Case Study: Paul’s new plastering business starts smoothly
thanks to NPT Business Development Team
A Port Talbot man’s specialist lime plastering
business has got off to a smooth start thanks to the support of
Neath Port Talbot Council’s Business Development Team.
Paul Walters has received a range of support
for his company, Just Lime, including help with applying for a
grant to purchase specialist equipment, advice on tendering for
public sector contracts and signposting towards recruitment
Having finished university, Paul Walters spent
10 years working as a climbing instructor with regular travel
across Europe. However, with a young family to care for, Paul
was keen to spend more time closer to home and so decided to teach
himself how to plaster with the aim of starting his own
It was when he began to research the
plastering of historic buildings that he spotted his gap in the
market. “I knew the construction of older buildings often involved
the use of lime plaster and started to look into it further. I
found a course at the Tywi Centre in Llandeilo and decided that
training as a lime plasterer would give me a specialist service
that I could offer,” he said.
After completing an NVQ level 3 in Heritage
Plastering in early 2013, Paul was ready to take the plunge with
his own business. Within six weeks, Just Lime, was off to a
promising start and projects were underway across South Wales.
However, with further contracts quoted for and a large tender
placed for work on a listed property in Pembrokeshire, Paul needed
to purchase professional equipment. “More and more enquiries were
coming in for work using lime putty which I couldn’t undertake
without incurring the significant cost of hiring a specialist
mixer. Having to hire also meant time was taken out of my working
day picking up and returning the mixer,” he said.
In need of help, Paul contacted Neath Port
Talbot Council’s Business Development Team to find out how they
could assist his business. “They suggested that I apply for grant
support from Neath Port Talbot Council to enable me to buy the two
mixers I needed. Thankfully, my application was successful as the
equipment has been invaluable since I purchased it in the summer.
My quotes are now more realistic as I don’t have to account for the
hire costs. Furthermore, I’m putting the savings I’ve made towards
buying additional tools and a van,” he said.
With aspirations to grow his business further,
Paul plans to apply for public sector contracts and to eventually
recruit staff. The Business Development Team has advised him in
these areas too.
“It may not be long before I need to take on
an employee – however, I had no idea how to go about this. Business
Development referred me to Workways, Business Wales and HMRC, all
of whom will be able to assist me. They’ve also told me about
workshops and one-to-one support available for people new to public
sector tendering. Knowing this help is available will certainly be
Paul acknowledges the value of the guidance
he’s received. “If it wasn’t for the Business Development Team, I’d
still be hiring mixers or wouldn’t have taken on the work. Whilst
the financial support has made a big difference, the knowledge and
advice available to me has been just as vital. I’m sure I’ll make
good use of it as my business grows.”
Most importantly, Paul has embraced the
lifestyle of running his own company. “The best thing about working
for myself is the flexibility to work the hours that suit my busy
home life and flexibility to influence the direction of my career.
What's more, the financial rewards are recouped by me and not
someone else,” he said.
To find out more about the support available
from the NPT CBC Business Development Team visit http://www.npt-business.co.uk/
or telephone 01639 686835 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .