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Sunday Business Post

PITCH – PERFECT FIRM AIMS FOR DIVERSIFICATION

Sunday Business Post -  15th January 2012 By Elaine O’Regan

Necessity has proved to be the mother of invention for Dublin-based businessman Gavin Morgan.

Morgan worked in pitch maintenance with Trinity College for seven years, before cutting his entrepreneurial teeth as a car salesman. The onslaught of recession left him jobless for the first time in late 2008 and, two years on, he realised the best way back into paid employment would be at the helm of his own company. Morgan Sports Solutions launched in November 2010, offering pitch maintenance and construction services.

Realising that sales would be seasonal driven, Morgan decided early on that he would need to find other ways to bolster the business. “We’re mainly sports pitch maintenance contractors, looking after football, GAA, hockey, soccer and cricket pitches but we also have an online store where we sell sports equipment,”he said.

Morgan has also just closed a two year deal to supply salt to Iarnrod Eireann railway stations around the country during icy spells. “Our main business would be quiet during the winter months, so we brought in a lot of salt last winter for de-icing snow and ice. We eventually got in with Iarnrod Eireann and just won our first tender to supply salt to their 140 stations,” said Morgan.

Morgan recently moved to new offices in Glasnevin and will shortly recruit a salesman for the company’s website. He is also keen to move into other areas, however, and last week took delivery of his first batch of Clax Trolleys. A collapsible cart by German manufacturer Rauschenberger, the Clax has two platforms, one crate and removable wheels for easy storage. It is made from plastic and aluminium, weighs around 7kg and can be used to transport maximum loads of 60kg. “We originally brought in the Clax Trolley for the tennis clubs we work with. They were looking for something to transport tennis balls. “The trolley itself can hold 140 tennis balls, but when i spoke to the manufacturer, they said the product was being sold into libraries, hospitals or prisons”, said Morgan. “We have since sold some into Trinity College and we are going to Scotland this week to do a demonstration for the Library of Scotland. “Teagasc and South Dublin Libraries have each taken a Clax for a few weeks’ trial and we are talking to JS Dobbs, a medical supplies firm looking to sell it into the HSE for us.”

Morgan urged other start-ups to get out and chase business whenever possible. ” I have a small background in sales, so i don’t really mind the likes of cold-calling – ringing people up and trying to get my foot in the door,” he said. “It is a great time to start up a business because you can certainly bargain your way around. We moved into our new office here in Glasnevin only a month ago. There is plenty of office space around and you are able to bargain people down and try to get a good deal. “I think there are a lot of positives out there, which you don’t really hear about as regards business and people trying to help you out.

“The advice i would give people is to take a chance. If it works out, it works out, but i would definitely say take a chance.”

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