From £13 to 8 figures – BearingBoys have come a long way since their first branch.
As a company, we have always strived for year-on-year growth. 17 years in, we have managed to sustain that, increasing our revenues and margins each year. In the last year we managed to achieve an increase in annual revenue of 58%, which is handsomely above our expectations.
One thing we have always done well as a company is not being afraid to roll the dice, as things start to become comfortable, we make it uncomfortable again. We welcome pressure as that’s what we have got used to, it forces us to perform better.
The team we have assembled want to be challenged and share our desire to transform the company into something we are all proud to be a part of.
We have rolled the dice from as early as I can remember; the company had been trading about 6 months and everything was coming along nicely. Cash flow was stable, but we really needed to break out of working from home, especially as our ambition was to become the Amazon of the Bearings and Power Transmission industry.
We managed to secure a little unit about 1,000 sq ft, with a small office and stores (hardly Amazon I know!).
It needed some kitting out and a bit of investment, which would stretch the budget. However, we were full of optimism on that first day as we organised the new desks and plugged in the phones. The sign went up above the door and the night before we opened I had a dream, that the road leading into the office was clogged with customers queuing to visit our trade counter.
We opened the doors and we waited, and waited some more and then absolutely nothing happened! Rather than it being the grand launch we had dreamt, the phones didn’t ring, nobody visited the trade counter, and we only took one online order.
The first official day of opening and we took a grand total of £13!!
Now you don’t need to be a mathematician to work out those figures would not cut it, with the next day not being much better, suddenly, we were under pressure as we had to bring in sales, fast!
For the next few weeks, we worked like we were possessed by Jordan Belfort, from the Wolf of Wall Street (only legitimately!). We hit the phones hard and made it busy, suddenly our phones were ringing, and people were visiting. Within a few weeks we had blown through our targets and were starting to think about hiring our first member of staff.
This theme continued year-after-year and every time we started to get comfortable, we would invest in new personnel, increase the wage demands, further expand our advertising or improve our systems and processes. We would constantly be adding pressure in order to continue expanding the company.
Now, obviously, the business is in a much more settled position than 17 years ago, however, we have still invested heavily over the last few years in our Midlands and Scotland branches, both of which have been an enormous success. We have invested heavily in our head office in Norwich not only in personnel but on the long-term infrastructure of the business and this year we look to break 8 figures revenue for the first time!