Nuneaton engineering firm has bright future after making investment

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An engineer who set-up his own business in Warwickshire after being left money in his dad’s will is geared up for a brighter future after making a major investment. Mario McLaughlin was left £20,000 in the will of his late father, James, which he decided to invest in launching MJ Classic Engineering in Slingsby Close on the Attleborough Fields Industrial Estate in Nuneaton.

The business specialises in providing bespoke manufactured components for the defence, motorsport, and packaging industries as well as classic vehicles.

After speaking to John Fitzgerald from the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, he signed up to The Start-up programme which offers one to one bespoke business advice and also online and face-to-face workshops that is part-funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and Warwickshire County Council.

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That led to Mario joining workshops focused on marketing and social media as well as financial planning which gave Mario and Michelle, who joined her husband’s business last September, the confidence to invest £30,000 in a VMC machine which cuts materials from plastic to steel to help the business expand.

Celebrating business support for MJ Classic EngineeringCelebrating business support for MJ Classic Engineering
Celebrating business support for MJ Classic Engineering

He said: “I have always wanted my own tool shop and I have loved working in engineering for the last 30 years.

“When my dad passed away, the money he left me in his will helped me to set up with two machines – and no customers!

“My first customer had a motorbike he wanted customising and he told someone else and word gradually spread and I know a lot of people having been in engineering for a long time.

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“We work with household names in the automotive and manufacturing industry and are gaining increasing work from the pharmaceutical sector including producing tiny camera holders for ears for MND research and we are producing stainless coffin pins and adjustable stops which hold the coffins in place for two well-known funeral directors and hearse manufacturers.

“John from the Chamber got in touch to let me know the Chamber was looking to help small businesses and mentioned the online courses.

“We bought a CNC lathe a couple of years ago but the other older machine was too slow to keep up so we were looking at buying a VMC machine which is a fully automated milling machine and attending the financial planning workshop gave us great confidence in buying it and will be instrumental in us moving forward.”

Michelle McLaughlin added: “John has really opened our eyes to how other people view our business on our website and social media.

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“We are still working through his advice and some of it is saving time in terms of linking Facebook to Instagram and others are saving us money through carrying out more of the basic accountancy tasks ourselves.”

John Fitzgerald, Start-Up business advisor at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “I think it’s really important to listen to businesses because that is how you help people. I listened to Mario and Michelle about how they got to this stage of their business, where they wanted to go and what they wanted to do.

“I could then suggest which of our workshops was most suitable from the Start-Up Programme because it is incredibly important to dedicate time into working on the business instead of just working in the business.”

The support was delivered by Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce on behalf of Warwickshire County Council and Warwickshire’s five District and Borough Councils. The support is part funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (via Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council), and Warwickshire County Council.

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Councillor Martin Watson, Portfolio Holder for Economy at Warwickshire County Council, said: “Supporting Warwickshire’s businesses is a key priority for the County Council. It is great to see the positive impact the Start-Up programme and the tailored support and skills can provide to newer businesses; this is demonstrated through the advice and workshops provided to MJ Classic Engineering and the benefit this had on their business.”

Carol Ingleston, Economic Development Officer at Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council, said: “Nuneaton and Bedworth Council is committed to growing its local economy and supporting businesses to ensure they achieve their true potential.

“I was delighted to be able to see the impact that the business support offered by us, Warwickshire County Council and Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce has had on MJ Classic Engineering.

“The tailored support and expertise that the Business Growth Warwickshire programme provides is second to none. The scheme has had a huge impact across the borough.”

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The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce is delivering free-funded business support on all aspects of business. To get started, please email [email protected] or visit: www.cw-chamber.co.uk/business-support/

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