Investee business Badgemaster provides name badges to 100s of high street retailers, as well as the healthcare industry, and the royal household. Starting life in a porta cabin, they now manufacture thousands of name badges every day. Chances are if you’re reading someone’s name badge Badgemaster made it.
We joined Ian Bradbeer, Managing Director of Badgemaster, at their factory in Newstead, Nottinghamshire, to find out about the growth of the business since FDC’s £1.2million debt investment in 2017.
Tell us about Badgemaster, and your role as MD.
At Badgemaster we manufacture thousands of name badges every day to companies across a wide spectrum of different channels throughout the UK and even some internationally.
The business was founded in 1992 by our chairman John Bancroft MBE, started with very humble beginnings in a porta cabin here based in Newstead, since then through John’s enthusiastic sales drive the business has grown to be over £5m a year sales and over 100 employees all dedicated to the art of the specialism of making name badges.
In 2006 the business was awarded the royal warrant by her majesty the queen to supply the staff name badges, and in 2013 our chairman received the MBE for his services to business in the community within Nottinghamshire.
Our core processes are printing and engraving, we have lots different printing technologies, in terms of traditional screen printing, we have foil printing, pad printing dye sublimation and an ever increasing investment in digital printing.
I joined the business in late 2017 as part of the recent investment and strategy formed with the partnership of Frontier Development Capital.
What were Badgemaster's priorities when seeking funding?
The challenges when seeking investment, are always very similar on the way, companies like ourselves are always looking for that level of investment above the debt funding that banks can normally provide.
We were seeking an investment partner - somebody that would work with us, somebody that understands our business, and somebody that can understand manufacturing businesses.
In FDC, and initially the introduction with Graham Mold, and then latterly the Portfolio Director Clive Broadhurst we’ve found a company that allows us to be ourselves, to grow they the business the way we want to be, but also they’re there to offer advice sit at board meetings and a partner to discuss things with openly and to share ideas, so a really flexible investment partner.
What’s beneficial for Badgemaster with the kind of flexible debt funding that FDC give us is that we’re free to choose the areas we invest that funding, so we’re looking to invest in IT technology. We’ve invested in a brand new ecommerce platform, Badgemaster’s B2C web-shop and it’s been a great success. We’re now up to over £15,000 a month in sales from it, bringing in 15 to 20 new customers a day. We’ve also brought in new digital printers and it’s only with the investment that we’re able to do that.
What’s next for Badgemaster?
Other plans for the future include the refurbishment of the building, and we wish to continue investing in people both in training and bringing in fresh blood to the business as we look to create a sustainable and profitable future for Badgemaster, and the employees and stakeholders within.
For more information on FDC's Growth Capital funding click here or speak with an investment director on 0345 319 4528.