Profit boost for Hard Pressed Cornwall when income streams were cut
Lockdown support from Breakthrough led to maximising growth
Hard Pressed Cornwall have been producing cold-pressed oils since 2018. Founder Jack Baines says he discovered Unlocking Potential’s Breakthrough programme in the early, research and development stages of the business. The initial two-day workshop helped him to establish and refine a business plan, address finances, solidify aims and goals, as well as shape the company ethos.
Access to grants and 1:1 coaching from Breakthrough
Jack continued to receive support from the programme in the form of signposting to grant and funding services, and through a personal one-to-one business development manager, Kathryn Timmins.
The combined impact of the programme and Kathryn influence helped Jack to gain financial confidence through careful budgeting; it also pointed him towards expert advice which helped increase manufacturing output. This in turn meant lower production costs which meant their products became more accessible and competitive. Lower costs also meant Hard Pressed Cornwall products were a viable proposition in shops, rather than only selling in markets; Breakthrough also streamlined their e-commerce approach and facilitated a move online.
Loss of market trading led to new business opportunity
Despite the move away from market trading, the business still relied on it for steady income. So, when Spring 2020’s lockdown was announced, huge uncertainty loomed. Jack’s BDM, Kathryn, was among the first to get in touch, and she was reassuring, letting him know what he might be entitled to, and helping him to see lockdown as a potential opportunity.
With support from Breakthrough Hard Pressed Cornwall saw rise in 2020 profits
Thanks to Breakthrough, Hard Pressed Cornwall did more than just survive the pandemic, it actually increased brand awareness and exposure, increased its online and wholesale trading, and increased profits in 2020.
Part of this was due to a moment during the summer of 2020 when, following a conversation with BDM Kathryn, the business looked into contributing to the community while raising its profile. The calculated risk they took was to collaborate with a local farm to plant an experimental sunflower crop. The project was a huge success, providing environmental benefit, community benefit through charitable fundraising, plenty of social media exposure, and a new product line. (It also provided all concerned with a perfect distraction during the initial lockdown months).
You are unlikely to be perfect at every element of your business, so identify and accept your weaknesses and ask for help when you need to. Cornwall has the highest percentage of self-employed people in the UK. The entrepreneurial spirit is high, and our community is strong. In my experience, your strongest support will come from other producers and businesses around you. Breakthrough was a fantastic platform in which to make contact with like-minded individuals and businesses.
What’s in store for Hard Pressed Cornwall in 2021?
Hard Pressed Cornwall plan to continue to move the company into the wholesale market, increase output, productivity, and production capabilities, and maintain its firm footing in the buoyant Cornish food and drink industry.
Join our next Breakthrough online 4-parter workshop and discover the many benefits of taking part in this fully funded ERDF programme.