Manchester-based lighting specialist, Ultra LEDs, has increased staffing by 36% over the last year and is still recruiting as the business expects its impressive growth streak to continue into 2024.

The business cites its innovative design and production teams, impressive stock holding capabilities and improved awareness of the environmental benefits of LEDs, all as reasons for its continued success.

Managing Director, Tom Ralston, took over the business in 2016 after setting up several other successful companies but seeing a big opportunity in the lighting market for an expert LED supplier who could offer both a high level of stock to customers and support with design.

In the early days, Ralston cold-called businesses and went door to door to generate sales. While the company was successful, a huge order from a well-known UK retailer changed everything.

“Things were going well and we were growing steadily, using an old shop as our base of operations. Then this huge order came in, 30% bigger than the entire annual turnover of the business at the time. We ended up with a shipping container on the street outside, taking box after box after box of lights in through the front door by hand and cramming them in every space we could find. After that we kept growing and were filling orders as fast as we could whilst looking for bigger premises” says Ralston, who now fondly remembers a period in the business that was exciting, but sometimes very stressful.”

“Space for supplies hasn’t been the only challenge the business has faced. “Getting the right staff is a constant challenge.” Ralston continues “We’ve seen a big growth in the team and there are jobs still to fill but we won’t compromise and bring in a staff member if they’re not right. The key is to spot genuine talent in the interview stage.

“We don’t worry too much about academic achievements, for us the key thing is mindset and finding people who have the drive within themselves to push the business forward.”

With the demand for LED lights continuing to grow as these lighting system’s environmental, cost and design potential continue to advance and become more well-known, the future looks bright for Ultra LEDs.

Ralston and his team are determined to stick to their guns when it comes to their recruitment philosophy, confident that whilst this approach means it takes longer to find the right person for the business, every team member is primed to drive business success.


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