Richard Matthews started freshbaked because he knew that the world of training was becoming tired and complacent and the timing was right for someone to ‘do it better’. He had held a senior position in a large training provider and was increasingly frustrated by the way the market was being serviced. It soon became clear that customers were open to trying a new flavour of more dynamic, innovative and colourful training. One of Richard’s frustrations came a desire to do things his own way, so he set up freshbaked with the aim of making a difference. Not only does the company make a difference to the clients it works for, but it also makes a difference to the people who work for the business. The major challenges which faced the business during the first three years were funding, credibility and people. Any new business requires an amount of funding to make it work, fortunately for freshbaked, Richard initially invested £15,000 of his life savings and the company has never looked back. However the lack of additional funding support available did make life difficult during the early years, but through determination and hard work these obstacles were overcome and as a new business without any previous trading history, it was extremely difficult to engage larger organisations to do business with freshbaked. Finally, attracting and retaining the best people for the business was hard. Great people cost money and need to be bought into the vision so that they can see a career path for themselves. freshbaked is passionate about people and have invested considerable sums to ensure that it has the best team possible. Due to its people focussed attitude, it has been able to build a strong, well managed and well regarded business.

Success Factor

freshbaked Training delivers qualifications through funding made available through the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG). Over the past three years, it has established a unique partnership network with a number of key contractors of WAG which has enabled freshbaked to accumulate a large contract value with great growth potential. Nobody else in the marketplace has taken this approach to partnership working and this approach has not only enabled the company to achieve its desired growth in this area, but it has also established the firm’s reputation as a leading provider in the industry. The launch of freshbaked Group structure has been a major driver for the business as it has allowed the business to expand and access new markets. In March 2006, freshbaked established a Group model which has since lead to the formation of freshbaked Business, freshbaked Corporate, freshbaked Communications, freshbaked PR, limegreentangerine and more recently freshbaked People.

The Future

freshbaked plans to further cement its position within the Welsh market and improve its market share through focusing on quality service, customer care and working closer with a growing network of business partners. It then intends to roll out the freshbaked brand into England, then across the whole of the UK. The strategy will involve creating regional hubs which will deliver a core freshbaked offering and with the brand and service established in a regional market, the offering will be augmented by launching other elements of the freshbaked portfolio as each market develops.