Babyshoes sells high-quality shoes for babies and toddlers. It is a subsidiary of Goodwear Shoes, which has been in business in one form or other since 1936 when it was set up as a family-owned cobbler. The company subsequently moved into shoe sales and began importing children’s shoes from Portugal and Spain in 1979, having identified a gap in the UK market.
Babyshoes itself was established in 2009 and is based in Liverpool. It has a small staff of three and supplies to both the wholesale and consumer markets from an online-only presence.
Company director Jamie Harries explains that, prior to receiving Growth Hub support, Babyshoes couldn’t afford to undertake work on the website necessary to help increase traffic and conversion rates. Following a referral by a friend, he approached the Local Growth Hub to enquire about potential support. After consultation, the company was brokered to the New Markets 2 ERDF programme who provided a 35% financial contribution towards SEO, social media and analytics work for its website.
“Compared to other funding that we’ve looked at or applied for, it was an extremely straight forward process,” Jamie says. “The help and advice that we received during the application process was fantastic.”
Although the work delivered had slightly less impact than hoped dues to changes made by Google and some social media platforms that Babyshoes was using, it still had a dramatic effect on business.
“A lot of the work carried out to our website stabilised our position and ensured that we continued to drive traffic through to our website,” explains Jamie. “Without it, there’s a very good chance we would have slipped off the first page of Google, which would have had a significant impact. Fortunately, we’re now in a position where, each month, the business is reaching hitting target and exceeding the previous year’s sales.”
The work also allowed Babyshoes to take on an extra member of staff. The role was initially part-time, but is intended to be made permanent in the next 6-9 months.
Jamie believes that, without the support provided by the Local Growth Hub, the previous year could have been much more difficult. Instead, now, the company is very much focused on developing growth, plans to move into a new office space and expects to take on more staff in the medium- to long-term.
Ready to grow?
If you think your business would benefit from support or funding, get in touch and we’ll help you work things out.