A bespoke packaging manufacturer from County Durham described participating in the Durham Business Opportunities Programme (DBOP) Incubator Zone as the catalyst for growth helping them to double their turnover and recruit four new members of staff as they moved to brand new premises in Bishop Auckland.
JSB Enterprises Ltd produce bespoke cardboard boxes of any size, offer small quantities and provide a service that delivers to the exact specifications of the client; something that differentiates them from the competition. The company signed up to the Durham Business Opportunities Programme (DBOP) led Incubator Zone in 2016. The programme helps micro and small businesses in County Durham to prepare for exhibiting via the annual Engineering and Manufacturing Conference (EMCON) in Newton Aycliffe.
As part of the Incubator Zone JSB attended several expert-led workshops to help them make the most of exhibiting at a large conference such as EMCON as well as developing promotional materials such as flyers and pop up banners.
Managing director and founder of JSB Enterprises Rob Barrons said: “The Incubator Zone workshops opened a lot of doors for us, as, up until then we hadn’t engaged with any type of business support. Not only did we secure several key supply chain customers as a direct result of exhibiting at EMCON, we were introduced to many other support organisations who were able to help us secure funding to take on more staff and source new machinery.”
Lisa Wall, the Durham Business Opportunities Programme Engagement Officer met with Rob to understand more about their growth ambitions and spot further opportunities. Part of Lisa’s role is to facilitate business growth by understanding business needs and signposting to the most relevant business support partner saving businesses valuable time and money.
Lisa said: “Rob’s business was booming after exhibiting at EMCON, they needed to take on more staff to meet the increase in demand for their services. I introduced Rob to Lynn Groves from the Durham Works Programme who was able to help Rob recruit two new members of staff leaving Rob to concentrate on running day to day operations.”
Rob has also benefited from being a regular member of the DBOP led Bishop Auckland and Shildon Network, a bi-monthly networking event helping local businesses make new connections and increase collaborative working locally.
Rob said: “I’ve found going the network extremely beneficial for JSB. The meetings can highlight important issues that we wouldn’t otherwise be aware of, the things that smaller businesses can forget about helping us save time, money and become more efficient. The network provides a sense of community, having people to call on locally when we need other products and services can only be a good thing for the area.”
Since they started manufacturing bespoke Boxes in 2015, they have built up an impressive client list including Thorn Lighting, Macfarlane Packaging, Water Filtration and Triodonic which meant that the company needed larger premises to service their growing order book.
JSB moved to larger, more energy-efficient premises in Bishop Auckland in April 2019 providing them with the space they need to grow.
Lisa is now working with JSB to source funding to buy new machinery, which will enable them to offer the additional service of two colour printing.
Lisa added “The purpose of DBOP is to facilitate business growth by simplifying the business support available. JSB is an excellent example of how we can support the changing needs of businesses in the short, medium and long term.”
Rob concluded “It’s great to know that should I need any support Lisa is always on the other end of the phone or an email. Having that kind of support is so important, you don’t feel like you’re out there on your own and if DBOP can’t help they’ll certainly know someone that can. I would recommend it to any business looking to grow.”
The Durham Business Opportunities Programme (DBOP) aims to help County Durham business grow by linking them with tangible opportunities to help facilitate your business growth. The six-year programme for SMEs is running up until November 2022, is funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and delivered by Business Durham, the economic development arm of Durham County Council.