First-8 uses its digital knowledge to help ex-army people teach life-saving skills in the community

For friends and ex-servicemen Mark Nilsson and Anders Kjærsgaard, first aid has always been important. During their years in the armed forces, they trained others and saved lives. But when they decided to leave the service, they quickly realised it wasn’t going to be easy to transfer those skills to civilian life. They decided to set up First-8, a company that delivers first aid training to businesses and individuals, and recruits ex-army personnel as instructors. “First-8 is all about building bridges,” says Mark. “We’re helping ex-army people share their knowledge and skills with the wider community.” Wanting to raise awareness and reach more people online, Mark attended a Google Succes Online course to get support for the company’s online marketing. “We were confident it would give us all the skills we needed,” he says. By using the new digital skills Mark gained thanks to Succes Online, First-8 achieved a 900% increase in visitors to its site, helping to boost sales. In just one year, they’ve increased the number of people trained from 360 to 3,200, and are now offering more first aid courses to meet growing demand. The company has also grown from two to 30 people, and Mark and Anders have moved their business from their own living rooms into two new offices and three warehouses. “Succes Online has given us the resources and opportunities we needed to develop our business and take it in a new direction,” says Mark. “It’s a special feeling knowing that we’re making a difference to both the people we train and the people we employ. We never imagined that our experience in the army would lead to us building a business that can help save people’s lives.”

We never imagined that our experience in the army would lead to us building a business that can help save people’s lives.

Mark Nilsson, Co-Founder, First-8

Location

Aarhus and Copenhagen, Denmark

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