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Doncaster facilities management firm shortlisted for award after rapid expansion

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A Doncaster facilities management company which started life just over two-and-a-half years ago at a dining room table is forecasting a turnover of more than half a million pounds by early next year.

Signum Facilities Management has been shortlisted for Doncaster Chamber’s prestigious Small Business of the Year award for 2014, having won the Business Start-up Awards last year.

From its base at Prime Business Centre in Bentley, Signum provides bespoke facilities management and electrical services across the UK. Its clients, who are primarily in the education, health and logistics sectors, include Doncaster Rovers FC and St Gobain Glass, one of the world’s leading flat glass manufacturers, as well as local NHS Trusts.

Headed up by Ian and Jill Wood, the firm prides itself on saving clients time and money while managing their premises, working with customers to improve energy efficiency and reduce operating costs.

The company typically reduces its clients’ annual maintenance costs by around 35 per cent, which can equate to thousands of pounds. In one case the annual saving was 52 per cent.

Such achievements have earned the company a solid reputation for understanding customers’ needs and have led to the firm experiencing rapid growth.

Established in 2012 with a zero budget, Signum achieved a turnover of £200,000 in its first year and is forecasting a turnover of more than £500,000 for 2014/15.

The company manages a large team of sub-contractors and has four full time employees with plans to increase this to six in 2015.

The company’s expansion has been supported by Business Doncaster, a partner in the South Yorkshire Sector Growth Enhancement Programme (SYSGEP), which is part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Yorkshire and The Humber ERDF Programme (2007-13).

Business Doncaster helped Signum to develop its marketing plan which included developing its slogan ‘Taking care of buildings so that you can take care of business’.

Additional support has included a website and social media review, sales advice, help to create a Winter Warmth Campaign for schools and residential homes and assistance with exhibiting at the annual Business Doncaster Showcase.

Jill Wood, who has a background working in the NHS, said: “We’re absolutely delighted with what we have achieved in the last two years. I think the main reason we have been so successful is the quality of service we provide.

“I was able to look at the service I had received as a client while working in the NHS and when the Government handed more power to clinical commissioning groups I identified a gap in the market to deliver a better service, of greater value to companies.

“It doesn’t matter what time of day or what day of the week a customer contacts us, we are there with support. It is about going that extra mile and communicating well with customers.”

Doncaster Chamber’s Small Business of the Year Award will be presented at an awards ceremony on tomorrow at Doncaster Racecourse.

The award will be given to the company that demonstrates all-around excellence, with the judging focusing on financial performance and future objectives, the competitive advantage of the business and a commitment to customer service.

Last year Signum won the Doncaster Chamber Business Start Up of the Year award which is open to businesses that have been trading for under two years and demonstrated continued growth.

Jill said: “Winning the Start Up of the Year award in 2013 was fantastic so for us to even get to the stage of being nominated as finalists for the Small Business of the Year award just 12 months later is amazing.

“It’s really pleasing for us that people are judging our company and saying that we are giving a good service. This shows we have achieved what we set out to do when Ian and I drew up our plans on the dining room table.

“We’re looking forward to an enjoyable evening at the awards ceremony, whatever the outcome.”

Sue Harrison, sector growth manager at Business Doncaster, said: “It is fantastic to see another Doncaster company doing so well and benefiting from our programme with the networking and supply chain opportunities provided.”

In May of this year the firm was chosen by Dragon’s Den entrepreneur Theo Paphitis to appear on his ‘Small Business Sunday’ (#SBS) on Twitter. Businesses are invited to tweet Theo between 5pm and 7.30pm on Sundays and he re-tweets his favourite six to his 455,000 followers. 

Jill Wood of Signum
Jill Wood of Signum

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