There are many positive signs that businesses have well and truly shaken off the recession and are in growth mode. None is more evident than at Midshire Business Systems in Stockport.

Award winning Midshire was established 18 years ago in Stockport and is one of five companies to make up the Midshire Group.

Led by Julian Stafford, the company has grown from zero customers and two employees, to now supplying over 2,000 customers and currently services 3,800 machines in the field.

Now employing over 65 staff, Julian has also opened a further two regional offices in Sheffield and Wales, launched an IT services arm to the business, created a new integral partnership with global manufacturer HP and continues to drive change and growth for the Midshire Group.

Award winning midshireThe Midshire Group has grown from a photocopier sales and service provider into a full service technology company and in recent years has changed beyond all recognition.

Julian said: “Whilst I understand it’s my name that gets recognised, none of this could be achieved on my own.

“Business is a team sport and I am lucky to be surrounded by the most amazing group of talented and hard-working people. It’s my team that have put Midshire where it is today.”

Expecting to turnover £8 million in 2015, Midshire continues to grow steadily year on year.

“Midshire will continue growing and developing,” says Julian.

“The current market place is very exciting as the convergence of copiers and IT continues to gather pace.

“We have a number of new product developments in the pipeline, which will keep us all very occupied for the foreseeable future.”

One solution that is already available is Midshire’s hosted desktop solution – Desktop Monster. With a hosted desktop, users can work securely anywhere, anytime.

“The buzzwords for the next couple of years will be ‘connectivity’ and ‘collaboration’.

“We will be working with all our clients to assist in improving their connectivity and showing how they can better collaborate with customers and colleagues.

“There are huge benefits to be achieved by business of all sizes in these two areas.”

As well as driving Midshire’s success, Julian works hard to support the local community through sponsorship, charitable fundraising and technology support, raising over £150,000 for local charities in the past two years alone.

He was named Business Person of the Year at the Stockport Business Awards, and followed that with North West Technology Entrepreneur of the Year 2015 at the EN Awards.

“Being shortlisted alongside such high-quality candidates was a complete shock,” adds Julian. “When you consider the calibre of some of the business leaders that Stockport has to offer, just to be mentioned in the same sentence is a huge accolade.

“It’s a real affirmation that all the hard work is actually achieving something and that people outside your immediate circle have actually noticed.

“I’m really pleased for the whole Midshire team as this award is really for them. My amazing team has delivered the outstanding results and growth that has brought us this success.

Julian Stafford“It’s lovely for my family to be able to share this with me. I’m especially pleased for my beautiful wife Judy, who has supported me every step of the way and put up with all the long hours with very little complaint!”

From humble beginnings, Midshire is now an award-winning supplier of office technology equipment adding IT services and support and a full range of business telecommunication solutions to its portfolio.

It works with some of world’s biggest technology brands including – Ricoh, Sharp, Lexmark, Toshiba – has been appointed as a HP Gold Partner and is the largest RISO dealer in Europe.

Award winning Midshire is also set to receive ‘Working with Young People Employers Award’ from Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council for its work with young people.

“I love working with young people,” says Julian. “We run the Midshire Academy across all areas of the business. We take young people in and over a period of three years take them to levels even they thought impossible.”

“To see someone who three years ago couldn’t even look you in the eye now achieving fantastic results in a job of real responsibility gives me more satisfaction than anything else.”