Cornish business is flushed with success
A rapidly growing Cornish web-based business, which started
trading only two years ago and has expanded to employ 14,
achieved a record turnover of nearly £700,000 in November.
The Heatandplumb.com e-commerce site sells a wide range of
bathroom, plumbing and sanitaryware. Most are delivered to
the customer straight from trade wholesalers but some are
held in stock at the company's headquarters at St Breock,
near Wadebridge - which is also the home of Austen Asheton-Salton,
who first had the idea for the business six years ago but
was then "too busy" to implement it.
To help the fledgling company with its ambitions to become
a multi-million pound business, he called in Business Link
Devon and Cornwall personal business adviser Alex Nicholas
who carried out a diagnostic review.
"His action plan highlighted milestones to achieve
our vision and identified where we were misfiring and how
we could generate new routes to profit and streamline our
systems," explained Mr Asheton-Salton. "One
suggestion during his first visit directly resulted in a £12,000
a year increase in sales revenue.
"With Business Link's help we are specifically
looking at IT automation to make order processing easier and
increase the natural hits ratio, as well as website optimisation,
bringing our accounts up to date and introducing employment
contracts and job descriptions."
A Cornishman, he returned to the county of his birth 12 years
ago having built a reputation as an entrepreneur with printing,
outside catering and other businesses.
Despite being diagnosed with degenerative scoliosis nine
months ago and being in constant need of pain-relieving drugs,
he puts a great deal of energy and passion into the business.
"The disease affects walking and standing and I
am permanently in pain and registered disabled but in a strange
way that makes me more focused – which is just as well
with a wife and two young children and another on the way."
Looking to the future, he forecasts continued expansion for
the business partly due to the constant public interest in
DIY, TV 'makeover' programmes and property developing.
"Our success relies on our excellent easy-to-navigate
website which was built in-house," he added. "But
we've grown so big so quickly that we needed someone
from outside to see how we were doing and how we could improve
- and I've really been impressed with the efforts of
the Business Link team in fulfilling that role."
Alex Nicholas said: "As a rapidly expanding company
Heatandplumb.com is an ideal candidate to take advantage of
support offered by Business Link for growing businesses. As
well as providing information and advice on critical issues
for day-to-day operations, Business Link can prove vital in
helping the business develop a clear strategic plan to create
competitive advantage and deliver profitable growth."
For further information contact Carolyn Daw of the Marketing
PR Company on 01566 771863 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the
Isles of Scilly has invested in Business Link Devon and Cornwall
projects through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
and the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund
Business Link provides a free information and enquiry service
via an information gateway on the web www.bldc.co.uk
and via the telephone on 0845 600 9966 to all businesses and
those considering starting a business. Additionally, it provides
impartial business advice and support through a network of
partner organisations, which it co-ordinates, and a register
of independent business practitioners.
Business Link for Devon and Cornwall delivers the national
Business Link service to the region under contract from the
South West of England Regional Development Agency, which was
established by government in 1999 to promote the long-term
economic success of the region. It does this by working with
others to give people the skills they need, encourage enterprise,
improve infrastructure, help communities with regeneration
and promote the strengths of the region. Business Link has
received Objective One investment (European Regional Development
Fund and EAGGF) to help companies improve performance and
The Learning and Skills Council exists to make England better
skilled and more competitive. It is responsible for planning
and funding high-quality vocational education and training
for everyone. It has a single goal: to improve the skills
of England's young people and adults to world-class standards.
Its vision is that by 2010, young people and adults in England
have the knowledge and skills matching the best in the world
and are part of a truly competitive workforce. Established
in 2001 the LSC works nationally, regionally and locally from
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Truro TR1 2UD
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