Southrepps-based Miganglia thanks diverse customer base and personal touch for success
Keeping a diverse customer base and providing a personal touch is the key to staying buoyant, according to a north Norfolk family firm.
Southrepps-based Miganglia, near Cromer, has thanked its range of customers for helping the business stay afloat when technology transformed the automotive repair industry.
And it has just been given the accolade as the first UK firm to be given Qualified Dealer status by leading welding machine makers Fronius from Austria.
Ben Chapman, managing director of the welding and cutting equipment dealership, said it was a mark of trust in the firm.
'The status means we are capable of training and handling the equipment and providing back up support,' he said.
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His father Harry launched the firm 37 years ago initially to satisfy an increasing demand from car mechanics and dealerships.
Mr Chapman said: 'Everybody that had a car or a garage needed a welder. He saw the opportunity.'
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But as cars became more sophisticated, this demand fell away, and now customers come from the agricultural repair and maintenance, and food production industries.
With a staff of seven, Mr Chapman said he would like to boost employee numbers.
'We have got a really good foundation here with what father started all those years ago,' said the 47-year-old.
'We do everything right, we have just got to scale it up.'
But while the firm has plans to update the website and raise its profile on social media, he said his customers still preferred to buy in person or over the phone rather than online.
He said: 'Particularly in this industry people do still buy from people, without a shadow of a doubt.
'We have been diverse in who we sell to which historically has helped.'
And Mr Chapman said he hoped to expand into the oil and gas industry.
He said: 'The decline in the offshore industry has stunned most people, but it has never been as big a market share as we would have liked it to be.'
Has your business got big expansion plans? Call business writer Sabah Meddings on 01603 772879 or email firstname.lastname@example.org