Worle Glass & Joinery Ltd was previously one of the best kept business secrets in the seaside town of Weston-Super-Mare. However, as Managing director, Adam Travis, says it is gradually shaking off this tag, as it's unique crafted window and joinery skills brings about more work for the Thriving SME.
As an independent, FENSA registered company, Worle Glass and Joinery Ltd supplies and fits an extensive range of UPVC, timber, aluminium, windows, doors, patio doors and conservatories. We Pride ourselves on offering traditional business values, combined with an adherence to good quality workmanship and attention to detail. Alongside myself there are 11 other members of staff including my two sons and two other family members. I am immensely proud of all my staff members and we are very lucky to have such a good hard-working team. The company is also proud of its status for design and craft excellence built up over nearly three and a half decades.
Yet despite having traded for 34 years, we were long considered Weston-Super-Mare's best kept secret. However, recent years have seen us come into the light so to speak, having become registered as a limited company in 2007 and making our voiced heard locally through advertising on local radio stations. While we've grown in size through bigger revenues and more staff, as well as being generally more outward looking, the customers typically approaching us for one of our services having been recommended, rather than leaving it for us to actively seek them out.
The Challenges of running a small business
Whilst the business is growing at a rate of around 10% annually, soley through organic measures, this expansion has been achieved in the face of challenges. growing a business can be very challenging when ther is no immediate financal resorce to so this.obtaining the right finance from banks has proved especially difficult in the past few years, as less of them seem willing to finance small businesses. It's the old story that they are more than willing to lend you money if you have plenty!
Having been through three recessions in our company history, we've also seen the worst of this. Certainly, there have been slight improvements since the last recession ended in 2009, but this is an area that remains problematic for many small businesses across the uk. in our most challenging times, we've been fortunate to have sufficient reserve funds kept in the business to sustain us.
"The decision to remain traditional is driven by a need to assert our unique craftmanship onto every piece of joinery we make"
The bespoke architectural joinery side of the business has remained largely unaffected by the advent of new technologies such as Computer Numerical Control (CNC) routers, a fact reflected in the company's workshop in Worle as this workshop houses more traditional joinery machines instead. when approached for work, we typically engage with the customer to see exactly how we can meet their requirements and what style of joinery they desire. Our five in house Joiners can then meet these requests.
the decision to remain traditional is driven by a need to assert our unique craftsmanship onto every piece of joinery we make. with a CNC machine, glass and Wood products are created the same in most cases with a more generic feel. However, everything Worle Glass and Joinery makes is tailored to our customers' needs.
WORLE GLASS AND JOINERY
Based in the town of Worle near Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset.
Supplies and fits UPVC and aluminium windows, doors, patio doors, bi-folds, conservatories and architectural joinery.
Specialists in glazing green oak buildings.
Formed as a partnership in 1984 by Adam Travis and Rick Millier.
Member of the Fenestration Self Assesment Scheme (FENSA), a competent person scheme established in 2002 for operators in England and Wales.
Achieved turnover of £650,000 in 2016/17
A sustainable local enterprise
More work has emanated from the glazing of green oak framed buildings in the past five years. This is a customer-driven trend, especially so in the past year, much of which can be credited towards Worle Glass' 10% annual growth rate. Glazing green oak frames requires a high level of competency from the start. companies or individuals not doing this are more prevalent than you'd think. it is no longer a surprise how many times we asked to correct work carried out by other companies.
Cost remain an issue for SMEs
Five years ago, this proved to be in invaluable when I was out of the company for over six month due to health issues resulting from a car accident. My staff proved themselves during this time by working together to carry the company onwards. Having the capital in the business ensured things continued without the need to approach a bank lender. the government needs to devise new ways of small business lending; while initiatives are in place, the positive effects of them to the likes of us and similar-sized companies remain minimal.
The rise in business rates, and other associated taxes, such as a rise in the rate of VAT to 20% are also ongoing challenges as this leads to forced price rises for our services. Changing demands and various green directives we have to follow are not incentivised in any way, unlike in other sectors. While Worle Glass is committed to recycling our materials, with everything from glass, wood, sawdust and UPVC frames being recycled, the cost of doing this can be steep. Also, the cost of non-recyclable building waste is around£900 per month; just six years ago, this function cost us a mere£80 every month.
"Having these local, informal partnerships are important, especially to small Business"
We are associated with a local oak frame company, Which recommends us to it's customers and also leads to a lot of bespoke architectural joinery work connected to oak-framed buildings. Having these local, informal partnerships are important, especially to small businesses.
We are undertaking more work than at any time in our history, typically seeing jobs booked in three to four months in advance. While we won't stray from our family-oriented roots, like any business wanting to succeed and stay ahead of the competition, we need to adjust our set up to meet this demand. Specifically, this will be an increase in aluminium and UPVC windows-related work. This will mean employing more experienced fitters. The pre-requisites for prospective staff are simple: if the talent and commitment is there, then we will always be interested in them.
Our new office is now Open in Unit 9!
Unit 7 & Unit 9, Worle Industrial Centre, Coker Road, Weston-Super-Mare, BS22 6BX
Mon - Fri: 8.00am - 5.00pm