Skills for Growth - SME Support is a fully funded, tailored service to help upskills your employees and improve business productivity. We're here to help you grow your business through re-shaping, developing your talent and enhancing your team's performance.
Introducing Global Auctioneers
Facing the challenges that come with rapid growth
After many years of experience in the industry, Marcel Duffy started his own online auction house, Global Auctioneers. He managed to generate a turnover of over £1 million in just his first 10 months of trading and employed 10 people. What his business does is enter into contractual relationships with high end retailers to take their slightly damaged goods and sell them online to the General Public. This damage is in reality fairly innocuous such as a small dent in the side of a fridge, which in a kitchen isn’t even visible. There are some goods where just the packaging is damaged. Marcel receives a percentage of the achieved sale price from the retailer, but also buyer’s premium from the bidders.
Due to this rapid success however, he soon ran into a problem, that being he felt the business had “outgrown” the warehousing it was in and needed significantly larger premises. This effectively represented missed revenue, hampering the businesses’ growth. Skills for Growth’s Paula Ackers referred Marcel to our colleague Geoff Clowes from The Growth Hub’s Access to Finance team to help solve this issue. In their early discussions Geoff met with Marcel and his accountant and ultimately he met the client and the accountant’s recommended bank, who seemed interested at first but after several weeks they believed it was too early for them to invest in the business. Marcel was incredibly disappointed by this, so Geoff worked with him and his accountant to create a compelling business plan and forecasts of what Marcel was trying to achieve. In total, Geoff ended up giving 16 hours of ‘one to one’ adviser support to Marcel.
Geoff then introduced Marcel to a good contact of his, Loz O’Connor from FW Capital. And so after a lot of hard work they collectively achieved a great outcome for Marcel in the form of a £150,000 Northern Powerhouse Loan through FW Capital. With this loan, Marcel was able to move his business into a much larger premises and can now take 4 container lorries from Wayfair and John Lewis each week instead of just the 1 he was able to take previously. Another significant output from this is that it facilitated the creation of 9 new jobs. It is also expected that by May 2022 (12 months after funding) that there will be a significant increase in Marcel’s GVA which is a measure of the increase in his financial performance.
Marcel is absolutely delighted with the growth of his business and told Geoff over the phone that his and initially Paula’s help has changed his life. For Geoff, this is the best part of the job as it gives him a tremendous amount of satisfaction knowing that we have made a difference.
This achievement was made possible through our support of Global Auctioneers, and together we have elevated the business to new heights. If you're an SME who would also like to receive our support, please register on our website here or call the team on 0161 237 4444.
The Growth Company is an award-winning, not-for-profit social enterprise with a mission to enable growth, create jobs and improve lives. We provide individuals and businesses with a wide range of services that improve employment, skills, investment and enterprise for the benefit of all, and have been working in the Greater Manchester city region for more than 30 years.
This project receives funding from the European Social Fund as part of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England.
The Department for Work and Pensions is the Managing Authority for the England European Social Fund programme.
Established by the European Union, the European Social Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support skills development, employment and job creation, social inclusion and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.