Wiltshire Celebrates its most Enterprising Businesses
John Williams Heating Services, a family-run business which celebrates its tenth anniversary this April, was named Business of the Year on Friday night at the Enterprising Wiltshire Awards 2014.
Husband and wife team John and Debbie Williams declared themselves to be overwhelmed as they picked up both Business of the Year and Best Small Business awards in front of an audience of over 150 at Bowood Hotel, Spa and Golf Resort, near Calne. Guests included Wiltshire Council leader Jane Scott and Bowood’s owner, Lord Lansdowne.
The double win earns John Williams Heating Services £2,000 from Wiltshire Council plus access to business networking opportunities and support from the Wiltshire Business Support Service.
Managing director John Williams said: “Being named business of the year is the icing on the cake for us. It’s great to have this accolade from our peers.”
In addition to John Williams Heating Services, six other winning business were announced, each of which received £1,500 from Wiltshire Council.
- Best Start-up – Is That Sew?, Chippenham
- Best Online Business – Travelbee Limited, Cricklade
- Best Exporter – The Training Wing, Ludgershall
- Best Young Entrepreneur – Harry Deeming, Chippenham
- Best Manufacturer – Wiltshire Bacon Company, Trowbridge
- Best Independent Retailer – Number Sixty, Salisbury
Winner of the start-up category, Is That Sew?, is also eligible for six months’ free desk space worth £1,200 at one of the county’s four new enterprise centres provided by The Enterprise Network (www.theenterprisenetwork.co.uk), another Wiltshire Council initiative.
John Williams Heating Services is based at Bumpers Farm, Chippenham and employs a team of 16. The company provides heating and plumbing services to domestic customers across Wiltshire.
Co-founder Debbie Williams explained that husband John focuses on the engineering while she manages the office. She said: “He’s the bus driver and I’m the navigator.
“It was a huge risk when we set up the business through self-financing, with lots of sleepless nights. Running your own business is very hard work but this award has just blown us away.”
Asked about the reasons behind the company’s success, Debbie pointed to very high standards of customer service and a strong community focus. “We’ve organised pancake races and we’re sponsoring this year’s Chippenham half-marathon. We really try to put something back into our community.”
Chris Simpson, Senior Business Manager at WBSS, said: “John Williams Heating Services is a very well-deserved winner, which really impressed the judges deeply with their skills and very powerful commitment to giving customers the best possible service. They are a great advertisement for Wiltshire’s business community.
“What’s also rewarding for the team at WBSS is that John Williams was one of the very first companies we worked with after we were formed two years ago.
“The gala award event at Bowood was fantastic. There was a great atmosphere and our award winners and finalists had the opportunity to meet, relax and unwind after the tension of the award ceremony.”
Over 150 Wiltshire businesses entered the Enterprising Wiltshire Awards 2014. Award entries were judged by: Rob Perks, CEO of Wessex Chambers; Debbie Skellern from Wiltshire Council’s Economy & Regeneration directorate; Claire Alexander from the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership; Lesley Wood, director, Front Room Marketing & Design, and Adrian Chase, Federation of Small Businesses’ North & West Wiltshire Branch Chair (Somerset & Wiltshire Region).