Phil Wearmouth took up the reigns as MD in 2011 and is half way to his dream of making the business one of the leading suppliers of commercial catering equipment in the UK. With a turnover close to doubling year on year this online business is definitely on the super highway, already achieving sales of £12M and the business has ambitions to see growth reach £25M+.
Phil’s view is he has not even started yet and with the support of his key people, a strong online team and great customer service staff his vision and determination is very apparent when you meet him.
From humble beginnings 40 years ago as a shop specialising in sales, spares and repairs of commercial microwave ovens the business has been through an amazing transformation. It all started with the purchase of a domain name www.catering-appliance.com and within one year the family realised its future. Online sales were growing exponentially compared to takings over the physical shop counter. Within a year of purchasing the domain name the family made the decision to close the shop and move the operation to Phil’s mum and dad’s home in Sedburgh.
With the business now shaped as an online retailer the company grew 100% taking sales from £500K to £1M. The growth continued year on year and more orders meant more staff and with this came the growing pains of expansion from running a business from a family home. It is at this point that Armstrong Watson stepped in with their Blue advisory team. They had been managing the accounts and monitoring the activity of Phil and the family and knew the business needed more strategic advice and direction. With rapid growth of any business there are so many details to act on and manage and Phil recognised it was time for honest, independent advice away from the family as all were too emotionally involved.
The Blue process introduced Phil to a more disciplined approach to managing the growth, helping form achievable action plans, guidance on structure, people management, recruitment challenges and the sounding board he needed for decisions. That first decision being to relocate to larger premises in Kendal, enabling expansion in terms of physical space and wider recruitment opportunities.
Working with the Blue advisory team Phil has learnt a lot about himself, is more self aware, feels prepared for the growth ahead and has a greater understanding of his numbers. He now feels his dream is being realised and more opportunities and choices are coming his way. Phil has moved from being consumed in the business 24/7 to finding time for his own family and recently even had a full week away from the business for a holiday and is now taking steps to have weekends off too.
In terms of business and work life balance Phil Wearmouth has identified that independent advice from an advisory team is priceless. Phil and the family have a plan, can manage and monitor delivery and are currently focusing on their aim and Phil’s dream for the Catering Appliance Superstore to be one of the leaders in the sector.