About BEST About BEST

Take inspiration from some businesses we have been working with.

BEST Essex Business Show 2107  – businesses enjoyed a day finding all the support available to them in Essex.

For more successful stories please click on names of the businesses below:

  • Funky Medical Accessories

    “I didn’t have a business background, I’m a midwife, so the support I received from the Growth Hub has given me the confidence to grow my business and allowed me to unlock my potential.” Laura Mudie 

    About

    Funky Medical Accessories design, manufacture and sell baby products. Their range of products include; Pram pegs, Russian Dolls and Teethers.

    The Journey

    Funky Medical Accessories MD, Laura Mudie, was a midwife with an idea to sell “Funky Fobz” – watches for midwifes with a variety of different designs. Laura’s experience as a new mum has led her to design a range of niche sensory toys and products for babies.

    Support provided

    Laura had never received business support when we first met her at an event.

    Working closely with our team of Business Navigators, Laura has now attended one of our pop up business cafés as well as completing several of our business skills workshops.

    Moreover, Laura has benefited from the Growth Hub’s support in accessing a grant from The Department for International Trade which enabled her to attend and network at Europe’s largest nursery show in Germany.

    The BEST Growth Hub was also able to simultaneously refer Funky Medical to the Manufacturing Growth Programme (where she received branding and marketing support for Rosa & Bo) and to the Intellectual property Office where she received advice on trademarking her products.

    Business Support Outcomes

    Funky Medical accessories increased their turnover by 30% in the first year after we started working with them and they have employed 1 additional full time employee.

    Some of their products are now stocked in high street stores such as JoJo Mum and Baby and they have recently been shortlisted for a national award for the category of best baby and toddler product.

    Laura is now receiving global interest – specifically from distributors in Asia and South America.

  • E. Christian & Company Ltd

    The Landscape
    EC Group provides fulfilment, handling and delivery solutions to a wide variety of clients. The broad range and scale of our service offering is expected to increase and to enable this we have been looking to increase the capacity on our current site.

    The Challenge
    Our proposal is to install a pallet racking system in our newly completed warehouse extension – c.a. 10,000 sq ft. The unit will be used to create valuable additional storage and handling capacity that will enable us both to grow and to develop our custom (bonded) warehouse facility.
    As a result this will give us greater flexibility in responding to new and existing clients’ requirements.

    Business Support
    The arrival of the email from the BEST Growth Hub about the new South East Business Boost (SEBB) Grant was extremely timely as the whole project has been calculated to cost around £35,000. Being informed that there was up to £10,000 in grant support available, if we were eligible, would prove to be invaluable.

    “My initial reaction to the email was rather reserved – I expected an extremely onerous process and a massively complex qualification procedure – but in fact the whole thing was completely painless! “ Chris Long , Managing Director

    The Value Added
    We are now in the final stages of the system installation and are excited about how this will impact the Business.

    “It’s been a pleasure working with the BEST and SEBB team on this project and I’m very grateful for all the support we’ve received.”
    Chris Long, Managing Director

    In financial terms, we expect the capacity created to enable us to generate a minimum of £250k per annum, as well as creating between 2 – 10 new full time employee positions alongside our existing workforce.

    The additional revenue will allow us to reinvest into our current business infrastructure with the potential to expand again in other premises that we own.

  • Jarmanmurphy

    ‘Setting up and running a new business can be daunting and challenging – being involved with  BEST Growth Hub  has helped us understand and organise the day to day running of our garden design business.’ 

    Jarmanmurphy is a garden and landscape design company that was formed in 2015 by Sarah Jarman and Anna Murphy after leaving college where they first met.  They launched their partnership at the RHS Tatton Park Flower Show with a small show garden that won a gold medal and best ‘Back to Back’ garden.

    Jarmanmurphy approached BEST Growth Hub  for support and advice on developing a new business.  Initially they attended a drop in afternoon where there were local services and advice on offer.  They also had a 1 to 1 session with an advisor to look at courses that were on offer and to talk about systems for running a business.  They have attended free courses to gain further knowledge about tax and setting up business accounts.

    How this has helped to grow the business

    Being involved with the growth hub and the opportunities it provides has enabled us to feel more confident and knowledgeable in how we have set up our business and how we run it.  We know that we can sign up for courses that meet our needs and also knowing that someone is at the end of the phone to answer any business queries is a great resource to have.

    Future of the business

    We are national finalists in the Society of Garden Designers Awards for 2017 and we are busy designing gardens for our clients in Essex, Hertfordshire, Devon and Wiltshire. We want to continue to develop our brand and business that has grown a reputation for a subtle style of designing, with an emphasis on beautiful naturalistic gardens with a strong sense of place.  We would love to design another show garden in the future.