Sterillo: Stephen Levy

Sterillo's business owner discusses tackling manufacturing challenges and being a life-long entrepreneur...

Name: Stephen Levy
Company name: Sterillo Ltd
Location: Hertfordshire
Date launched: 01/03/15
Website: www.sterillo.com

Tell us what your business does:

We manufacture a germ and odour destroying hand dryer. We take hygiene to new levels with our revolutionary product as it kills infection and helps to keep washrooms clean.

Where did the idea for your business come from?

I have been manufacturing hand dryers for almost 10 years. I wanted to take hygiene further by combining our first class high speed hand dryers with technology that cleans air and sanitises surfaces. Our mission is to kill disease and bugs, and as a direct result we are also destroying washroom odours too.

How did you know there was a market for it?

After conducting an extensive hygiene survey, I realised that an all-in-one solution for cleaning air, killing odours, sanitising surfaces and drying hands was yet to make an appearance in washrooms.

What were you doing before starting up?

I was working in the industry, manufacturing and selling hand dryers to businesses throughout the UK.

Have you always wanted to run your own business?

I have always run my own business. I am an entrepreneur – always have been and always will be!

How did you raise the money?

We’re completely self-funded, Sterillo was funded by revenue generated from my other businesses.

Describe your business model and how you make money:

We manufacture and supply high quality electronic goods through our website.

What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?

Designing something that looks good and works well. Originally I created a prototype hand dryer that also provided fragrance in the washroom. However I wanted to get to the root of the problem, not just mask it with another smell. After further product development, we created the first hand dryer that kills the bad smells.

What was your first big breakthrough?

Our first big breakthrough was securing a place in all of City Electrical Factors’ (CEF) 400 national stores.

What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?

An entrepreneur is a risk taker who believes they are so right that there is virtually no risk. My advice is to step back from your idea and try to look at it through somebody else’s eyes, and gauge if it really is viable.

Also judge people’s advice in direct proportion to the experience they have had doing whatever it is you want to do! If you want advice on media, talk to a media expert. If you want advice on electronics, ask an electronics expert. If your business idea is to be successful, talk to a successful businessman.

Where do you want to be in five years’ time?

On a beach.

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