Will your firm be top of pile?

THE challenge for small businesses this year will be to knock TP Golf Management off its tee. The four-year-old Hemingford Abbots-based company, which is a one-stop shop for golfers wanting to improve their game and their equipment, won the Small Business

THE challenge for small businesses this year will be to knock TP Golf Management off its tee.

The four-year-old Hemingford Abbots-based company, which is a one-stop shop for golfers wanting to improve their game and their equipment, won the Small Business of the Year title in 2005 and again last November.

And the awards have certainly done the business no harm. Turnover and profit have both doubled in the past 12 months, director and co-owner Teresa Neeson told The Hunts Post.

"It has not just been great for us, though it was nice to get the recognition because we have worked so hard," she said.


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"But it has also been great for our customers to have their decision to come here endorsed by the awards. They feel they are shopping in the right place.

"People read The Hunts Post and come here because of that. Once we have them here it's up to us. It comes down to our service, in which we beat everyone else in the golf industry," she said proudly.

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"We want all our golfers to play fantastic golf with the right equipment. We won't sell them the wrong equipment. If they come here wanting new clubs, we make sure they get the right ones for them and their game. Or it might be some help from our new coach, Jamie Donaldson, that they need."

The company has certainly prospered since Teresa started the business with partner and co-owner Peter Durham in 2003. "We were living in the shop then," she said. "Then we moved to a caravan on the site. Later we got a rented house, and now we are buying our own home in Fen Drayton."

They are also investing £1.5million - the equivalent of their current annual turnover - in a new restaurant, bar, conference facility and academy, which are due to be completed by March next year, though the academy, with state-of-the-art equipment, may open sooner. Total staff numbers have grown from eight a year ago to 13, and the new complex will create additional employment opportunities.

The indoor coaching area will have a glass back, so that customers will be able to watch lessons in progress.

"Winning the award has also helped with the banks that are backing us. This success has obviously been very encouraging for them, too," Teresa said.

"We had this dream of making the place a lovely centre, and this new build should make it just the place we want. Even in the middle of winter, you'll be able to learn to play in comfort.

"And we have other ideas for the future around top quality golf lessons and facilities that the whole family can enjoy."

* Other categories in The Hunts Post Business Awards 2007 are retailer of the year, business person, employer, employee, business of the year and awards for innovation, business development, sustainable development, training and development, and internet.

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