A Highlands-based window and conservatory business has defied the cost-of-living crisis to shatter its annual sales target, securing more than £4.5m orders in a record-breaking year.
ERG, which employs 45 people at its Clayton Court base in Invergordon, has overcome a turbulent economic climate to paint a hugely positive picture of its own courtesy of continued investment in products and service and the adoption of new sales and marketing practices.
Headed up by Ian Joy, the company has been helping homeowners since 1974, offering the design and installation of windows, doors, replacement roofs and contemporary living spaces, such as conservatories and orangeries.
Over the years it has built up a wide-ranging customer base covering an aera the size of Belgium, spanning from Fort William to Inverness, and as far north as Wick.
The management team doesn’t attribute ERG’s success to a single magic bullet, but instead prefers to focus on targeted inward investment and the support of its manufacturing partner, Conservatory Outlet.
“We’ve got an incredible team at ERG and our success – in the face of some turbulent times – is testament to their talent and hard work. We’re looking ahead and we’re aiming to break the £5m mark for the first time in 2023,” commented Ian, who has been with the business for 40 years.
“You could put our growth down to the theory of marginal gains because we have made modifications to the business, and they have all combined to help us reach this target.
“Crucially, we have invested in our own practices at a time when many other companies might well have tightened their belts. The strategic decision to do this was critical in our success and was reinforced when we finished 2022 with £337,000 of sales – our best-ever December.”
Ian admitted that ERG took a ‘step back’ from its daily operations and refocused the business in the broadest manner possible.
This included further investment in digital and social media and the rollout of a unique replacement roof campaign launched in conjunction with Conservatory Outlet’s in-house marketing team.
Meanwhile, the sales process was made more personable and bespoke, with ERG’s experienced sales co-ordinator adding a personal touch via follow-up calls.
Ian added: “We refocussed the sales team to make sure they understood the importance of clearing out the ‘sales pipeline’, adding in another client call by our lead booking sales co-ordinator post appointment to ensure the meeting went well and to see if any further information was required.
“Internally, we had regular team meetings via Zoom and provided daily target updates, making sure we didn’t lose focus on the overall end-goal. We knew that if we were to break our sales record, we would need to communicate better internally and work as one team. To have done this gives me as much satisfaction as the sales figure itself.”
ERG sources its premium products from Yorkshire-based Conservatory Outlet, and its ‘Extreme Range’ represents the perfect solution for the unpredictable Highland climate.
“ERG’s success shows just what is possible, even in these difficult trading conditions,” continued Karen Clough, Group Marketing Director at Conservatory Outlet.
She concluded: “Ian and the team have invested in their marketing output and worked with our teams to develop and execute innovative, targeted campaigns and they’re seeing the fruits of this approach in leads and sales.
“Since joining the Conservatory Outlet Network in 2018 the company has grown by 26% and we look forward to supporting ERG as it continues on its ambitious growth plans.”