Owners of Cooper Weston Electrical Contractors, Stuart Cooper and Shane Weston founded their business to provide high value workmanship to commercial businesses in London and the South East. Over the last four years their reputation has grown and they’ve been proud to work on both local domestic jobs as well as huge commercial projects.
In 2013, the dedicated team undertook a large-scale project with the world famous charity Battersea Dogs & Cats Home. This year also saw their electrical skills applied to a complete refit in Sloane Square.
In this interview, we catch up with Stuart and Shane to reflect on the last four years and their success in the commercial market, as well as asking for their advice to give to other companies in the industry.
What made you want to extend into commercial from the domestic market?
Starting out, we solely worked on domestic projects in our hometown in Sussex. We gained great, solid and lasting relationships with clients through reputation and word of mouth. It was with this success we gained the confidence and drive to progress into the commercial market.
As the company and reputation grew, it was a natural progression to move into bigger, commercial and industrial work. We enjoy the versatility, pressure and demand that the commercial market throws at us.
How did you progress into the commercial market?
We completed a domestic job in Sussex and the builder’s brother was a facilities manager for three top language schools in London. It was through his recommendation we secured electrical contract work for the schools, which helped kick-start our commercial story.
We are firm believers that if you carry out an excellent and thorough job, word will naturally spread. After building our reputation, we were successfully contracted to work on a major project with Battersea Dogs & Cats Home; the most famous animal re-homing establishment in the country.
Another real turning point for us was fitting an electrical system at a multi-million pound mansion in Sloane Square. We also provided a complete electrical fit in a refurbished church in Covent Garden and have worked in various education establishments around London, such as Francis King Private School.
What project/s have you been most pleased with and why?
There are many we are proud of but work we did on a home cinema in a 16th Century oak barn in Sussex immediately comes to mind. We installed a new lighting and power system, including supplies for state of the art audio visual equipment. Another company completed the design and we assisted with new lighting control for the room.
The end result was absolutely stunning and has featured in many interior and technology magazines. This helped build a long term relationship with the client; the house renovation in Sloane Square we’ve spoken about was a project on another of his properties.
Electricians will normally work with builders and designers to work out exactly where things should go. In this instance there was no designer present, therefore we worked closely with the customer to design a completely bespoke room for them.
Battersea Dogs & Cats Home has been another huge achievement for us. Following a recommendation we were contracted to complete work for the charity’s huge redevelopment project from October 2013. This was a real honour of which we’ll always be proud.
What exactly have you been working on at Battersea?
As nominated contractors for BDCH we are currently working with the main contractors on the new development work that is underway. Our skilled and diligent team of NICEIC-certified specialists have been assisting in everything from the design and implementation of the core fibre infrastructure to the installation of new CAT6 data cabling across the home.
An initial challenge we found here was the sheer size of the design scale. We were working on a much greater level compared to previous domestic projects, with many more people to run things by and multiple things to consider for each stage of the project.
What challenges have you faced as a business and how did you overcome them?
One of our main challenges was responding to the rapid growth of our company and employing more staff in keeping up with demand. During this stage of our development, we utilised an apprenticeship scheme to give young people a chance to join us and learn the trade and this in turn, helped us grow.
We currently have two apprentices working alongside us. One of the lads is just finishing his apprenticeship and we will be keeping him on. It was very important for us to hire apprentices as we remember what it was like starting out in this industry and we want to give people a chance to progress in their careers.
What would your advice be to other electricians looking to break into the commercial market?
We believe reputation is key as the commercial market is very competitive. Through hard work, dedication and by putting in extra effort you can set yourself apart from your competitors. The same can be said for being professional, friendly, clean and polite.
In the past, we’ve had a number of clients email us to let us know how considerate, efficient and clean we were and how this is something they appreciate. In essence, it’s the little things that could win you the contract over another company.
We are completely honest with our clients and focus on a solid no nonsense approach. We cannot stress how important reliability and honesty have been for us. This has been vital in the development of the company and how far we have come as a business.
For more information please visit http://www.cooperweston.co.uk/