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Local industrial coatings company thriving thanks to Growth Works support

Written by Growth Works

Having founded and run HC Technical on her own, Hannah Cox incorporated the business as a limited company in January 2014 as demand for both the contracting brand of her business and the consulting side had increased beyond the capabilities of her home office.

Based in Harlow, HC Technical Consulting and Contracting services are an industrial coatings company. They offer three main services relating to industrial coatings – application, consultancy and inspection services, and accredited high-quality training courses.

Having worked as an engineer with a specific interest in industrial coatings for over 25 years across a variety of industries, the business has seen increasing success in offering tailored solutions for their clients’ bespoke need.

The challenge: Running the business alone with little support

As did many, the company had a hard time in the pandemic and then hit a stagnant period. Hannah explained how they “fell through the cracks for funding that the government were giving at the time”, as they “were too small”.

Hannah realised she needed more than financial support. That’s when she started “searching around for assistance… we weren’t just looking for funding. We were looking for some sort of mentoring as well.”

Hannah knew they must deliver new changes whilst keeping everything high-quality. She told us; “our core value is based around delivering quality to the different types of customers to the best of our abilities”.

Hannah had previously reached out to other mentoring schemes before but had been disappointed. She explained how “normally the mentoring that you get as a small business is very narrow, and most of it is not appropriate for our particular business or industry. No one seems to get what we actually do”. Being in a niche industry, HC Technical needed more personalised advice to grow.

HC Technical needed to re-evaluate their business plan and how they operate. Expanding the team was an essential part of the plan. Hannah knew she was holding the business growth back. She explained her “goal was to increase the number of staff on the books because essentially, I was doing everything within the business. And that is not helpful. The business can’t grow if one person is doing everything”.

When asked what her main challenge was, Hannah said “confidence – that was a huge thing. When you’re a business owner, you don’t tend to give yourself permission to say, ‘actually, I need a bit of help with this’… you’re supposed to be able to do everything”.

The lack of confidence coupled with trying to run things alone left Hannah feeling stuck. That’s when she reached out to Growth Works to help move the business forward.

The solution: Funded three-step plan with Growth Works for progression

Growth Works helped HC Technical to identify key opportunities to focus on and created an initial three-step plan –

  • Total business planning support and courses.
  • Funding for a new website to generate more online business.
  • Business mentoring for Hannah, including personal mindset and confidence.

Hannah said the business course helped to focus, and “through Growth Works, we built a proper business plan”.

The website redesign was a key part of growing the business by generating more organic traffic. The funding helped pay for expert services to maximise the new website’s impact. Hannah said, “the lady that I worked with on the website, her expertise was second to none”.

As Hannah was working alone, a big challenge was tackling her own personal mindset and confidence. She explained how “through working with Growth Works” she realised “we’ve got permission to fail a bit. It’s perfectly okay to try something and discover it hasn’t worked for the business”. Hannah also came to terms with being able to “schedule some actual time off for myself because you can’t run a business if you’re tired”.

As a result of the coaching, Hannah had a “swing in attitude” towards achieving success. She was encouraged to “think about what we wanted from our personal lives”, and had a “light bulb moment” where she recognised “you shouldn’t be working all the time. That’s not how it works”.

The results: Smashing growth targets with newfound confidence

They have already employed two more people, with plans to employ another three. Hannah can now focus on improving quality by “getting our teeth into achieving ISO 9001, which is becoming more and more important within the circle of clients that we deal with”.

HC Technical has seen monumental change since working with Growth Works, by “changing our mindset, being more organised, and having an actual plan to work with”.

Hannah set various growth goals for HC Technical. Through the business support, website grants, and mentoring, she beamed when telling us, “we’ve hit the aspirational target for every single milestone that we set… that’s really down to working with Growth Works and increasing staff so that I’ve got more time”.

The new website “has played a huge part in the increased success that we’re having. And that really surprised me just how much of a difference that would make”.

  • Comparing this month to the previous year, they’re up 63% on website traffic.
  • They have already hit 57% of their total training revenue from the previous year. That’s in only their first four months of the financial year!

Hannah describes herself as “incredibly confident now”, saying “running a business is never going to be easy… but Growth Works really gave me the confidence to say that yes, I do have a good business”. Now, HC Technical can set its sights on even bigger goals.

“Now we’re growing exponentially, which I mostly think in the last year has been down to the involvement of Growth Works. I genuinely think it’s made such a big difference”

Growth Works was created to help businesses thrive. It’s fantastic when businesses that have received funding smash their goals through the roof!


Could your business benefit from expert support and funding to help you unlock further growth? Check your eligibility and tell us about your growth plans. Or get in touch at


Written by Growth Works, Editorial team
Supporting growth ambitious and fast-growing businesses in Cambridgeshire & Peterborough to plan for bigger, scale faster and stay ahead of the game.

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