Case Study - Sussex Artisan

Martyn Chapman t/a Sussex Artisan

Martyn has had ten years practical experience working with wood and related products.  He decided to work for himself in 2004 and in 2005, working with a mentor from EDEAL he finally took the plunge and started his business.

Over the past year, a business has been developed specialising in the repair and manufacture of bespoke oak windows and door frames. The emphasis has been on more specialised work that the general carpentry trade will not undertake.  Martyn has invested over £20,000 in his own woodworking machinery and, working from the limitations of his garage has gradually developed his business over the past year.

Key issues of the business

Martyn needs to keep control of the day to day running of the business and to correctly cost quotes within time limitations.  There is sufficient business for Martyn and he will need to employ staff when expanding into new premises.  Obviously his costs will increase with expansion and it is vital that Martyn maintains accurate control over his costs and revenues.

Solutions and actions

The client belongs to the BNI breakfast club and receives most of his contracts through this source.  The mentoring period was dedicated to producing a marketing plan to assist in procuring work on a long term basis.  A costing exercise was also required to look at the feasibility of relocating to a small industrial unit.


The growth from a hobby to a business in a short period of time has shown the commitment Martyn has made to make the business a success.  The positive feel for working with wood and the utilisation of the equipment available has initially helped set this business up.

However, the hard work and long hours have been rewarded and he is now looking forward to expanding the business. With a turnover approaching £50,000 p.a. working from his garage at home and possessing the equipment needed, Martyn is actively looking for larger premises in the Robertsbridge area.