Nick Coward wins Derbyshire Times Business Award for Entrepreneur of the Year, also Ginger Mats comes runner up in the Small Business Category.
Four years ago Nick Coward, the founder of Ginger Mats, moved to Crich, Derbyshire, with a view to changing his lifestyle.
Nick, originally from Marlow, Buckinghamshire, worked in general and project management for various companies all over the southeast. After taking a 6 month sabbatical away from work both Nick and his wife, Jane, decided to travel the world and revaluate their life-style. Upon their return they decided to move to Derbyshire so they could enjoy their love of the country side and Nick could indulge in his passion of caving and mine exploration.
Nick established that there was a niche in the market within the independent mat rental operators in the East Midlands and Derbyshire in particular. Whilst a couple of large companies do service nationally, there has often been negativity around the level and style of service that they offer their clients. Having built up strong links with independent regional mat servicing operators throughout other parts of the country he has sort to improve the national coverage by bringing independent options to Derbyshire.
In the business’ first year Nick focused primarily on direct sales, selling Logo Mats and Entrance Mats for internal and external use along with heavy duty industrial and leisure matting for almost every perceivable requirement. Twelve months later the business expanded to include Mat Rental / Service Contracts and now also offers a fortnightly and monthly mat cleaning service.
Nick also works closely with one of the UK’s leading aluminium entrance matting companies and together they have created the G-Guard Aluminium Entrance Matting System, which is now available nationwide.
Ginger Mats has gone from strength to strength and has increased profit and turnover each year. The company now employs 2 other people and works with other independent hygiene companies to deliver a mat rental service that covers most of the UK. Nick firmly believes that the key to his success lies with his outstanding customer service and is dedicated to providing his clients with a competitive, friendly and professional service.
Having started Ginger Mats in a recession Nick has continued to grow the company despite the double/triple dip recession and considers Ginger Mats to be a testament to what can be achieved in the face of adversity.
Recently Nick and Ginger Mats were nominated for the Derbyshire Times Business Awards, where Nick won Entrepreneur of the Year and Ginger Mats came runner up for Small Business of the Year.
Looking to the future Nick will be introducing a range of education activity mats, designed specifically for primary, nursery and preschools, and has also turned his attention to the domestic market by introducing a large range of designer mats for the home, which are currently being sold through Ginger Mats online shop with Ebay. Nick is very positive about the future and feels that being based in Derbyshire with its excellent links to the motorway and rail networks gives him a strong base to branch out from. Nick says that you never know with East Midland Airport just down the road Europe could be next.