Cladspray Solutions are a commercial spray-painting family business based in Norwich in the East of England owned by Tom and Kim Carter. Operating from Norwich they have teams available to work nationwide 24/7 to deliver cost effective solutions while never compromising standards of workmanship. Paul Andrews went to meet them to find out more.
This is an entrepreneurial family firm that has worked hard from the start to achieve success as Tom explains. “It all began with me, a lad and a van and we grew quite quickly so Kim joined us as a director and we now have 15 full time employees and use a lot of sub-contractors as and when the need arises.”
Tom has a good background in the sector and gained plenty of experience before setting up on his own. “I have a background in roof sheeting and cladding and erected numerous industrial units as well as having another job that used spray painting machines. We set up a business that put the two together and to be honest have not looked back. We now operate all over the UK but most of the work is centred around East Anglia.”
The business is based around airless spray-painting machines that apply a variety of different coatings to a variety of surfaces. Tom was driven from the start and always wanted to be at the top of the sector and is delighted with the growth of the business to date. “We have had an exciting journey but the perennial challenge is staff and finding skilled workers is not easy, nor has it ever been, and of course there are now supply chain issues that we are having to deal with,” explains Tom. “We are finding ourselves holding more stock, and a wider range of products in stock, to enable us to respond to the needs of our customers on a timely basis but we are, and always have been adaptable, as a business, so take all these challenges in our stride,” he continues.
Tom is passionate about the sector and driven to be the best and is keen to take those in the company on the journey too. “We have a great team and our staff demonstrate our values day-in-day-out and we want them to be part of the Cladspray journey,” he explains. “There are lots of opportunities too as we grow and I am looking to step back further from the tools and to focus on the next stage in the development of the business,” he adds.
Like many entrepreneurial business owners in the early days of their business Tom is totally driven to be successful. “We love what we do and the future affords plenty of opportunities for us and we are building the right structures to make the most of all that the future brings. It is important that we put the structures in place to help us grow and manage the business too so taking time now to focus on the business is something that is high on our agenda at the moment,” explains Tom.
“Kim and I are young and have plenty of plans for the future but who knows where we will end up. In terms of possible next generation, we have two young daughters, so it is difficult to know if it is something that will be of interest to them but there will never be any pressure on them to join the business. They have their own lives and it will be up to them to shape their own paths, but if it involves the business down the line then we can look to accommodate that in due course,” continues Tom.
As a husband and wife team, Tom and Kim are clear on their individual roles and responsibilities too. “It is important that we focus on the business and what it needs, playing to our strengths,” adds Kim.
“We are chilled as a couple and don’t argue and work certainly does not rule the conversations at home either. We have complimentary skills which certainly helps with the definition of roles and I get to apply my marketing skills to our business which is great too.”
Tom and Kim clearly work well together and both remain totally focussed on where the business is going. As Tom continues, “I love this business. It’s my baby that we started from nothing and have grown to where we are today. We continue to grow and will soon be moving in to new premises as we have outgrown our existing space, and there are plenty of opportunities on the horizon. We are working hard to take the business to the next level and are continually pushed by our team who are committed to the journey and clearly love what they do too.”
This is an entrepreneurial family firm that considers its broader impact too. “Sustainability and the environment are big issues and things that are certainly on our business agenda,” adds Kim. “We have already invested in two electric cars, recycle all waste paint and are continuing to work to lower our carbon footprint. We might be a small business in the grand scheme of things but ultimately all businesses have a role to play in making a difference and we are keen to do our bit.”
It has been a journey and one that they are rightly proud of. As Tom explains, “I am proud of where we have got to in our journey and the work that we have done to date. We have worked with some great brands and some great businesses and continue to open more doors. I think our flexible, honest approach works well for us, we know what we are doing and go above and beyond for our customers too.”
Kim adds, “We have and are introducing more processes as we move to the next level and there is a lot going on in the business too. Recently we were announced as one of the fastest growing businesses in Europe which was fantastic and great to gain such recognition. We are proud of all that we continue to achieve and looking forward to what the future has in store.”
This is a family business with strong values and integrity, a passion for customer service and excellence in delivery and they are carving out a great reputation in a niche sector.
We look forward to seeing the next chapter of their journey.