Tradeforce Gas & Heating

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Tradeforce Gas & Heating's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Tradeforce Gas & Heating is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett, MP
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles, MP

www.tfgas.co.uk

47TRADEFORCE GAS & HEATING |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
Founder Mike Charalambous
Tradeforce Gas and Heating are one of London’s most
efficient emergency gas and heating services. Founded
in 2006, they are a Vaillant-approved installer and offer
warranties on new boilers for up to eight years. Founder Mike
Charalambous started as a sole trader utilising local contractors,
but since securing a substantial contract with Kinleigh Folkard
& Hayward the business has grown and they now employ ten
people and cover most of London.
After founding the business in 2006, I worked as a sole trader for nearly ten
years. This was a profitable period, and I worked with trusted local contractors as
I took on the larger jobs. I completed British Gas training prior to starting my own
business, which I then combined with heating and plumbing skills that I acquired in
order to offer a multi-faceted service that suited businesses and private clients.
My expansion began when I secured a gas engineering contract with estate agents
Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward at their Crouch End branch. Since starting work with
them they have continued to grow, and in 2018 they had 40 branches across
London. I was providing them with a range of services, and I quickly began working
with their landlords on individual properties, in addition to the work on the
branchoffices.
Building a winning team
I have been servicing offices across north and central London since 2006 but have
more recently begun to expand into the southeast and southwest. In order to
FACTS ABOUT
TRADEFORCE GAS & HEATING
»Founder: Mike Charalambous
»Founded in 2006
»Based in Crouch End, London
»Services: Gas, heating and
plumbing
»No. of employees: 10
Tradeforce Gas &
Heating
As Vaillant-approved boiler installers, we
always ensure boilers are fitted to the
highest possible standard
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
48 | TRADEFORCE GAS & HEATING
progress my business and develop its
capabilities, I decided to stop using
contractors and grow an in-house
team that could both bring new
skills and engage in training, so they
could offer a wide-ranging service
to different clients. We moved into
a new office, and I now employ two
administrative staff, seven engineers
and one apprentice.
It was only in 2016 that our expansion
began to take shape, but it has been
rapid since. We were receiving more
and more enquiries, while our main
client, Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward,
were growing and requiring more
services as a result. Contracting
staff was becoming more difficult
because of the administration, and
my focus was being taken away
from engineering. Since moving into
an office and employing full-time
administrative staff and engineers, I
have also been able to spend more
time on business development, and
this has allowed us to gain more
well-established clients and expand
ourservice.
Developing a reputation
In the past, I used websites such as
Rated People in order to contact
potential leads and build our portfolio
of clients. From this website, we
were able to establish a working
relationship with Ferbogar, a
commercial property company. As a
client, they required a wider range of
services, and we began conducting
plumbing and heating work at
Westfield, one of their key projects.
As a result of our success and the
growth of our profile, we no longer
use Rated People, but it was a useful
tool in our infancy.
Our continued growth has been in
large part a result of referrals and word
of mouth. Estate agents move roles
frequently, which we benefit from
because people we have worked with
in the past have begun referring our
services to their new office. Tailored
customer care and a committed
approach to our role has always been
an integral part of our ethos, and
ensuring this has been passed on to
new staff has meant our clients are
keen to recommend us. Despite our
success, ensuring the best measures
possible are in place is our priority,
and guaranteeing sustainability is
more important than continued
uncontrolled growth. If we are able
to establish ourselves in the southeast
and southwest of London we may look
to expand, but having developed so
quickly I am happy to take stock over
the next year.
To further enhance our presence and
reputation, we are in the process of
We were
receiving more
and more
enquiries, while
our main client,
Kinleigh Folkard
& Hayward,
were growing
and requiring
more services
as a result
An engineer completing
repairs on a boiler
49TRADEFORCE GAS & HEATING |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
developing a new logo and investing
in our website. These changes will
improve our brand awareness as we
look to become more recognisable
locally. Achieving this goal should
allow us to become a provider of
choice in our community, and this will
help us further establish a sustainable
foothold in the region. To supplement
this ambition, we are also working
on developing our SEO capability,
which we hope will make our brand
synonymous with our local area.
Maintaining high-quality
standards
Outstanding customer service is the
hallmark of our business model, and it
is vital that this is retained as we move
forward. We have invested heavily
in staff training, and our recruitment
has been motivated by finding people
that respect and understand our
values and ethos; these values must
be evident to all of our customers
in order to maintain our reputation
and grow our presence. Moving from
a sole trader to an employer and
manager meant that I have had to
trust my employees to continue to
excel in the areas that I have always
prioritised. While this has proved
to be a challenge at times, I have
been rigorous in my approach to
recruitment, and my engineers are
capable of ensuring these standards
are maintained.
As we continue to grow, I will look to
retain the tailored and personalised
approach our staff take with
customers. I will also invest in training
and place a large importance on
hiring quality staff that can improve
the business. We are looking to the
future from a position of strength,
so our priority is to remain focused
and ensure we build a sustainable
foundation that will allow us to remain
profitable going forward.
Moving from a
sole trader to an
employer and
manager meant
that I have had
to trust my
employees to
continue to
excel in the
areas that I have
always
prioritised
Our engineers are
constantly being trained
to ensure skills are
updated to cover new
products and services

www.tfgas.co.uk

The Parliamentary Review Publication, in which this article originally appeared, contained the following foreword from The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister