Picture gallery: Norwich Future 50 business Epos Now puts creativity at the heart of expansion plans

PUBLISHED: 15:02 06 November 2014 | UPDATED: 15:03 06 November 2014

Epos Now's new Norwich offices on Whiting Road. The chill out zone.
Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

Epos Now's new Norwich offices on Whiting Road. The chill out zone. Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

Archant Norfolk.

The boss of a rapidly-growing technology business has revealed his ambitious plans to expand overseas after unveiling state-of-the-art new offices.

Epos Now's new Norwich offices on Whiting Road. Company founder Jacyn Heavens and head of operations Hayley Johnson.
Picture by SIMON FINLAY.Epos Now's new Norwich offices on Whiting Road. Company founder Jacyn Heavens and head of operations Hayley Johnson. Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

Jacyn Heavens, managing director of Epos Now, is bolstering his workforce from 68 to 100 as he looks to capture more corporate clients and break into the American market.

The expansion drive comes just days after the EDP Future 50 company bought a new office at the Norwich Business Park, Whiting Road, and gave it a makeover, installing a pool table, modernist furniture, a chill-out room and a new in-house sales system, which uses computer game technology to boost staff performance.

Launched in 2011, Mr Heavens has quickly transformed Epos Now into a small business with a £7m turnover pro rata.

The 30-year-old said: “We are a strong small business with good profitability levels, but we need to make the jump to become a medium-sized business, and then make the jump to become a corporate business.

A little play can help

When Jacyn Heavens began drawing up his blueprint for the perfect office, he was not just worrying about what colour paint to put on the walls.

He was also looking at ways of integrating new technology into the workplace to drive efficiency and push staff performance.

During his research, he discovered a new movement in America where businesses were using elements from computer games – known as ‘gamification’ – to encourage competition and make tasks more fun.

Embracing the idea, Mr Heavens has introduced a ‘gamification’ system for his sales and customer services teams – and he claims it is already paying dividends.

Driven by software company Hoopla, each worker’s performance is displayed on HD television screens throughout the office, encouraging them to sell products and secure more clients in order to climb their way to the top of a leaderboard.

And when a sale is made, the screens react in real time, displaying celebration videos, playing music and highlighting individual’s key performance indicators.

Mr Heavens said the system has already helped to boost the number of sales the business has made since they moved to their new offices on the Norwich Business Park.

However, he admits that the process does not allow people to hide if they are having a bad day or not meeting their sales targets.

“In the journey, we are about 30pc there. There is so much opportunity that we are just picking apples at the moment.”

“As long as we strike hard and strike fast and keep going, we will keep ahead of the game,” he added. “It is about keeping the momentum up.”

Mr Heavens invested £85,000 of his own money to start the business, which designs, manufacturers and sells till systems.

Despite difficulty with suppliers in its early years, the company now produces its own brand of Epos products from a factory in China.

This year, the company decided to buy the freehold of their new offices on the Norwich Business Park and expand beyond its base on Prince of Wales Road, Norwich.

He added: “When I was a business development manager travelling around London, I realised the importance of having a nice place to work.

“If you are young fast-moving company which listens to its customers, you have to treat your staff like your best customers as well.

“I want people to come into work and feel proud of where they work and that translates well to our customers.

“It is important to give the right message to customers about what type of business you are.

“I wanted to show people about what we are, where we are going and who we are through our offices.

“And the amount of pick up we have had since we got the new offices has been outstanding – it is such a great investment and it is overlooked too many times by businesses.”

Mr Heavens is hopeful that his new base for the business will help attract more corporate clients, which already include the easyGroup, Land Rover and Porsche.

Next year, he plans to add another 100 staff to the business and set up a dispatch centre to continue the company’s growth of 300pc per year.

Speaking about his vision for the company going forward, Mr Heavens added: “You have to think about other businesses that are high reward low risk long-term investments like property, which is why I am going into property now. I also have another company called Sentinel Asset Finance, where I am going to start offering finance for properties.”

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