IPCA was founded by Terry Hughes with his son Matthew and son-in-law David Scott in February this year and within a few weeks had already landed a large contract with a major high street retailer.
The company is now in advanced negotiations with two more household names — another national retail chain and a global soft drink company – for contracts valued at more than £50,000 in total.
Terry puts the early success of IPCA down to planning, procedure and focus. “We realised from the very outset that to compete effectively with giants like Rentokil and Rokill, we would have to run a very tight ship,” he said.
IPCA was established as a limited company but not trading when Terry approached his local enterprise support agency Business Focus for assistance and advice on putting together a business plan and getting the company started. Business London’s Pre-start and Start Up services are co-funded by the European Social Fund and London Development Agency.
A detailed business plan defined long-term objectives
“Business Focus taught us the value of having a detailed business plan in place. I cannot stress enough the importance of this – it’s not just for waving at bank managers, but a blueprint that charts the way forward for the company. Those who fail to plan properly are staring disaster in the face,” said Terry.
He enrolled on their Pre-Start programme, followed by numerous one-on-one mentoring sessions. After three weeks of hard work, the business plan was in place, clarifying IPCA’s proposition and defining its long-term objectives.
Business Focus helped review the plan and advised Terry on specific sections – such as financial forecasting and securing business premises. The business plan has provided Terry with a blueprint for running the business and a set of benchmarks designed to check the company’s ongoing progress.
Terry explained that procedure, structure and focus are extremely important in the pest control industry – which makes the business notoriously admin-intensive. Due to the vast number of laws, rules and regulations governing this industry, there is an enormous amount of paperwork to be done and records and reports must be completed quickly and efficiently for a company to remain in business.
Now a going concern, IPCA is managed by Terry from the company’s Barnfield Road headquarters in Orpington while his two partners deal with on-site pest control operations along with a full-time technician employed by the firm.
Terry said: “We are extremely grateful for the support we have received from Business Focus. Our advisers pointed us in the right direction by helping to develop the all-important business plan. With their help a marketing campaign is the next step, which will involve launching a website, an advertising campaign in the Yellow Pages and Thomson regional directories as well as regular direct mail shots. It looks like a promising future for IPCA, but bad news for the rats, insects and other pests!”