They’re a couple of bright sparks making all the right connections.
Qualified electricians Kristopher Johnson and Mark Copley worked together for a number of years before deciding to set up their own business, Ti installations, specialising in CCTV and alarms, electrical and audio services.
Now from their base at Marsh Mills in Marsh, they range far and wide working for clients including domestic properties, student flats, offices, factories and high street shops.
And the decision to form the business is already reaping rewards – with the duo planning to take on additional hands to cope with a growing client list.
“We used to be sole traders,” says Kristopher. “I traded as KJS Alarms while Mark was MJC Electrical. We have worked together for 10 years. When I first started, Mark helped me out a bit. We were both operating from our own homes, keeping our equipment in our garages. We were working together more and more and things were getting more and more busy.”
Says Mark: “My garage was filling up. We got orders for jobs and we would have masses and masses of gear. It got to the point where we couldn’t work from home any more – because we were never really away from work.”
Mark, who lives at Birchencliffe, and Kristopher, of Longwood, eventually set up a partnership trading as Titanium Security. “When we decided to become a limited company, that name was no longer available,” says Mark. “So we became Ti installations – with Ti being the chemical symbol for titanium.”
Mark, 33, grew up in Kirkheaton and attended Mirfield Free Grammar School. On leaving school, he worked in computer hardware with his father’s firm. But he says: “I learned that working with family doesn’t always work out – especially when you live with them!”
He gained City and guilds qualifications as an electrician and set up on his own.
Kristopher, 28, who grew up in Oakes and lived at Birchencliffe before moving to Longwood, was a pupil at Salendine Nook High School. “I wanted to go into computing and worked for the same firm as Mark,” he says.
Kristopher, who also gained City and Guilds qualifications, worked as a technology troubleshooter – repairing and installing electronic tills in supermarkets.
Now their work takes then around Yorkshire and further afield to clients in places including Warrington, Birmingham, London, Northern Ireland and Scotland.
Customers include ones requiring PA systems and speakers installed in their shops or warning alarms fitted at construction sites.
Mark and Kristopher work with shopfitters to install and maintain audio and CCTV systems – most notably for a UK discount retail chain as well as a large number of independent stores. Other clients include a property leasing company in Mirfield and the owners of student accommodation.
“You make a lot of contacts working with shopfitters and other trades such as joiners,” says Kristopher.
While the recession had an effect on levels of business, Mark says: “The economy has picked up a lot and we have picked up a lot of new clients through Ti installations.”
Kristopher adds: “When I went self-employed it was at the height of the recession, so I took a massive chance. But from the start of this year, talking to other people when I’m out on site, everyone seems busy again. A lot of clients are picking up in sectors such as recycling, logistics and construction.
“We are ahead of our financial targets and the number of projects is ahead of what we had hoped. We plan to take two people on before the end of the year.
“Ideally, we want to develop an electrical team as well as security engineers and audio engineers.”
The most recent development was the move to Marsh Mills. “We had to fit out the premises and we have also invested in our own training,” says Kristopher.
The walls of their office are filled with framed certificates bearing witness to their efforts. “We are both trained first aiders, for example, as well as having qualifications for health and safety and dealing with asbestos.”
CCTV and audio are growing areas for the two men. Commercial clients increasingly want the two to be linked, so intruders or suspicious characters captured on CCTV can be challenged verbally by security staff via a loud speaker system.
In a fast-changing industry, Mark and Kristopher keep up with technological developments by attending major industry shows and talking to their suppliers. “We have trusted connections with our suppliers,” says Mark. “We have good relationships with all of them.”
Away from work, football is Kristopher’s passion, A keen Huddersfield Town fan, he also plays five-a-side at Soccer City in Waterloo.
“It started with 10 of us getting together,” he says. “We all enjoy a game of football followed by a few pints on Friday night!” Kristopher and his wife Greeta also enjoy visiting family in her homeland of Estonia.
Mark is married to Michelle and the couple have a 14-year-old son, Kyle. Says Mark: “I enjoy a game of golf, but I don’t claim to be very good at it! It’s a good walk, really!” Mark and Michelle also enjoy cruising to destinations in the Mediterranean and the Baltic.
Mark and Kristopher are not short on ambition for their business. “We set out from day one with the vision of being a big company,” says Kristopher.
“We did not want to grow too quickly until we had all our procedures in place. We are developing business systems to do that.”
Says Kristopher: “We thought it was a big step to come into these premises after working from home. Given how far we’ve come, it doesn’t feel such a big move now!”
Work: Electrical, CCTV , audio and alarm systems
Site: Marsh Mills, Marsh
Phone: 01484 818180
Email: Tmark@ti-installationsltd.co.uk or email@example.com