Ardleigh Green is Havering’s local supplier in quality. Discount cleaning materials and equipment for both the domestic and commercial industries. We welcome both trade customers and the public with a vast product range offering to suit all types of customer needs. We are also introducing to the local market place innovation in the form of chemical free cleaning, eco-friendly paper products and award winning floor signage.
Growth over the last twelve months in revenue, sales profit and market share
At Ardleigh Green we measure growth in several aspects of the business. Based on comparisons from the financial year 2014 to 2015, from 2015 to 2016 and from 2016 to 2017 (2017 gathered data is as accurate to the date of entry or predicted figures calculated from current data)
(Please note that all percentages are calculated year on year, therefore, the percentages are harder to achieve)
When looking at market share, the marketplace of janitorial supplies is vast and to measure us at present we would only represent a small percentage. However, given the sudden increases across all aspects of our company, it is safe to say our market share is increasing.
Growth in personnel / strategic partners
Since opening in September 2014, Ardleigh Green has increased its’ staffing levels by having one person managing and maintaining the shop, a dedicated warehouse/delivery driver and a dedicated engineer that handles all assessments and repairs on vacuums. In 2016 we had plans for us to extend our opening times and open on Saturdays, in 2017 this was achieved and we are now open on a Saturday morning 9am to 1pm, staffing has expanded to cater for these additional hours. To further support the growth within personnel, we have just recruited and awaiting the start of an IT guru who will be responsible in developing our social media foot print and raise the awareness/presence of Ardleigh Green on the internet. In addition to the IT aspect of the business, we expect to soon be looking to recruit a sales and marketing specialist to further boost our brand bringing old-fashioned values back to the market place and combining web experience and face to face interaction creating a balance of opportunities.
In regards to strategic partners, all of our existing suppliers have now given us trade accounts and we are no longer paying on a pro-forma invoice basis with them, in some cases the suppliers have increased our credit limits due to the need to hold more stock. We have also seen quicker delivery times from suppliers as stock turnover increases. There has been a need to increase the number of suppliers which have given access to a bigger range of products that we can offer, this means we buy direct from the main producers rather than buying products through a third party, enabling us to provide products a more cost effective price. We now offer products that are Chemical Free and Alcohol free, therefore, being more environmentally friendly and increasing the clientele base, meeting the social awareness and need to demonstrate our commitment to protecting the future for everyone.
Sustaining significant on-going growth
At Ardleigh Green we continuously review ways in which we can sustain continued growth. We aim to ensure that the Ardleigh Green brand continues to develop within the increasing marketplace. We have identified the following as areas for development:
Funding through profit re-investment to maintain and secure growth
Both owners of the business are dedicated to ensuring that there is adequate funding in place so that the company doesn’t stagger into development but is supported adequately. This is to ensure that the company grows at a sustainable level to safeguard the balance of services, customer care and support. The owners are consistently looking at opportunities to increase our market share, including the purchase of additional complimentary businesses. Our pricing mark ups range from 30% – 300% dependant on the product thus assisting in maintaining and increasing revenue.
One other way we look to maintain significant growth is by ordering complete pallets of items, as opposed to mixed pallets. This way our suppliers are able to offer us larger discounts therefore resulting in increases in profits to maintain the funding and facilitate the growth, whilst also maintaining prices to customers ensuring they still receive good, competitive prices.
During 2017, Ardleigh has invested its shareholder funds to increase marketing, this has included being an exhibitor at the Cleaning Show in February 2017, Radio Advertising (please see script in appendix 10 and 11, attending the show case at the Queens Theatre in October 2017 which was run by the Havering Chamber of Commerce and an innovative way to produce prices lists, this has been demonstrated in the section above.
Ardleigh Green has also identified that the although it has the use of Social Media such as Facebook and Twitter and other online platforms such as the website, Ebay, Amazon etc to promote our products and services it is currently not producing the level of results we have identified that is possible. Therefore, Ardleigh Green has invested some of the funds mentioned to employ someone on a part time basis with the knowledge of how to ‘play’ these platforms to increase our profile and attract customers that we would not normally have been able to reach.
Changes that will be required within our business to manage the increased growth
We understanding our business model needs to review and adapt to assist in increased growth ie offers and methods of promotion need to change, this is displayed in all the appendices. Any changes within the business needs to be introduced in a manner that will not affect business growth. Thus our plans involve all parties within the business to offer input for discussions, planning and potential implementation.
As with any company, we have short and long term plans. Our short term plans include expanding our staffing to compliment the increase in growth we have seen, particularly from the past twelve months. Currently we have one dedicated warehouse/delivery driver, but this will need to increase to a second person who does deliveries so the warehouse person has time to concentrate on stock and orders. Our shop staffing will see an expansion to cope with the walk in customers. Our medium to long term plans include increasing stock levels, whether this is in quantities or variations, although this has significantly increased since we started, there is still further innovative stock that can be promoted to both our domestic and trade customers. There are also plans to increase our vehicle fleet to facilitate demands. We aim to purchase vehicles will be electronic in a bid to be in line with being a responsible retailer in looking after our environment.
Obstacles have you faced in developing your business and how have you overcome them
In the early stages of the business development our main obstacles were suppliers. They didn’t know us and we didn’t know them, so it has taken a committed effort to work closely with the suppliers to encourage them to support our business model. We are pleased that all of the suppliers we work with are fully committed to our journey.
With regards to staffing, we have been extremely fortunate to locate the correct staff, although we have found the interview process a challenge as it has not always been the most successful medium. One other challenge we have encountered is educating the staff that have little or no knowledge within the cleaning industry and janitorial supplies, this has been overcome by investing in external supplier training programmes, educational software and in-house training. Retaining existing staff is a common issue in most industries, we have implemented a profit sharing scheme to help boost morale and to keep the staff interested and challenging themselves.
Other obstacles we have faced since opening are:
Although this Christmas event is Ardleigh Green giving back to the communitys, it is an excellent way to promote our business, as we do not know who could be attending with their child, this could give us a single or multiple opportunity to expand our business further.
It is pleasantly surprising how rapidly we have managed to grow the business and in such a dramatic way and seeing the fruits of our labour flourish in these ways.