Ellis & Co Case Study: Lock Stock

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Nick Powell likes nothing better than getting on his bike, especially if he is able to raise vital funds for causes close to his and his family’s heart.

In June, Nick completed the gruelling 186-mile circuit of Lake Vattern in Sweden, raising over £2,500 for St Kentigern’s Hospice. Last weekend, the businessman raised further money for the Hope House Hospice taking part in its annual cycle challenge.

Events such as these give Nick a welcome break from the day-to-day challenges of building one of North Wales’ fastest growing businesses, Lock Stock Self Storage Limited.

Lock Stock, which he runs with brother Shon, now boasts 2,250 containers across 15 sites in North Wales and the Border Counties. The plan is to add at least another half dozen sites in the next couple of years as it continues to tap into the demand of businesses and consumers.

The family business, which also includes Nick’s son, Jac, and Shon’s daughter, Rhian, employs 15 people. Two years ago, it established a sister company, Take Stock, which provides customers with van hire from three of their sites.

Nick says: “Lock Stock came about completely by chance about 14 years ago. We had bought a couple of containers to store clay for our ceramics business and a customer asked if we had any more. We ended up renting him one on spare land we had at our site in Denbigh and the business grew from there.

“We noticed that quite a few of our container customers were coming from Rhyl so we opened a second site in the town to better meet their needs.

“From there, we have built a trusted brand with sites in North Wales, Cheshire and Shropshire.

“We have a rolling programme of identifying potential new sites, seeking planning permission, developing and opening for business. Our objective at the moment is to continue adding new sites in our heartland.

“Take Stock was created on the back of quite a few customers asking if we offered van hire. We saw it as a new business opportunity and have built it slowly but surely and now have 30 vans at three of our bigger sites.”

Nick says that the arrival of Jac and Rhian in the family business means they are planning for the long-term future of the company.

“Jac and Rhian play a vital role in ensuring the smooth and efficient running of Lock Stock and Take Stock. They have been instrumental in introducing new software, booking and telephone systems into the business to ensure we are able to cope with the increasing volumes of enquiries we have today and that we anticipate in the future.”

Nick and Shon have worked with Ellis & Co since the early days of the business.

Nick says: “We have a great relationship with Ellis & Co. Over the years, they have become a trusted business adviser. Robert Ellis provides us with strategic advice while his colleagues John Moorhouse and Peter Way-Rider give us expertise with our accounts and taxation respectively.

“We know we can always bounce ideas and opportunities around with the team and that we will always get good advice.

“Because they have been in business themselves for a long-time they also have an invaluable bank of contacts which we are able to tap into when we have a particular need.

“We also like the fact that Robert and his team have challenged us as we have looked to build the business over the years.”