Internet-based firm booming

GROWTH of 40-odd per cent year-on-year is a stellar performance in tough economic times.

But there is no one particular secret to success for the CN Group which is based in Milton Keynes but trades all over the world.

CN Group 52 Tanners Drive

CN Group 52 Tanners Drive

The family owned company specialises in finding products, mainly piping bags for caterers and food producers, in China and selling them on to other markets, including the USA.

The CN Group has an office in Chenzhen province in China and trades around the world in US Dollars.

Its achievements won it the international trade award in the Milton Keynes and North Bucks Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards.

But the Blakelands business also has a burgeoning e-commerce presence, selling party goods, including flags and bunting for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, national flags and anything it believes there is a market for.

So cost and quality control, market knowledge and being on top of burgeoning internet sales are key issues. The main potential challenge the family firm sees in the future is being able to cope with growth.

Director, Graham Read, described the company’s approach. He said: “It’s like a moving picture frame. We’ve got some products in that used to move really fast but have now ceased selling and are dropping out of the frame.

“Some products have moved out of the picture frame and others have moved in as we also look to increase the size of the frame.”

The company also invests in product trademarks and patents to control its own destiny.

MD Hugh Read founded the company and it now has a total UK workforce of 20.

Hugh is a staunch supporter of the MK & North Bucks Chamber of Commerce and the market information it provides.

He spends much of his time devoted to driving the company forward, including examining oil market forecasts and interest rates to try to avoid nasty shocks. The company is forecasting approaching £3million in turnover.

Mr Read has no doubts that being a family firm has huge advantages over others in that “everyone can be honest, without worrying about office politics.

“The task for us is to encourage others from outside the family to take the same approach. It can take a while before they are persuaded that they can be frank.”

With that approach, the company hopes to be CN and heard for a long time to come.

To see Natalee Hazelwood’s video profile, visit www.miltonkeynes.co.uk/news/business.