6th July 2016
Founder: Tom Pugh-Jones and Jolyon Ferrier
These lovers of sand and sea gave up working in the city to live the dream of starting their own company from Cornwall.
Co-founders Tom Pugh-Jones and Joylon Ferrier first met when a mutual friend invited them both for a pint in Cornwall, and soon after an entrepreneurial venture was born. The pair started up shop in Joylon’s home, building on Tom’s experience managing a recruitment website and making connections with dynamic and exciting business based in their region.
“We started as an executive search company wanting to work with growing companies in the South-West”, remembers Tom. They’ve picked up some great clients along the way, including some fast-growth fashion, drinks and tech brands that share their ethos of ‘elevating enterprise and lifestyle in the South-West’.
Working with companies that promote a healthy work-life balance is what this home business duo is all about. “You don’t need to be in the City of London, wearing a suit, getting on the tube every day – you just need a good phone line and good relationships.”
“You just need a good phone line and good relationships.”
So the flexibility that came with setting up their own business felt very natural to them. “Working from the kitchen means we get great meals every day!” They enjoy low overheads, and meeting clients and candidates in coffee shops. Thanks to their Vonage phone system, they’re even able to spend some time in France and still keep up with work.
But it doesn’t come without its challenges. Besides homely distractions like their ‘office’ dog they have for company, Tom and Joylon concede that working from home means you have to be extremely self-disciplined. “There was one day in December when we took a long walk on the beach and nearly threw the towel in.” They powered through the rough patch however, and will soon be moving out of the kitchen and into their first office.
“Keep at it – it gets better,” they advise fellow kitchen table entrepreneurs. “You learn every day, like with any job. We don’t know everything, but do our best to ask loads of questions – we’re constantly asking for feedback from everyone.” The pair are actively seeking support to help them grow, and are currently in the midst of discussions to arrange a mentor through the EU growth fund.
Growth is on the horizon for Progress West; they now have visions of working with exciting national and international SMEs and scale-ups, and are in the process of rebranding to become Progress People.