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When a Plan Comes Together I feel like I’m repeating myself when it comes to business plans, however I can’t emphasise how important they are for a business. A well-drawn business plan is one which when executed can lead to success. And as important as a business plan is when starting a new company, it is just as important to keep reviewing the business plan every few years. I have been around long enough to say confidently that some of the best business ideas are drawn up on the back of a napkin after a couple of glasses of wine - it’s just a question of when inspiration hits. This is how the idea for the business first started for managing directors Colin White and Wendy Aird of WestEx, more than 21 years ago. At that time Colin and Wendy both worked for different companies in Gibraltar and so decided to make that ambitious move and go out on their own. At the beginning, the business partners could foresee a steady flow of income for the first three years, from refurbishment and maintenance work carried out by the MOD. “We knew the value of our contracts as well


as the purchases through our last jobs,” said Colin, “We were very lucky, and with Wendy’s management skills we were able to work on a tight budget.” Looking back to when they started, Colin recalls the changes the business has undergone from when it was first formed. At the beginning there were external shareholders who exited the business after a few years. There was also a change in premises from the changing rooms in the Montague Sea Bathing Facility to New Harbours. The next change was to expand the retail side of the business.

The business has gone from strength to strength since it first started, and has evolved over the years. Colin said: “When we first launched it was quite a monopolistic market, there wasn’t much competition in Gibraltar, apart from what was being brought in from Spain. “The market was of a size that everyone could be accommodated without too much hassle.” They provided a structured business plan and were able to get a bank loan to launch the business without any trouble.

Paul Wharton is Head of Corporate Banking at Barclays Wealth & Investment Management in Gibraltar having arrived on the Rock from the UK six years ago. Paul has over three decades’ experience gained in various roles within Barclays, predominantly in and around London and is passionate about supporting the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) market which he sees as the lifeblood of the Gibraltar economy. Paul has won several awards for his work in Small Business Enterprise markets and has served on the London Board of the Prince’s Trust.


The Gibraltar Magazine - May 2013  
The Gibraltar Magazine - May 2013  

Gibraltar's fabulous business and leisure magazine. Crammed full of great features from finance to football, from fashion to arts. Enjoy i...