Location: Leeds, Yorkshire

Key categories: Newspapers

Annual turnover: £300.000

Weekly news bill£3,500

My husband and I have a news delivery and sub-retailing roundsman business covering the Leeds, Wakefield and York areas.

We began this around five years ago after we decided we needed a new challenge and that it was time to sell our shop and post office.

The business started from scratch with a minimum-entry Menzies bill, but as other newsagents have closed we’ve bought their news rounds and expanded to the point where we have around 1,500 customers a news bill of £3,500 a week and an annual turnover of around £300,000. We deliver the York press too, and sub-retail newspapers and 60 magazine titles to two farm shops.
During the week, deliveries begin at 4am and 3am at weekends. We like to go the extra

mile for our customers, so if someone hasn’t got a paper we will do everything to get it to them and take the flak if a delivery is late. Because it’s our own business, it really matters that we do a good job.

To improve our service, we recently installed a new computer system, which means we have a card machine so people can pay us over the phone via debit or credit cards. While this itself won’t grow our business, it will make it much more efficient and convenient for our customers.

We’ve grown our business via word of mouth so far, but later this year we plan to canvass with leaflets alongside door knocking. We don’t have a target number in mind because, for me, there’s no ceiling. We can go as big as we want to. Our aim is to take the areas we have, make them denser, and then expand out.