A Preston businesswoman who makes rustic furniture from reclaimed wood has doubled her sales in the past 12 months.Advertisement
Leona Marsh runs Marsh Mill Interiors, which operates from a workshop on Preston Docks. She creates bespoke tables, benches, shelves and other furniture from old scaffolding panels. Her clients include cafes, bars, offices and businesses across the UK.
After receiving business support from the University of Central Lancashire, Leona’s sales leapt by over 100 per cent in 2019, with over 200 pieces of bespoke furniture created.
The business support came from UCLan’s Lancashire Forum Creative, which is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund and supported by Boost. It aims to support small and medium-sized creative business owners to learn new skills about running a company.
Read more: Boost Business Growth Hub bolsters Preston businesses
Leona said: “I think many small business owners have a similar mindset. I felt that because it was my business, I should do everything, from dealing with sales and accounts through to writing all the content for the website.
“At the same time, choosing to spend on marketing or professional development became more difficult when that money came directly out of my revenue.
“The Lancashire Forum Creative course helped me to step back and change my mindset on how I spend my time with the business, and put in place some processes to separate my creative and administrative time and become more efficient.
“As a new business, it’s fair to say I could never have afforded the level of support that I have received from UCLan, which has been really important in helping me to develop and grow the company.”
Elena Vasilieva, Project Manager at Lancashire Forum Creative, said: “Every company has different aims, from start-up businesses like Leona’s, through to established SMEs.
“The Lancashire Forum Creative offers a supportive peer-to-peer learning network, which enables you to engage and learn from other business leaders.
“For some businesses, that might mean sharing ideas about business growth or new products, through to recommendations of sub-contractors or even just somebody to hold you to account so you stick to your goals.”
For more information on the Lancashire Forum Creative, visit the UCLan website or contact Project Manager Elena Vasilieva on 01772 894547 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To find out more about Leona’s business, visit the Marsh Mill Interiors website.
Read more: Preston entrepreneur says 2020 could be the year of the ‘side hustle’
What do you think of Leona’s success? Let us know in the comments.