2019 – the year that was dominated by the ‘B’ word. But for one Aberdeenshire firm sharing the same initial letter, 2019 was less dogged by controversy, and more gilded by success. Oldmeldrum based Bethan Customs Consultancy celebrated its 4th birthday with an expanding client base, boosted turnover, and an-ever growing team.
With experience across all areas of customs, logistics and supply chain, the resolutely independent firm supports businesses in international trade and compliance, helping clients to navigate the complexities of HMRC Authorisations and customs regimes. Bethan’s client base spans a wide range of sectors, from oil and gas to food and drink and retail.
2019 has been a pivotal year on a number of fronts for the firm. Bethan’s turnover has tripled between the end of year one and year four, while their client list has multiplied five-fold during the same period. Their geographical reach has also grown, with several clients based in the south of England, and plans in the pipeline to push further afield.
Over the last 12 months, 19 new clients have come on board, following a similar number the previous year. The Bethan team have secured 17 Authorisation approvals for their clients, and provided support on trade compliance and HMRC audits for a further five clients.
The training arm of the business continues to go from strength to strength. Bethan offers bespoke training packages and mentoring support for businesses, with the subject matter being derived from in-depth market research. Over the past year the team has run 12 fully subscribed training courses, via a combination of bespoke in-house courses, as well as those run at Bethan’s HQ covering more general topics such as the Customs impact of leaving the EU to supply chain security and compliance awareness.
In order to meet demand for the firm’s independent, bespoke service offerings, and expand capacity for dedicated in-house and remote customs consultancy, Founder and managing director, Nicola Alexander, has grown her team with a number of key appointments. The most recent addition is well-known former HMRC Higher Officer, George Laing, with plans well underway for further recruitment in 2020.
In line with this expansion, Nicola has also re-structured the team. Customs Consultant, Elaine Lownds, has been promoted to the newly created position of Customs Manager, opening up further opportunities for Bethan to expand their suite of customs related service offerings in both scale and geography.
Reflecting on the past year, Nicola said, “2019 has been a phenomenal year for the business. Our success is due in no small measure to the amazing Bethan team, each of whom brings a wealth of experience, and shares my solution-driven ethos. The number of Authorisations and audits which we have helped our clients to successfully secure is testament to their hard work, knowledge and skills. I am very much looking forward to continuing our journey together into 2020.
“Plans are already well underway to expand our team further – we are currently recruiting for another customs consultant. We have grown and developed a great deal over the last year, and so I am keen to embark on a period of consolidation, and optimisation of our current processes. Longer term we have lots of exciting plans and aspirations to expand our geographical reach and embark on more specialised project work, while continuing to support our clients.”