Extract from St Helens Chamber of Commerce Newsletter.
St Helens entrepreneur Jeff Bimson has his sights firmly set on expanding his business across the United States and Canada after winning a $300,000 deal to supply his products to a Canadian-based snow plough company.
Haydock-based Winch Solutions secured the lucrative deal after attending its first ever trade show in the United States. A chat between Jeff and the snow plough company exhibiting on a neighbouring stand led to a meeting with the owner of the company and a deal was later struck.
"The trade show was in Las Vegas and we got talking to the sales manager on the next stand who turned out to be from Merseyside originally," says Jeff. "This led us to meet the owner and after explaining more about our business and products, we were able to make a deal. "Had we not made the decision to attend the show, it would never have happened and we are really glad we invested in a trip out there."
The company, based at Haydock Industrial Estate, supplies electric and hydraulic winches to customers who require them for pulling, hauling and dragging. The winches are required for a variety of applications including for use on off-road vehicles and recovery and emergency vehicles. The winches are designed to Winch Solutions' unique specifications for various clients including the British Military, recovery companies, haulage companies, the emergency services and customers involved in off-road outdoor pursuits.
"When I first started out as a sole trader in 2005 I would buy the winches off the shelf, but as my knowledge increased and I got feedback from customers, I began to supply tailor-made winches," explains Jeff. Winch Solutions, a family-run firm, turned over £150,000 during its first year of trading and this has now increased more than tenfold.
The company was established when Jeff, a former manufacturing director for a multi-national company, was asked by a friend to find better priced products for his breakdown recovery company. "I identified winches, recognised an opportunity and went from there," says Jeff, whose company now distributes its products to 30 countries world-wide and has warehouses in Canada and North America.
"Now we have a foothold in the United States, we are seizing the opportunity to build on that and hopefully build our brand there as the opportunities are endless," adds Jeff, who has also developed sister company Warrior Power Products, supplying a range of products including generators, compressors, garage equipment, air tools and electric power products. Jeff has received help and support from the Chamber's Business Advocates team, including advice on health and safety polices, particularly around risk assessments. "I'm really impressed with the level of support on offer at the Chamber, we have found it really useful," he adds.