Family business makes US acquisition

Director Ian Gordon’s father started the business, which manufactures and calibrates tensile testing machines and force testing machines, in 1951 and remains the managing director.

Gordon says the US was a market the company hadn’t ventured into until now. “We were selling in the Far East, Middle East and Africa but the American market is very difficult to break into. They tend to buy and sell within the US rather than outside,” he says.

So, when an opportunity arose to enter the market, Gordon jumped at the chance. “We were fortunate because one of our competitors was due to sell and he wanted someone that was willing to take his 20-year-old company forward."

The firm has taken on a new machinist and an engineer during the past six months and plans to bring on an additional engineer.

Gordon believes that while the investment is risky, it is a calulated one. He says: “There’s a trend to not push your market too much when finances are a little bit tight and we’ve done that. But we’re lucky in that the foreign markets are what’s keeping us afloat."

From now on, the £2.5m-turnover firm will be taking a more conservative approach to business: "We’re not panicking but trying to look two or three months ahead at a time.”

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