Colin Beattie, the MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, joined the team at Roslin-based Network ROI on Friday 29th June for a chat about employee ownership, future growth plans and the all-important cultural aspects of being a business owner.
EO Day is a national event that celebrates employee ownership throughout the UK. Employee ownership is considered by many to be a nicer way to do business as it enables employees to have direct input into the way the company operates as well as a more significant share of success.
Network ROI was the first employee-owned Managed Service Provider in the UK. The Roslin-based IT firm services clients throughout the UK and enjoyed a turnover of £3.6m in 2017, employing 35 employee owners, or 'partners' as they are known. The short to medium-term aim is to achieve £5m turnover by 2020 – adding more jobs to the local and wider economies.
Mr Beattie commented:
‘I was delighted to have the opportunity to visit Network ROI in Roslin on this year’s Employee Ownership Day. This is a key event that helps us to recognise the importance of employee owned companies and it’s great to see Network ROI continue to go from strength to strength.’
Why choose Employee Ownership?
Network ROI founder and Chairman, Sean Elliot, chose employee ownership as part of his exit strategy. "Employee ownership was one of the options available to me, alongside other, more traditional options such as a management buyout or a trade sale. I wanted to safeguard the jobs of the people that continue to make the company a success as well as protecting client relationships.
There are significant tax benefits of Employee Ownership to business owners in Scotland, one of which is full tax relief on the sale of the controlling stake (51% +) to a Trust. Employee Owners can also earn a tax-free bonus of up to £3600 every year (subject to company profits).
Network ROI Managing Director, Adam Johnson said: "We have introduced initiatives such as an EO council to give everyone in the company a voice and an app called Ritualize to boost the health and wellbeing of our team as we work towards our targets. Although employee-owned companies value staff happiness, the primary focus is on empowering the team to do their best work and building strong client relationships to create a sustainable and profitable business."
Opportunities for young people in Midlothian
Network ROI has employed many University graduates and modern apprentices over the years. The company recently embarked on the Investors in Young People (IIYP) accreditation process as helping the development of young professionals is key to the company’s success. As Network ROI grows, both Adam and Sean are confident there will be opportunities for more young people from Midlothian to be part of a growing business as well as having complete control of their career and future development.