Ellis & Co case study: Farndon Heating Solutions Ltd

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A family plumbing and heating business is working hard to keep Chester homes cosy and leak free.

Established in 2008 by Les Norman, Farndon Heating Solutions Ltd has gone from strength to strength.

The now team of seven, including Les’s son Lewis Norman, are domestic and commercial engineers who specialise in gas, oil and LPG.

Although the business is much more than ‘plumbing and heating’, with daily installs, maintenance and repair jobs as well as designing and installing bathrooms, wet rooms, underfloor heating and more complex systems.

 “A typical day for me is pretty hectic, as most business owners know!” said Lewis, director of Farndon Heating.  

“I'm in the office, which is luckily at home, very early with a coffee and I'll be arranging the day ahead for myself and the lads, I'll make some calls to suppliers regarding material orders and I'll leave a to do list for Emma, my wife, who deals with the business behind the scenes.

“I'm then out and to my first appointment for around 8am.”

From then, Lewis admits ‘anything can happen’.

“I try and keep myself relatively free for emergencies and our other engineers Phil, Lee, Tom and my dad Les are kept busy with larger projects and installs,” said Lewis.

For Lewis being a ‘hands on boss’ is the reason he loves his job.

“People keep telling me to take a little bit of a step back from being on the tools and be more of a "boss" and just oversee, but I find that rather boring,” said Lewis.

“I love nothing more than ripping out an old boiler”.

The team prides itself on delivering a first class service, working hard to build a relationship of trust with their customers.

“I always find it satisfying to receive good feedback or a recommendation, it makes all the hard work worthwhile,” said Lewis.

As with all businesses, the team face a number of challenges, the biggest is meeting demand.

“We have extremely busy periods whereby we simply cannot fit some work in and I really don't like letting people down,” said Lewis.

“I'll always work extra hours to accommodate but sometimes there's times where we just can't get to everyone.

“An example of this was winter 2017, I lost count at 50 frozen condensate pipes; in the end I was on the phone until after 9pm most evenings talking people through how to do it themselves!”.

The team has no plans in slowing down over the coming months either, with lots of plans in the pipeline (excuse the pun), from a business re-brand and the hiring of another engineer to meet demand.

“We've seen amazing growth over the last 12 months, we didn't realise how important it is to have a great relationship with your accountant,” admits Lewis.

“We found Ellis & Co after weeks of looking for a well-established, local and trusted accountant.

“We had a really bad past experience with our last accountants so had to be sure this next move was the right one.

“Ellis & Co have been fantastic for us, always there to answer any questions, extremely thorough and a pleasure to deal with,” he added.

For further information about Farndon Heating click here.