Growth Hub helps Gloucester business almost double sales in 2020
By Matt Hall | 26th March 2021
The founder of manufacturing firm Wheatway Solutions' belief in innovation and opportunity has seen his business almost double year-on-year sales and expand into multiple global marketplaces.
More than a decade ago, Colin Smith had a vision. With his engineering background, he wanted to fill a gap in the construction and recycling industries for cost-effective screening solutions for entrepreneurial and smaller businesses.
With an abundance of screening products on the market, he couldn't find any affordable solutions for the entrepreneurial builder, landscaper and recycler.
Mr Smith launched Wheatway Solutions to bring a product to this untapped market in an affordable way.
Since then, Wheatway Solutions has gone from humble beginnings and slow market entry to global distribution and now has six industrial production sites.
When Colin had developed the first prototype in 2008, he engaged with Paul Spenley, Gloucestershire Growth Hub specialist business guide. With the assistance of the Growth Hub, he was able to plan a growth strategy based on innovation of products with an international USP.
The first international contract was a monumental step for Wheatway Solutions and allowed them to move into their first large industrial unit. Mr Smith said:"This particular manufacturer did a lot of industry advertising and it gave us the chance to piggyback on theirs and market our product to a wider audience.
"We tend to work with less established dealers, we work with the entrepreneurial dealers who are younger and smaller. The reason we do this is that they have more tenacity, more drive. Whilst it's a risky strategy it's paid off for us, we try and support them as much as they support us - the relationship we build is of utmost importance to how we operate our business."
This strategy saw him risk a six-month sale or return option to his next international client. The deal resulted in the client becoming one of Wheatway's longest and largest accounts providing a minimum of £500,000 worth of business per annum.
In December 2019, when the news of the pandemic started making the headlines, Colin brought forward their planned website update which completed at the start of lockdown in the UK.
The company has almost doubled its previous year's sales volume in 2020, with expansion into Germany and the USA.
Mr Smith said the The Growth Hub had been one of the most helpful resources to grow his business and achieve his business vision of being a global exporter.
He said: "The biggest advantage we have had with The Growth Hub is their extensive network. If I didn't know something, they would connect me with someone that did and that has been a huge help in building the business to where we are today."
Wheatway Solutions has its sights set on the Rising Sun economies and further developing the USA markets, and with their innovation and ability they certainly seem able to achieve that.
For more information about Gloucestershire Growth Hub and how it can help to grow your business, please visit https://www.thegrowthhub.biz.
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