A dedicated, precision laser profiling and multi-axis press brake bending service has found a way to keep up with increasing customer demand and create new jobs thanks to support from the EDRF-funded Access2Finance programme delivered by Oxford Innovation.
Local businessman John Gotts, who has been self-employed since the age of 22, launched his current venture, Lasermaster, after becoming somewhat disillusioned with the level of customer service he received from suppliers to his previous company and was convinced he could do better.
The business, located in Redruth, opened in 2002 offering a full and flexible laser cutting and laser profiling service, along with metal folding and bending. With continuous investment, staff training and an unwavering commitment to customer care, the company grew seeing high levels of returning custom and new clients on a daily basis. But, as exciting as it was to grow, it also became apparent that a problem was being generated by the increasing customer demand.
John sought advice from Oxford Innovation (OI), specialists in supporting entrepreneurship and improving the competitiveness of small to medium-sized enterprises. He was recommended to the Access2Finance programme, a scheme specifically designed to educate company owners about finance and grant funding available to accelerate business growth.
He explains: “It soon became evident that we needed another press. We had so much work that our only press was working day and night and we couldn’t complete orders at the fast rate we prided ourselves on. Everyone recognised the need for extra machinery but this involved a potentially massive investment, a very expensive step, and taking such a huge chunk of finance out of the business was difficult.
“Heather Coupland and Jackie George of Oxford Innovation not only provided reassurance and guidance on the process but also assisted with the application, ensuring that I understood what was required at every stage. As a result, the company was successful and we secured a grant for £56,869 which enabled me to purchase not only the much-needed press, but a scanner too, another vital piece of equipment. We can now create ready copies of items with pinpoint accuracy as well as quality control every piece we produce and create templates for the full piece far more quickly than a team of Drawers ever could.”
OI Programme Manager, Heather Coupland, added: “The Access2Finance programme opens up a range of new opportunities for the companies and business people we support. We are able to share a high degree of specialist knowledge and expertise in relation to eligibility, what is available, and then to assist businesses in the application process.
“John advised us that he was looking to buy more machinery to grow but that costs were prohibitive at this time. We were able to review the grants available and advise on suitable funds. He expressed reservations about the process but with our help and guidance, he had the necessary support to apply. In addition to increased productivity, this has resulted in a number of jobs being created with more expected in the future.
“If anyone is in a similar position I’d urge them to contact the Access2Finance team for assistance. Each grant fund has various rules, targets and constraints attached but we manage these every day and have a great working relationship with the awarding bodies which allows us to simplify the process for the client.”
You can learn more about Lasermaster and their range of services by visiting the website at www.lasermaster.co.uk or visit United Downs Industrial Park, Redruth, Cornwall.
If you think your business could benefit from our support contact us today.