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CLIENT SPOTLIGHT: Richard Atherton Snr, MD of College Sewing Machine Parts Ltd

A family run business established in 1971 beginning with the service & repair of industrial sewing machines at College Road, Rochdale – expanding into the importation and distribution of industrial sewing machine parts & needles. Today they work from their purpose built 20,000 sq foot unit at Waterfold Business Park, Bury focused on the distribution of industrial sewing machine parts, needles & Juki industrial sewing machines.

Day to day operations are run by Richard’s 3  sons, Justin, Richard Jnr & Mark covering and developing all aspects of the business. College Sewing Machine Parts Ltd are now one of the largest suppliers of parts & needles servicing many UK manufacturing industries where sewn products are produced; from bedding, furniture, curtains, car seats and many more.

Which solicitors do you use at Glaisyers and how do you rate our services?

Jonathan Davies – From 1971 and the inception of College Sewing and still today after over 40 years, Jonathan has always been my first contact concerning any legal matters. I regard him not only as my solicitor but also a true friend who you can rely on to deliver solid, plain, down to earth advice, always willing to go the extra mile for any business, personal & family matters.

What are the biggest challenges you face in growing your business and maintaining profits?

Keeping ahead of the competition and never staying still, always growing the business with constant investments in stock, accounts, IT, website development – maintaining a tight credit control and having up to the minute accounting information – most importantly looking after our customers.

What is your greatest achievement in business and if so, how?

Looking back over the last forty years starting from zero capital but lots of enthusiasm and a bag of tools to becoming one of the largest suppliers of sewing machine parts and needles to the UK manufacturing industries.

Do you find social media assists your business and if so, how?

We mostly deal within the trade network and as such social networking hasn’t really affected our business as much as it would retail companies. We do have social networking pages and do use youtube to link videos of our Juki machines which helps our customers and anyone looking to perform specific sewing machine operations. Our social networking presence will increase I’m sure and maybe will help increase our website traffic.

Where do you see the College Sewing Machine Parts Ltd in 20 years times?

Who knows, if I had a crystal ball my wish would be to see the company still operating as a family business, hopefully larger and more successful.

If you were chancellor, what single change would you make to help improve the economy and/or your business?

Economy: I would increase the tax free income amount to £15,000 to help young people and pensioners out of the tax bracket. Young people would have more money to spend back into the economy and pensioners would be less reliant on the state.

Business: I would reduce the rate of corporation tax for small businesses to enable more profit to be retained within the business and utilise to help growth thus increasing employment.

What are your passions away from the business?

Socialising at the weekend with friends putting the world to rights over a pint or two mainly talking rubbish.

VISIT THE COLLEGE SEWING MACHINE PARTS LTD WEBSITE 

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