Today Lateral Dx is a successful SME who have a growing reputation internationally for high quality and customer focused Lateral Flow test development. But how did they get there and what part did Ceteris play in their success?
All great businesses start in the garage
The business started in 2017 with Richard Campbell, operating as a sole trader from a makeshift lab in his garage, whilst still in full time employment. During this time, it was difficult to grow the business due to it being a residential address and not a business address. Suppliers of the materials would not allow shipment to a home address and the perception to new customers was not professional.
Commercial property search
To alleviate these issues, they started looking for support in the local Clacks and Stirling area and identified STEP and Ceteris as potential options. It quickly became clear that Ceteris would be the best option from their open and supportive interactions. Initially, Lateral Dx set up a virtual office with Ceteris which provided a business address and phone number. This gave the business a professional image to both new customers and allowed suppliers to send the required materials.
“at this time the Ceteris reception staff were highly supportive and would call me when materials and mail arrived so I could pick up on my way to and from work”.
Growing business needs
The next step was to look for small premises which could be converted to operate as a laboratory. In 2018, Ceteris proposed Office 79 in the Alloa Business Centre (ABC). This small unit was being used as an office but had the potential to be converted due to having plumbing for a sink. It also had outside access for deliveries allowing easy access for bringing machinery into the unit.
A huge selling point for them was the fact the unit came with utilities included in the monthly rate. A great help for budgeting and reducing business administration complexity. The Ceteris maintenance team discussed the changes required to change the office into lab space. They provided an at cost quotation to convert the unit including adding lab flooring, lab benching, hot water system and dishwasher plumbing.
Becoming an employer
While moving into ABC, Richard hired his first employee, Robert Forrest. Robert worked in the lab part time while Richard continued his full-time employment. The Ceteris team were highly supportive of Robert and having access to the communal kitchen facilities and meeting rooms for no additional cost was a great bonus.
Business Support from Ceteris & Business Gateway
During this transition the business received support via Business Support at Ceteris and was given Specialist Help assistance via a Business Gateway fund. This support was identified by Ceteris and delivered by Dorothy Henke, Growth Business Adviser at Ceteris Business Support and other external providers. This support allowed them to set-up an accounting system and provide expert advice on their website SEO.
Continued business growth
As the business continued to grow, Richard Campbell left his full time employment and dedicated full time to Lateral Dx. In March 2019, the business moved to being a limited company and they expanded into Unit 78. As commercial landlords, Ceteris supported this growth fully and allowed the tenant to knock through to the new unit whilst conducting all the work. Due to the expanded space Lateral Dx was able to take on additional employees and the team grew to 4 employees.
Support from Scottish Enterprise
Due to the continued success of the company, they required even more additional space. They took on Unit 72 on the 14th July, 2020. This again, allowed the company to increase staff levels to now have 6 employees. Further support was identified by Ceteris Business Support team and introductions were made to Scottish Enterprise (SE) who provided a grant to enable the company to attend an international conference in Germany (Medica).
No room left to grow
With continued growth it became clear that the units in ABC would not allow for any further expansion. Lateral Dx again sought support from Ceteris and Unit 1, 7 Cooperage way was identified. It took a lot of discussions and work to convert the unit to be suitable their requirements with lab flooring added, lab benching added, plumbing, electrical upgraded to suit the specific requirements. All this was conducted by Ceteris staff in close discussion with Lateral Dx. They moved into the unit in December 2020, where they had then grown to 11 staff and increased turnover.
Second to none support
In the time of being a limited company, Ceteris have helped Lateral Dx secure further grant support. This has been instrumental in increasing their capabilities via new machinery, innovative new products, and improvements to their website.
The next steps
The next steps on the Lateral Dx journey are to start offering manufacturing services, this is something that again Ceteris will support with by providing introductions to relevant SE staff and helping to identify yet another suitable site for expansion. This will initially be a small unit/office within the E-centre but bigger plans for a dedicated manufacturing site with international outlook are underway. Richard had a final word to say:
“I would like to offer my sincere thanks for the support, Ceteris have provided. Without it Lateral Dx would not be anywhere near the business it is today”
At Ceteris we are dedicated to helping your business grow, we are much more than your average commercial landlord and we believe in providing the best possible support for you and your business. Get in touch with our team to move or start your business with us: 01259 721454 or firstname.lastname@example.org.