A growing photocopier and printer business launched from a back bedroom in Wrexham is celebrating its 10th anniversary and now has customers across the UK.
Vaughn Rawson, who began his working career at 15 as a trainee butcher before turning to office supplies, now heads the Rawson Group which employs 30 people, and has expanded into the fields of IT Support and renewable power.
The butcher’s business struggled as big supermarkets moved into the marketplace so Vaughn switched careers to work for a printer and photocopier company before making the decision to branch out on his own and establish Wrexham-based Rawson Digital.
“I just thought I could run a business better than the company I was working for at that time.
“When I left them they had been trading for 25 years and had 1,200 photocopiers on contract – we now have more than 2,000.
“When Covid hit our turnover took a huge hit, as people were working from home and not printing anything so they weren’t renewing their equipment – since lockdown ended our growth has returned to previous levels.
“Following on from this success we diversified into IT Support and more recently renewable energy through solar power and electric vehicle charging, we’re looking at developing this sector further into air and ground-source heat pumps along with domestic and commercial wind turbines.
“I believe the secret is to be absolutely customer focused. The customer is very, very important to us. We believe in contracts that work for them and in return they have supported us.”
Vaughn spent two years on the road and in his back bedroom building Rawson Digital, before moving to offices on Wrexham Industrial Estate.
There they began sharing a building which they now own and fully occupy, and have also expanded into the next-door property.
The business grew to include first Rawson IT – rawsonit.co.uk – which covers computer and internet technology – they have just finished a major project at the historic Gladstone’s Library in Hawarden, helping them to reduce IT and phone costs.
In the last 12 months, R-EV Power and Rawson Solar -r-evpower.co.uk – were born, specialising in electric vehicle chargers and solar power.
This technology is growing rapidly, fuelled by the rocketing price of energy, both for electrical power and fuel for transport.
Vaughn saw a gap in the market when he himself was looking to install EV charging points during the Covid-19 lockdown.
It’s a growing marketplace as companies and homeowners aim to become greener and cut soaring fuel bills.
The expansion was a natural progression for a business that for the first two years employed just Vaughn himself but has mushroomed in the last three years.
The Rawson IT team, headed by Craig Davies and Dominic Buckley, has made a big contribution to that and Vaughn said:
“They’re very knowledgeable, clever and talented young guys who are building that side of the business very successfully.
“On the printer and photocopier side, people have been talking about the paperless office for years but sales of printers and print volumes are still going up and we now have customers throughout the UK and Ireland, in London, Glasgow, the Isle of Man and Dublin.
“We could soon be in Europe as well thanks to work we do over here for a company that has a multi-billion operation based in Amsterdam.
“Renewable energy and electric vehicles are a real growth area and this is what I see quadrupling our turnover in the next couple of years and possibly much more than that.
“We have so far installed over 500 EV Charging units and over 10,000 panels in our first year of solar.
“Now we have set up Rawson EV Power Ltd as part of the business and it’s headed up by my daughter, Millie, and her partner, Gregg White, who graduated with a first-class honours degree in aeronautical engineering from Southampton University. He is a massive asset.
“We are looking at the commercial market in particular, especially here on the Wrexham Industrial Estate where there are major businesses with large roof areas, but we are also very competitive for domestic systems as well.”
The Rawson Group, who sponsor Wrexham Football Club, are based at The Bridge Business Centre, in the heart of the Wrexham Industrial Estate.
For more information go to rawsondigital.co.uk