Howbery newcomer strides over hurdles to profit
Despite the Covid-19 pandemic having complicated the setting up process for The Equipment Calibration Business, the company is now turning a profit and has settled into Howbery Business Park.
The company was set up in October 2019 by Phil Carter, David Castle, Richard Harper and Peter Green, with Richard as the sole director working full-time for it, initially from home. The immediate first hurdle for the company was to gain UKAS accreditation to enable it to provide calibration services to UKAS accredited test laboratories. The already lengthy and process was further delayed because the first lockdown halted in-person visits, resulting in the company only receiving its first accreditation in July 2020.
Once the company gained an extension to its UKAS accreditation in October 2020, Richard started visiting clients across the UK to calibrate and service their Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) testing equipment – kit that ensures the safety of electrical and electronic devices used in commercial, industrial, automotive, military and aerospace industries by checking that they are not susceptible to electromagnetic interference.
The Equipment Calibration Business, however, suffered another blow in January 2021 when partner and joint founder Phil Carter passed away from Covid-19. An industry stalwart, the company had been his brainchild. He had suggested the idea to Richard who was seeking to return to work in EMC equipment calibration and testing, after having been made redundant.
“Phil was really well known in our tight-knit industry, so there was great sadness,” said Richard. “But the knowledge that he had imparted to me and the company was invaluable, and I think he would be really pleased that we have been able to make a success of the business.
“We made a great start in in our first year of working with new and existing clients, and I needed a more stable base with space to store equipment, so I moved into Howbery. There is even space for my dog in the office – he sleeps happily under my desk and enjoys a walk in the grounds. I am hoping to add to our UKAS accreditation and then be able to move into a larger space on the park in two or three years’ time.”
Donna Bowles, Howbery Park Estate Manager, added: “It’s such a joy to see a start-up business doing well. We wish Richard the best of luck growing the company, and hope he will follow in the steps of others moving into bigger premises here on the park. We often see companies move offices – it’s great to be able to support them as they expand.”