New start-up ensures great things come in professional packages
E-COMMERCE start-ups the nation over are being given a professional appearance from a South Bank packaging specialist.
Entrepreneur Murray Sellars has launched Quickbox.co, a business supplying online retailers with their products’ protective needs during delivery.
Previously heading up Lindum Packaging, he sold his stake in the family business to his brothers, taking on the manufacturing arm as part of the deal.
Now he has invested in a full-colour digital printer with significant capability, having secured backing from Humber Local Enterprise Partnership’s Local Growth Fund.
Mr. Sellars said: “We are making it possible for businesses to buy small quantities of corrugated packaging, personalised. It usually is bespoke, but often comes with an enormous volume order requirement. We are digitally printing and manufacturing, with a specialism in large sizes, all with small minimum order requirements. We are reaching out to these people online, who can cost-up online and will eventually be able to design online and we will manufacture and produce, then out it goes to them.
We supply e-commerce customers all over the UK. People can’t afford to buy like Amazon, but don’t want to send products out in a black plastic bag either. We are getting to talk to people who are so passionate about their products, the start-ups to believe they have the very best thing there has ever been – it is gratifying.”
Initial expectations of employing three to five people have been surpassed, with up to 12 employed in recent weeks as sales increase 125 percent, with similar projections for the second half of the year.
“We have relied on agency staff, but as fast as we get good people we are taking them on,” he said.
From his share in the Stallingborough business, he bought out the production facility, with Lindum now a customer. “I subsequently identified the need to have the ability to do full-colour print,” he said. “We had to be able to offer that; there is an expectation now, so digital was the only way to go.”
The investment was aided by a £22,000 contribution from the public purse.
“Regarding job creation, it should equate to two people, but in effect we have already more than doubled that,” Mr. Sellars said, praising the system. “I like the fact we have a single point of access with the local authority. People need to understand how these grants work and that they are not onerous. It is time to quit grumbling about taxes we pay and call on the authorities to help stimulate growth. This is a small business, and we are looking to grow. We have already got a 60-year-old who had given up on finding another permanent job again and a graduate who had not been using his skills as much as he could have been, with agency people transferring to permanent work in two cases too.”
Rachael Markham, economic development officer with North East Lincolnshire Council, put Mr. Sellars in contact with E-Factor Business advisor Tim Maddinson, and an application was made by the January start-up. Both were there to see the machine in action.
Mr. Maddinson said: “This is so pertinent at the moment with the growth in e-commerce. More and more stuff is being delivered, so business like this has great opportunities without a doubt. You wouldn’t sit in a shop without branding it up, so why send a box that way?”
An unexpected market has also been hit upon, with orders from Pinewood Studios and Emmerdale for boxes to be used as props on set.