Jody Goode launched his business, Snowdon Timber, in 2019. Having spent a decade trading timber internationally, he decided it was the right time to go it alone and set up his own company sourcing quality timber to sell to large national outlets.
The company started trading in Mochdre and recently opened a second base in Bangor.
Snowdon Timber has been supported through the Business Wales Accelerated Growth Programme (AGP). The AGP provides targeted support for ambitious growing firms. The programme is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government.
Here Jody Goode shares his business journey and explains how the Business Wales Accelerated Growth Programme has helped the company develop its competitive edge.
Tell us about Snowdon Timber?
The business was born from my passion for sourcing the finest timber to sell to trusted national retailers. After a decade of doing that for big international companies, I decided the time was right for me to branch out alone. Since we launched, we have gone from strength to strength. We have expanded our product range, and now we offer everything from timber decking and garden furniture to top-of-the-range rooftop tents for wild camping. We have opened two sites in Mochdre and Bangor, and business is booming. With more people investing in their homes and gardens, there has been a real surge in demand for quality timber products, so we’re reaping the benefits.
What are your proudest moments in business so far?
I’m proud that I started the business with very little capital outlay. Instead, thanks to my network of contacts and industry knowledge, I could rely on goodwill and trust to purchase our initial stock. So I’m proud that I took a leap of faith, which has certainly paid off. I’m also very proud of our new base in Bangor, which is proving popular with customers.
What challenges have you faced in business?
See above! Starting with limited capital was a challenge, certainly, but I was able to overcome that with careful planning. Unfortunately, COVID also threw us a huge curveball. Suddenly we had to adapt quickly to all the challenges it brought, like social distancing, sickness absence and the rising cost of stock. I’m proud of how we navigated that and became stronger as a team and a business.
If you were starting again, what would you do differently?
I would think more carefully about where we located our first site, and I would have spent more time thinking about staff training and how to empower them to make difficult decisions. But we didn’t know what was coming down the line with COVID, so it’s easy to see those things differently in hindsight!
How has support from Business Wales AGP helped your business?
The Business Wales Accelerated Growth Programme has been hugely helpful to us. The programme has supported us with financial planning, HR, equality and diversity, recruitment and diversification. Our Relationship Manager Idris Price has also been a fantastic source of advice, guidance and support over the last few years. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the programme to ambitious businesses looking to grow.
What advice and guidance would you give other businesses starting out?
Do your research: Before you start planning your business, research whether there is a demand for your products or services to determine whether it is viable.
Take a reality check: I found it helpful to balance my optimism with regular reality checks.
The Business Wales Accelerated Growth Programme is a pan-Wales programme part funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government.