An Ayrshire accommodation business has launched a second office and is eyeing future international expansion.
Launched in 2017, Donnini Apartments offers fully tailored business and leisure accommodation solutions in Ayr, Prestwick, Troon and Kilmarnock. In the past two years, the business has grown from five to 55 properties and recently expanded into Stirling – its first region outwith Ayrshire.
Founders Laurence Malyon and Jake Murray launched the businesses after meeting at university and discovering a shared passion for property and entrepreneurship.
Laurence, co-director of Donnini Apartments explained: “Once we decided that there was an opportunity to start our own property business, we came up with an initial plan about how we could successfully renovate our first properties and got some private investors on board – our charm seemed to pay off!”
The business has grown to eight full-time employees, representing significant job creation for the local economy, and there are plans to double headcount within the next year.
Jake, co-director of Donnini Apartments, commented: “Both Laurence and I have a clear vision and aspiration for Donnini Apartments. After launching in Stirling, we will be expanding throughout Scotland in 2020 before focusing on our international growth plans.
“Creating a plan, seeing the business develop and the vision subsequently become a reality is a very exciting part of the process for both of us.”
In order to help launch Donnini Apartments, the pair approached Business Gateway for one-to-one business advice, networking opportunities and HR support. Donnini Apartments also received social media strategy advice via DigitalBoost – Scotland’s national digital business skills training programme.
Jim Jardine, business adviser at Business Gateway, commented: “Laurence and Jake are two very ambitious young men with clear goals for their business, so Business Gateway has provided a constant stream of advice, support and local connections to help facilitate their expansion plans.
“Donnini Apartments is a fantastic example of how Business Gateway’s expert knowledge and support can build connections between local contacts and facilitate significant business growth.”
Laurence said: “Business Gateway were really good at listening to our needs and providing tailored support to help us reach our milestones. Also, the DigitalBoost funding and support for our social media strategy has helped to increase awareness of our brand and increased traffic to our website.
“They also put us in contact with other businesses going through similar things and provided some great networking opportunities.”