A Cornwall marketing agency is celebrating a bumper year after recording double-digit growth and increased profit in the last 12 months.
Truro based MPAD, which provides marketing, public relations, advertising and design services, saw an increase in turnover of 26 percent during the financial year 2012/13, recording a profit of 11.5 percent.
The company attributes its success to strengthening relationships with existing clients, targeting key sectors, improving efficiency and focusing on its business goals.
MPAD’s director, Rachel Picken, who has recently returned to work after five months’ maternity leave, said: “We’ve had a real drive to grow the business and improve efficiencies within the team to ensure we have the capacity to deal with the increased demand from existing and new clients.
“We’ve continued our focus on key sectors – charity, not-for-profit and environmental – where we have gained a reputation as experts.
“This is on top of the work we do for organisations in the professional service, leisure and tourism and technology sectors.
“The team have been incredibly focused, however, this is just the start. We’re aiming for a further 20 percent increase in the coming year to continue our growth plans.”
The company has employed the services of freelance finance director, Jeremy Kirk from South West FD, as well as working with Oxford Innovation through its Grow Cornwall programme.
Rachel added: “Jeremy has helped give us clarity and has the ability to ask tough questions to get us to think about every business decision we make and the implication it will have on the bottom line.
“His support over the last 12 months has been invaluable.”
Highlights for the company over the last 12 months include a contract with globally operating ShelterBox as interim press office plus existing clients Driftwood Spars and Henry Orchard and Sons’ success at the Cornwall Business Awards.
Rachel Picken completed her Chartered Institute of Public Relations Diploma while graphic designer, Matt Hollands, won the New Talent award at the 2012 Media Innovation Awards.
MPAD’s managing director, Mark Picken, said: “Our growth is a fantastic achievement and one that the whole team should be very proud of.
“I think it’s also important to recognise our clients and suppliers and thank them for the support they have given us over the years.”
Statement from MPAD UTD chairman, player and former manager, Mark Picken:
“After much consideration I have decided to step down completely from Sunday football.
I took over running MPAD UTD in summer 2006 and over the last seven seasons we have won the Gerald Sobey Shield twice, the Peter Hickey Cup once (and finished as runners up once), finished as Division One runners up and secured promotion from Division Two.
I want to have one last go at a full Saturday season before I get too old and I’m unable to do that while being involved in Sundays.
If anyone wants to take over running a Sunday League football club then the deadline to register with County FA for next season is Friday, May 31! We’ve got players and a sponsor lined up – just need someone to do all the work…..
Anyway, thanks to everyone for their involvement and support to what has been a pretty successful seven seasons.”
West Cornwall Sunday League Division One team, MPAD United, claimed their second Gerald Sobey Shield triumph after beating Truro GWRSA in a close final at Wendron.
In a repeat of the 2011 final, MPAD’s 3-2 win prevented Truro, who had already won the league and Sunday cup, from claiming the treble.
After having the better of the early exchanges MPAD fell behind following a goalmouth scramble.
The goal sparked Truro into life and they started to create further problems.
But MPAD struck back and drew level when a free kick from Dan Loftus deceived everyone, including Truro’s keeper, and crept in.
Moments later MPAD took the lead when Ben Kellow cut in from the right and squared for player manager, Mike Cudlipp, to poke home.
Cudlipp then grabbed his second, and MPAD’s third, five minutes later following a defence splitting pass from Christian Blundell.
Truro had a chance to pull a goal back before the break only for a free header from a corner to crash back off the crossbar.
In the second half MPAD had the chance to grab a fourth and virtually seal the win when Kellow was played through one on one, but a double save from the Truro keeper denied the winger.
With 30 minutes to go Truro scored their second from close range to set up a tense finish.
Despite a constant bombardment the MPAD defence held firm until the final whistle.
The win came two weeks after MPAD secured the Division One runners up spot, where they became the first team in five seasons other than Truro and Tremough to finish in the top two.
More great designs from the MPAD Design Hub.
Matt has produced some amazing postcards for Clean Cornwall:
MPAD Matt Hollands creates clean, uncluttered and impacting designs. Don’t take our word for it. He won Best New Talent at last years Media Innovation Awards.
He has been putting his skills to good use recently for a number of exciting projects, including this one for Dash Self Store.
MPAD has incredible clients that do incredible things.
The Cornwall Business Awards celebrates the achievements of Cornish businesses and four of MPAD’s clients and partners came away with awards.
Henry Orchard won Business Leader of the year, The Driftwood Spars picked up the award for Best Use of Superfast Broadband, Cornwall Ferries won the Marketing award and long time collaborators Mark Grice and Andy Robbens from MyRJ won the award for Best New Business.
Award’s are a great way to build client confidence, engage with the wider business community, boost staff morale and generate PR.
MPAD supported Henry Orchard and The Driftwood Spars with their application writing by telling the amazing stories. If you are planning on entering your company for an award drop us an email and we may be able to help you tell your story. Often we find elements that you may take for granted that can make the difference between being shortlisted and winning.
A sculptor from Penryn has realised his dream of starting his own business thanks to support from Truro based South West Investment Group (SWIG).
ICA Creation Ltd is the brainchild of sculptor and entrepreneur Kamil Waniowski and produces lightweight up scaled models of “literally anything.”
Kamil, who has recently relocated back to Cornwall with his Cornish wife and children, got the idea whilst living in The Netherlands: “I was working as a sculptor in stone, selling to shops and the like when a friend asked me to help on a project sculpting in foam.
“Polystyrene foam is lightweight and quick to work with and I just fell in love with the possibilities.”
ICA Creation produces sculptures or models primarily for the marketing and promotion industries and has recently created a life-sized model of Buzz Lightyear for toy manufacturer Marbel.
“There really are no limits to what can be created and because everything is weather proof and highly portable these models are perfect for promotional events and displays.
“Anyone involved in marketing that wants something unique and impactful should get in touch for a chat because the possibilities are endless.
“If you have an idea we can turn it into something physical.”
One of the biggest hurdles for business start-ups is often financing the project.
“As we keep hearing in the media, it is difficult to get funding for new businesses these days, but I was very fortunate to get to know John Peters from SWIG.” Added Kamil
“He helped me negotiate the world of funding, loans and grants brilliantly.
“I have to thank him for everything really, without his expertise and support I don’t think that ICA Creation would have got off the ground.
“It takes someone to believe in what you are trying to achieve and John had faith in both myself and the business plan.
“I am now determined to prove him right and make this business work.”
ICA Creation secured £35,000 from the South West Loans Fund loan to enable them to get the specialist equipment needed.
Funding also came from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Business Investment for growth (BIG) programme, delivered by the Cornwall Development Company.
John Peters, fund manager for SWIG said: “Kamil has a great vision for the business and a great product which we already knew he could market successfully from his time in Holland.
“Anyone who is thinking of starting a business needs to think about their market, their product and their business plan.
“If all of those boxes are ticked then there is funding available to help you get started.”
Kamil and his partner Lucy now plan to spend the next five years developing the business into several key markets and they are determined to take ICA Creation as far as possible.
“We have produced a new brochure.” Added Kamil.
“Anyone that wants to check out some of our work can visit the website www.icacreation.co.uk.”
To find out more about SWIG and how they can help kick start your business visit www.southwestinvestmentgroup.co.uk.
A Cornish entrepreneur has realised his dream by opening a new furniture shop in Kenwyn Street, Truro.
Three Rivers Furniture is the result of a million pound investment and promises good quality furniture from British manufacturers.
Proprietor, Matthew Hurst, is a familiar face in the Cornish furniture world and he knows a thing or two about the business; “I have worked in the furniture industry in Cornwall for 30 years now.
“Starting this business for myself has enabled me to bring everything I have learned over the years together.”
In an age where out of town retail parks and the Internet are putting pressure on town centres Matthew says the demand is still there for in town retail.
“I wouldn’t have invested my money in this venture if it wasn’t going to work.” He added.
“We know that furniture is one area where the online stores can’t compete with a physical shop for customer experience.
“People want to see the product, touch it and to sit on it to feel how robust it is.
“You would be surprised how many times I have been asked if the drawers have dovetail joints in them or not.
“Well made, stylish furniture that is built to last is always in high demand and that is what we will be offering the consumer.”
Neil Scott, BID Manager for Totally Truro, the Business Improvement District said: “We are delighted that Three Rivers Furniture has opened for business on Kenwyn Street.
“Matthew has a wealth of experience in the industry and this new venture will further strengthen Truro’s portfolio of destination shops, particularly in this area which already hosts a unique and diverse range of independent local businesses.
“It demonstrates that Truro is a great little city with a thriving business community and I wish Three Rivers Furniture every success.”
The showroom occupies a 3000 square foot site with off street parking and level access at the top of Kenwyn Street in the western quarter or Truro.
“Some people call this part of town the Artisan District because of the independent specialist shops.” Added Matthew.
“You can come to this part of the City and find bespoke kitchen suppliers, designer furniture and soft furnishings that you can’t find in out of town retail parks, it’s a really great little area.
“We will also have many items in stock that you can take away that day.
“For made to order furniture we can deliver at a time convenient to you and not when the courier company have deliveries in your area.”
The shop re-fit for Three Rivers Furniture has employed local craftsmen and trades throughout, something that Matthew was insistent on.
“It was so important for us to use local suppliers and trades for this project, firstly because it keeps the money in the local community and secondly because we can work closer with them to ensure everything is right.”