With just £1K in the bank, Craig Burgess and James Sheriff established Genius Division from James’ bedroom in 2010. They told themselves that when the money ran out, they’d stop!
Since then, the company has grown from strength to strength. They supply branding, logos, graphic design, web design, and apps. Whilst there’s no set niche for their customers, many are local Barnsley businesses. Some are bigger brands such as Barnsley College, Barnsley Council, The Business Village, and Cannon Hall Farm. Others are smaller owner-managed businesses. But they also work with national and international organisations.
In the early days of their business, James and Craig were members of the Genesis programme. Run by the then BBIC (now The Business Village) it offered business advice and support. This connection meant that, as the company grew, it was a natural choice for them to move into The Business Village.
“We stayed at The Business Village for around five years before moving into the centre of Barnsley. At the time, we were the only tenant offering digital and web design services, so many of the other tenants became our clients. We also received support and client introductions from Kevin Steel, Business Development Manager. It really enabled us to grow at a crucial period in our business.
Craig Burgess, Creative Director
Genius Division continued working with clients at The Business Village from their new base. They also worked on a rebranding and website update for The Business Village. Over time, they noticed the positive changes taking place onsite, and decided to move back.
“The management team uprooted themselves so we could have their office. It was obvious they wanted us to be here, and it made sense for us to come back. When we left, the buildings had become tired and needed updating. But we’ve come back to new carpets, new branding, renovated meeting rooms, and very fast broadband. In fact, we believe the broadband speed is not shouted about enough!”
Whilst the free parking and 24/7 access are a bonus, Craig says they weren’t the main reason for their return.
“Kevin Steel is still here, offering business support and connections. And we can have conversations on a similar level with other tenants as they tend to be small, owner-managed businesses. There’s a friendly community here and the office space is competitively priced. Plus, when we opened the windows, it was so calm we could hear the birds.”
Since returning, Craig has noticed there are now more digital businesses located at The Business Village. He often comes across people he knows when walking around the building, and says it’s important to knock on doors for a chat while passing.
He’s also noticed how much net zero has helped change things.
“Net zero shows that The Business Village is trying to improve. It used to be a tired, 80’s business centre. But now it’s the home of net zero. And there’s a new eco-friendly building, along with environmental upgrades to the older buildings. The centre is now a very different prospect.”
This year, Genius Division has seen more people struggling with the aftereffects of the pandemic and cost of living crisis. They’ve seen huge layoffs in tech globally and some clients devastated by high energy costs. So their current strategy is to steady the ship and stabilise.
“The opportunity for collaboration and meeting new businesses is higher now we’re back at The Business Village. I think this will only get better over time as in-person meetings increase. The Business Village gives us the basics of a warm, well lit, secure office. The reception team do a great job and management run the centre well. It means we can get on with the job of running the business.”
Contact Genius Division
Phone: 01226 664 664