ONE of any sole businessman’s worst nightmares happened to Simon Collins.
Just as Industrial Floorcare Machines (IFM) was getting established Simon was involved in a car smash which could have killed him and his daughter.
The head injuries sustained by Simon, 44, took six months to recover from, in which time IFM, on Apsley Industrial Estate, in Kents Avenue, lost customers and the future was looking shaky to say the least.
Simon, who set up the company by investing a redundancy payout, admits he came close to leaving the keys on the table and shutting shop at the base he shares with cleaning and window cleaning products supplier Janatorial Warehouse.
“In August or September I could’ve shut the door,” said Simon, a winner of £1,500 in a Dacorum’s Den competition for local firms. “But people rallied round and helped pull me through.
“I remember thinking I am not going to let it go, I’m going to make this work.” Before the accident, IFM had a turnover of £250,000, a position which Simon is working hard to recover .
Unable to drive for months, Simon would travel into work from Tring by using local buses and trains. But his injury caused a lack of concentration and drive which meant he neglected to invoice customers.
IFM sells and leases floor cleaning equipment and Simon is planning to use the Dacorum’s Den money to train himself in testing the kit he supplies so he can offer an improved aftercare service.
And Simon, who says IFM is now improving sales to companies, schools and the health service, added that he has a “burning desire to employ people” as the company grows and develops.
He adds he was ‘delighted’ to get the backing of Dacorum’s Den.