BRENIG CONSTRUCTION (Colwyn Bay)

Origins

Brenig Construction was borne out of a realisation of a need for a sub-contractor within the North Wales area who had the required skill set to offer a Principal Contractor mentality within a sub-contract role. Having worked for a number of larger organisations within the area, the directors identified a gap in the market which they believed Brenig Construction could fulfil in terms of health and safety, environmental, quality and commercial. Both Howard and Mark (the directors) have been friends since they were children and having both decided to follow a career in civil engineering, they both ended up working for the same national contractor. Starting their own business was something that was often discussed and once the opportunity presented itself it was something that they both felt they couldn’t turn down. The motivation for starting the business was an opportunity to be in control of their own destiny within a sector that they are both very passionate about.

Our main challenges when starting the business

By far the most significant challenge has been cash-flow. Having grown the company to a turnover of circa £5 million within the first 3 years has been challenging. Key to managing this has been selecting the right clients and contract to ensure that prompt payments are being received within the terms of the contract. This allows accurate cash-flow forecasting within the company. Another a key challenge has been continuity of works within the company to allow an accurate pipeline of work to be planned in order to manage resource levels. This has sometimes resulted in taking on a large number of smaller contracts or as the company’s trading history has developed, few number of larger contracts.

Success Factor

The single biggest factor which has contributed to the rapid growth of Brenig Construction is repeat business. Doing exactly what it promises clients has resulted in them wanting to work with Brenig Construction again and again. Testament to this is the fact that it has completed in excess of twenty projects for one client. Brenig Construction adopts a collaborative and partnering approach to all works undertaken, utilising a direct open book approach to any given situation, focusing on the issues at hand and resulting in a swift resolution to the many challenges which it faces on a daily basis. Value for money is an important part of securing repeat business and as a result contributing to rapid growth.

The Future

Key to growing a business within the sector is ensuring it never stands still and that the company is fluid and able to diversify within the realms of the profession. Whilst Brenig Construction’s main activity has been civil engineering projects, it has recently carried out a contract to deliver 28 units for a Local Housing Authority to help meet the demand for the affordable housing within North Wales. In addition to this, it has set up Brenig Homes (a private spec housing company that is shortly due to complete its first development and is in the process of working on a number of sites to secure planning to facilitate more development opportunities) and SEEL Plant Hire (which was borne out of a realisation of the amount of monies the firm was spending each month on external plant hire and has now allowed the firm to be a more competitive contractor. Finally, it has a training plan in place that will mean an investment of £40,000 in training and upskilling staff over the next nine months, as it believes firmly in developing its own people and giving them the opportunity to grow with the business.