Prudhoe-based RidgeTek Web Solutions, a website and online service development, support and management company that supports businesses across the UK, is growing its customer base after support from Business Northumberland.
The business is run by solo-entrepreneur Peter Surridge, who established the business after a near three-decade-long career in the finance sector.
After working for Barclays Bank for 27 years in a variety of roles from in-branch based to IT development to project management, Peter decided to take voluntary redundancy in 2014 which was the catalyst he needed to go it alone and set up RidgeTek.
“It gave me the flexibility to look after my son who has special educational needs,” he explains.
“I started the business in Cheshire but moved up to Northumberland in 2016 so I had more support for my son, enabling me to grow the business further.
“I have now completed my 3rd year of trading and the business continues to grow year on year.”
As a sole trader, Peter is responsible for everything in the business, from relationship management to development and support and from financial management to marketing.
“Most of my time is spent in front of a computer screen,” he admits, “with the rest of it out meeting clients and writing proposals for new business.
“It’s been a lot of fun, but my biggest challenge has been establishing myself as a credible supplier in a very competitive marketplace.”
That is why Peter decided to tap into the wealth of knowledge and support available through Business Northumberland and its High Growth Coaching Programme, allowing him to map out where he wants to be in a clear and concise way.
“I heard about Business Northumberland through one of their business growth advisors, Chris Dawson, who was speaking at a local business event.
“I got in touch with them and was assigned a business coach, Peter Kerr, who enabled me to reflect on my business and consider the direction in which I was going.
“Peter was also able to utilise his extensive network to introduce me to some businesses that have led to new customers that I would otherwise not have been able to meet with.”
Since then, Peter has seen his network expand exponentially. By tapping into networking groups through Business Northumberland he has been able to expand his services and generate a slew of new leads.
“My income has doubled this year so far and I am continuing to get new customers on the back of recommendations of the extended network.
“I still have a long way to go to get the business to the level I need it to be, but I am a lot further down the road than I was 2 years ago.”
With support behind him and the confidence to push forward and continue to grow his business, Peter is excited for the future.
“I want RidgeTek to be an expanded business focussing on the customer service side of the work whilst utilising supplier resource to deliver the technical deliveries.
“The key to success for RidgeTek is to stand out in terms of customer service, and not become a faceless IT Service provider.
“Business Northumberland works with businesses to drive growth through its support programme by developing robust business plans that are both sound in principle and possible to fully implement in practice.”
Case Study developed in partnership with BQ.