Local Business Accelerators

Robert Clague 'Managing Director Conserveco Limited
Robert Clague 'Managing Director Conserveco Limited

DIFFICULT though it was, decisions have been made - and Business Monthly can today reveal the shortlisted companies in the Local Business Accelerators competition.0

We sifted though all the entries, with the help of Richard Wright, executive director of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, to come up with our favourite five.

The list includes a builder, letting agent, sweet maker, car cleaning product retailer and a dog food manufacturer.

A varied bunch, but all stood out as having a good idea well executed.

The LBA contest highlights the value of newspaper advertising and one-to-one mentoring and is for companies between one and five years old.

The local winner, which will be announced after a more detailed look at the firms, will be announced in February.

They will receive advertising and mentoring from Richard - who successfully sorted out the accounts at last year’s winner 3SL Dental and gave the firm a 15 per cent boost.

They will also move forward to a national contest with a string of prizes up for grabs including mentoring from Dragons’ Den star Deborah Meaden.

Marshall Coley Joinery

WORKERS at Marshall Coley Joinery has completed countless job since it was established in 2008, but it is the work at local schools which remains uppermost in their minds.

Boss Paul Marshall says creating modern, affordable classrooms which help kids learn has given them the most satisfaction.

The company, based on Handsworth Grange Road, Handsworth, employs up to 10 and turns over up to £50,000 a year.

Paul says they are unable to afford advertising and a free campaign in The Star would create the awareness they deserve of the professional jobs they do.

Mentoring would help younger employees gain further qualifications. The aim is to hit 50 employees in the next five years.

He added: “If we were to gain the awareness we crave, we would use it as a forward-thinking tool to aid the growth of the business.”

SMARTBARF

IN the wild, wolves and foxes consume a range of vitamins and minerals because their prey did - now dog food is attempting to mimic this mix.

Owen Passey has set up a business selling dried BARF - biologically appropriate raw food - which he claims is the way to feed a dog as nature intended.

SmartBarf is a powder containing more than 50 different seeds, nuts, fruits, berries, vegetables, pulses and herbs and adding a couple of teaspoons to mince is said to create a complete dog meal.

His biggest order so far was enough to feed 1,000 collies for a month.

But Owen, of Norton, Sheffield, has a turnover less than £10,000-a-year and can’t afford advertising.

He said: “Having a product that supplies a niche market means that local advertising isn’t an affordable option for a small and new business. Mentoring would provide the experience and knowledge needed to develop the product and the market.”

ANANDA FOODS

WINNING The Star’s Entrepreneur of the Year award led to a deal with a restaurant chain for marshmallow maker Amanda Townend.

The mum-of-three was approached by Le Pain Quotidien - which has 22 outlets in the South - to supply her sweet, vegetarian treats following her high profile win.

Amanda, who established Ananda Foods at her Holmesfield home in 2009, is convinced of the value of local newspaper advertising.

She said: “We provide handmade marshmallows nationally and internationally, but are relatively unknown in our own area.

“We are a cottage industry, and we would like to see our products available in cafes and coffee houses locally.

“Raising our profile through local newspaper advertising would help achieve this end by giving proprietors confidence that our brand and products are known.”

ECO TOUCH

YOU don’t have to be a Berber to use Waterless Car Wash, over here it won the Auto Express Best Buy award 2012.

The cleaner is designed to be sprayed on and wiped away without using a drop of precious H20.

It’s also green: biodegradable and phosphate free.

The product is imported by Conserveco, trading as Eco Touch, based in Dronfield.

The company, which employs five, makes a range of green ‘car detailing’ products.

Owner Robert Clague said: “Our business is fledgling, and trying to establish a name in a very competitive car care market is difficult, so mentoring and advertising support would be hugely beneficial.

“Our core values are eco-conscious and that filters all the way through our product range, highlighted by our flagship product, Waterless Car Wash.

“The climate and eco situation is massively important and awareness of ongoing issues with water are something that should be important and made aware via as many people as possible.”

SHEFFLETS

SHEFFLETS is booming on the back of growth in the letting industry but plans to recruit more staff depend on a higher profile and some business advice, says boss Simon Tillyer.

The six-strong company, which is based on Ecclesall Road, has grown through ‘great professional relationships’ in the city.

Simon adds: “We strongly believe we are ready to take the next step to become one of the biggest agencies within the city.

“Newspaper advertising is exactly what we need for great recognition and awareness, helping to attract the customers we need.

“The mentoring is vital to help us understand how best to target the people we need and develop in new areas.”