10 June 2017
A farmer from Devon, who has diversified to focus his attention on unique holiday opportunities, has seen an increase in visitor numbers thanks to support from Heart of the South West Growth Hub.
Paul Clark, who runs Southcombe Farm in Holsworthy, used the support he received to focus on the areas of his business that had the most potential for growth.
He met Growth Hub Business Adviser Laura Daniel at a workshop. Following an initial conversation to understand the business, Laura referred Paul to the Growth Hub’s Growth Support Service which offers a free face to face advice session with a local business adviser.
Paul said: “I felt overwhelmed with my day-to-day jobs and was spending too much time on the wrong areas of my business, which was mainly producing grass-fed lamb.
“Working with my adviser allowed me the space to think and really focus my attention on the areas that have potential for growth – the self-catering cottages and the canoe experiences.
“My adviser was able to help me look at each area of the business separately and create steps for what needed to be done.”
The support led to Paul making the decision to scale down the sheep activities on the farm and focus on the creation of a marketing and development plan for his tourism business.
Paul said: “The initial step was to create a separate website for the canoe experience business, which included online booking for the first time.
“I have also been able to focus on the USPs for the cottages, as well as begin an ongoing programme of development work at the site. My aim is to create an environment on the farm where people will want to stay, relax and enjoy without necessarily wanting to go out and about visiting attractions everyday.”
This work includes the creation of a beach area on the river, the introduction of hammocks, upgrading garden furniture and creating an animal petting areas featuring Paul’s lambs.
“It was really straightforward to get support from the Growth Hub,” said Paul. “With the changes I’m making following the support, I am really optimistic for the next year and beyond.”
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