Hellbent Blog

Welcome to the Hellbent Blog or Welcome to Hell :)

Our blog is a lighthearted commentary on running an SME in the field of engineering.

Thanks for dropping by - please do read and comment...

 

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  1. As inexperienced as we were at running a business, there were some pre-requisites to starting this type of SME and luckily we had an engineer in our midst!  Logan began his career with an engineering apprenticeship as a teenager in Suffolk so that was one box ticked.  I had worked in pharmaceuticals for the previous 15 years in sales and as a commercial manager so I got the desk and computer.  Everyone was a winner.  We enrolled on some very useful courses (run back then by Business Link Norfolk - now sadly defunct), including basic accounting, marketing, social media and websites for start ups. I'm not up to date on what is available these days for people embarking on going into business but the ones we went to were run by experienced business people, were informative and best of all were free of charge.

    We chose an accountant (which we have since changed) and I set about doing as much as I could to reduce their charges by learning how to do everything myself.  In the beginning they furnished me with an Excel cashbook and I built some over-complicated Excel ledgers etc which sufficed in the early days.  Now, with 2000+ transactions per annum, I make use of our brilliant accounts package Solar Accounts which was recommended to us by Richard Wilson of Rak Accountancy Solutions Ltd.

    My next job was to build a website.  With no experience.  At all.  What did I say about challenges?!

    Sally-Ann

     

     

  2. While it all began in 2009, Logan and I decided to start the business in 2007.  In the time it took us to form our business plan and apply for permission to build a workshop at our property in Happisburgh, North Norfolk - the global recession, unbeknown to us, was building momentum.  Having got the go ahead from North Norfolk District Council not only for the construction of the workshop but to run an engineering business there, Logan set about the building work which was no mean feat.  In order to satisfy building regs for a commercial premises in a quiet rural, residential village he had to build a soundproof fortress and we enlisted the help of EDF Energy to supply Three Phase electricity in order to run the machines we planned to purchase at start up.  As luck would have it, the supply was at the foot of our property so the extortionate cost per metre to install the Three Phase was relatively tiny compared to what it would have been if we had been unfortunate enough to need a supply from a mile or so up the road.  Logan and Anglian Electrical Contractors Ltd installed the internal electrics, the very nice lady in Building Regs signed everything off and we had progress! 

    By the time we were ready to get started, the recession had hit and we wondered if we would be deemed insane if we carried on with our plans regardless.  However, we had gone too far to turn back so we invested in some machines, including a new Haas Super Mini Mill (which still does a sterling job today, 6 years on) and Hellbent 'Kustom' Engineering as it was then known began. 

    It soon became apparent that we were in dire need of a CNC lathe to work alongside our CNC Mill.  Ever willing, Trevor from Haas UK, did us a 'too good to pass up' deal on a Haas TL-1 which alongside the Super Mini Mill has also been a stalwart of production for the last 6 years.

    We started with zero customers and minimal capacity at the beginning of the greatest recession... What can I say? We like a challenge...

    Sally-Ann