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Timber business nails successful growth strategy

Longridge Timber Directors John and Sue Cornthwaite

Family-owned business Longridge Timber is looking ahead to grow turnover by 10% and ongoing market expansion after taking part in Boost’s Propel2Grow programme.

The Longridge-based timber merchants worked with Boost partner, NXO Communications, to create a strong business structure and effective strategy which were vital when it opened its second branch in central Preston in 2017.

As a result, the business, which employs 11 staff, is seeing turnover of £1,903,000 in 2016/17  rise by more than £200,000 to a predicted £2,184,000 for the current financial year.

Founded in 2006, Longridge Timber supplies high quality timber and offers a first-class service to the building and joinery trades, property developers and DIY enthusiasts across the North West of England.

Directors John and Sue Cornthwaite heard about Boost at a business growth event where they met members of the NXO team, who are part of an approved framework of private sector business consultants to the Propel2Grow programme for Boost.

Following a business support review, John and Sue were referred to managing director of NXO, Cheryl Jones. Propel2Grow provides access to a range of seminar and peer-to-peer networking events and dovetails with other Boost provision to support businesses on their growth journey.

The programme also provides access to tools, techniques, people and processes to support commercial success. Boost is Lancashire's Business Growth Hub and is led by the Lancashire LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership) and Lancashire County Council and supported by funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Sue said: “Working with Cheryl enabled us to articulate what our business really stands for, bringing structure to both our team communications and customer marketing.

“Through the formation of our mission, values and proposition, we now have a focus to build our brand and a strategy setting out our growth aspirations. We always knew what we wanted to achieve but had little idea where to start. Now I am confident we will achieve what we set out to do because of the strategic work we’ve done with Cheryl.”

Sue added: “The Propel2Grow support has allowed us, as a small Lancashire business, to bring in a business consultant to help us develop the company in areas where we simply didn’t have the experience. Looking ahead, we aim to create more growth and service a wider area.

We would certainly like to work with Boost again if there’s support available for our needs, as it’s been a highly positive experience.” Cheryl commented: “We worked closely with John and Sue to enhance Longridge Timber’s competitive advantage.

Forming the company’s mission, values and customer value proposition helped to unite employees across both branches. In addition, communication of The Longridge Timber Way enables people to understand the culture of the business and how they fit in.

“Customers are now clear on what they can expect whenever they come in to contact with members of the team. Communication has been the key to success.” Cheryl continued: “We have also worked with John and Sue to create a professionalised marketing function with clearly defined messaging to accurately represent the brand. This forms a strong foundation for all their customer communications.

“The most appropriate marketing channels have been identified and customers targeted to ensure communications are effective. This has enabled John and Sue to develop a digital platform with a strong brand identity, building their online presence to further engage with their customer base.”

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