A Barnsley company, whose products have been used to repair the Forth Road Bridge and the London Underground, is branching out into new markets through e-commerce.
Adomast makes specialist products for the construction industry, including curing agents that accelerate the setting time of concrete; adhesives for the repair of brick, stone and masonry, and sealants for porous surfaces. Last year its turnover was £1m and this is set to increase by about 60 per cent this year.
But every winter the company, which is based at Shafton near Barnsley, hits a low as the construction industry slows down.
Managing director Denise Wolstenholme said: “Our sales are very influenced by the weather and the winter months were really hitting us hard, so we needed to look at other ways of generating sales.
“We sell chemicals in giant drums that are used by the big players in the construction industry, but those chemicals can also be used by ordinary people to fill wood, clean the patio, repair the car or a boat. So we thought: what about selling in smaller tins online to smaller companies, builders’ merchants and the public rather than just to the larger companies.”
Denise and her colleagues are now setting up an e-commerce business called Profinish, with the help of the Click e-commerce accelerator programme, which is funded by Enterprising Barnsley, a business support programme delivered by Barnsley Council.
Click is run by business start-up experts Enterprise Nation at Barnsley’s Digital Media Centre. Businesses are given eight weeks of intensive support, followed by up to a year of further mentoring.
Participants are taught how to research the market, create a website, protect intellectual property and trade online. The course also helps them develop a brand and get business basics in place, including logistics, sales, marketing, social media and finances.
“The support from the Click programme has been excellent. They’ve given us the knowledge and support to get it all up and running and the extra income will really help us through the winter months,” said Denise.
The company, which has also been given marketing support by Enterprising Barnsley, has increased its staffing levels from four to 11 in the last year and plans to take on an apprentice and two new staff in the coming months.
Tracey Johnson, founder of Enterprising Barnsley’s Click programme, said: “Adomast is just the sort of company we aim to help embrace e-commerce. They have a successful business already, and wanted to take advantage of the online market place to find new customers. Selling online will help them to diversify their market and grow their business even further creating new jobs in the process.
Enterprising Barnsley is supported financially by the European Union and has attracted £3,015,276 investment from the European Regional Development Fund as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development, through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme.