Family businesses remain vital cogs in the Welsh economic machine. Many are among the most innovative and forward-thinking firms in their sectors.
Healthcare Matters is one such company. It provides quality products and services to the NHS and the care sector. The award-winning Wrexham-based firm, which has grown to be a crucial employer in the area, has a family ethos at its heart.
Here, sales director Adam Spiby shares the Healthcare Matters story and advises other business leaders wanting to expand and grow.
Tell us about Healthcare Matters.
Our story began with my dad, Phil, in 2005. It's strange to think the company wouldn't be here, employing 42 people, without a life-changing event which happened to him 15 years ago.
That year Phil suffered a heart attack and had to have a triple heart bypass. Not only did this save his life, but it also gave him pause for reflection – and he began to map out a new future. As he recovered from the op, he decided he wanted to work for himself. He set up Healthcare Matters, after doing some research, later that year. He hoped to be able to employ my sister and me eventually.
Fourteen years later, my father is managing director of a successful business – and he employs not only me and my sister, Leigh but also his grandson, Liam. When he was starting, our dad had looked at various markets to go into – but he opted for healthcare. He could see it had lots of potential for considerable future growth.
Today we have won awards, multiplied our staffing levels, and brought a new approach to a sector which needed the dynamism, clarity and customer service we offer. And we remain, principally, a family business. I think that's fundamentally how we've been able to build such a strong business which has such an excellent track record in customer satisfaction, and which has ambitions for further growth.
What are your proudest moments in business so far?
We've had so many proud moments at Healthcare Matters, such as winning Excellence in Supply Awards, retaining contracts and winning tenders. But the things that make me most proud are the day-to-day things.
The culture in the business is and always has been about going the extra mile to satisfy customers. This means our direct customers have an excellent experience, as do the clients, patients or service users of our customers. We're always getting fantastic feedback from our customers.
If you were starting again, what would you do differently?
We would have adopted technological solutions earlier.
We've brought in an automated management system, and we now use cloud-based accounts. These things mean we can put our focus on the customer experience. Efficiencies made elsewhere in the company mean we can do what matters in making us a success.
How has support from Business Wales AGP helped your business?
We've enjoyed direct growth thanks to the support from Business Wales AGP, which gave us a fresh perspective on the things we were doing, while also helping us find growth in new markets.
We've had a rebrand, received business support and assistance on trade missions, all of which have helped us increase revenue and expand our workforce.
What advice and guidance would you give other businesses starting out?
● Understand you cannot get every decision right.
● Try to get it right, but when you get it wrong, learn from it and move on.
● Don't dwell on mistakes.