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Bibby Financial Services – case study – Consilium Contracting Services

Paisley based start-up Consilium Contracting Services Ltd, is targeting a turnover of £1million after its first year of trading having secured business funding from Bibby Financial Services.

Owner and Managing Director Paul McGrath set-up the technical contracting services company in March 2014, after spotting a gap in the construction market for high quality, flexible and adaptable mainline contractor services. The business provides an array of technical maintenance, installation and repair services to both private and public sectors.

With 17 years’ experience in the industry, Paul found that many larger construction businesses were looking for sub-contractors to take on work they didn’t have the capacity to complete themselves, and this led to an increasing demand for technical engineers.

Since then, the business has grown to employ 16 staff, primarily working from the M62 corridor northwards.

Paul said: “The firm evolved hugely from the word go, adapting to meet our clients’ needs. We offer what our customers want, so we created roles we hadn’t originally planned for, such as joiners and decorators. This was on top of anticipated roles such as technical engineers, technical director, contract managers, and our soon to be appointed compliance and strategy director.”

Despite initially investing his own money, six months into the venture Paul’s business was no longer able to grow. The cashflow needed was not available due to lengthy customer payment terms which meant that working capital was not received in time to fund new contracts.

Paul found it difficult to find a sustainable source of finance as the banks would only offer the business an overdraft, so he researched alternative forms of finance which were more suitable for the company.

Paul said: “Consilium was growing at such a rate, we actually had to turn down various business opportunities in the summer, as the cashflow restrictions we were experiencing meant we couldn’t commit to the contracts. We needed funding quickly so we contacted several providers but Bibby Financial Services was the only funder to reply within 24 hours and we had the funding required within four weeks.

“Having finance available so quickly has enabled me to grow the business again. We can now take on new contracts knowing that we have the capital available to augment our resource and meet our obligations within the supply-chain. Additionally, now my time is freed-up I can network and meet potential new customers helping to develop the business further.”

As well as increasing the firm’s turnover, Paul is planning to take-on new staff and to expand into South West England in 2015.

Paul continued: “Bibby Financial Services has worked closely with me to set-up credit limits according to our customer base projections in-line with our own business plans. I am really pleased with the relationship I have with BFS, the team are very helpful and quick to respond to any questions.”

Euan Bell, relationship manager at Bibby Financial Services in Scotland, said: “Consilium has achieved so much in such a short period of time. The construction sector is offering growth opportunities for many businesses. Paul clearly has high ambitions for the business and we are pleased that we can help these come to fruition.

“Consilium’s story highlights the problems that can be faced by many young businesses when looking for funding, and demonstrates how having the right type of funding can support growth.”