As a young father with a newborn baby, Jordan Woods was staring the reality of unemployment in the face when redundancy struck.
Leaving behind school to become an apprentice plumber at 14-years-old, he then found himself jobless in 2011 and struggling to support his young family.
But, after borrowing cash from his step-dad to buy a van to set up his own plumbing business, six years on Jordan’s Leeds-based company is on track to reach a staggering £1m in revenue by the end of this year.
“The reality was, I was just a one-man band going from job to job to make ends meet,” he told the Yorkshire Evening Post.
“But I dared to dream and had big ambitions for my family.”
Jordan listed his one-man plumbing business on a free trades directory in a bid to get work in 2011.
His first call from a home in Harrogate, fixing a leak, only earned him £13 in profit.
It was enough cash to fill up his van, pay for the parts required and buy fish and chips and some baby food for his family.
“People told me I was just a dreamer and to ‘get real’,” the 30-year-old says.
“At that point I put together a simple business plan for what I wanted to achieve over the next five years.
“Today it sits in a frame inside my kitchen as a reminder of those tough beginnings.”
After a series of referrals, Jordan generated more work and eventually managed to secure a small contract with a property management firm in Leeds.
Working out of a small business unit in the city, he hired an engineer and an administrator as work continued to spiral in.
Today his company, Woods Building Maintenance, manages a team of 18 engineers and Jordan puts the business’ “immense” growth down to new technology that has helped him plan, manage and track operations.
Jordan’s company became one of the first to use the JobWatch management system by BigChange, and he has never looked back.
“We’re about to hit a very special milestone this year: we’re on track to reach revenue of £1m by the end of 2017,” he says.
“When I look back at where I’ve come from, it’s a very special feeling.
“The BigChange system has enabled us to grow very rapidly between 30 to 40 per cent every year.
“I’m a very humble person, but our growth has been immense and we are profitable. I couldn’t have grown like this if it wasn’t for the BigChange technology. It has been priceless.”
BigChance is the brainchild of Leeds-based entrepreneur Martin Port.
It has gone on to become one of the UK’s fast-growing technology businesses, and has been ranked at number 12 out of 100 companies in the Tech North 100, which profiles growing tech firms in the North.
“I am so proud of what Jordan has achieved for his 30-strong team and for his family,” says Martin, who became a mentor to Jordan.
“It’s a truly inspiring story and just goes to show what can be achieved when you apply yourself with dedication, hard work and tenacity.
“Woods Building Maintenance is a pleasure to work with and we look forward to working with them as they continue to grow and push past many more million pound milestones.”
Jordan now plans to expand his business, currently covering Yorkshire and the North- West, into the Midlands and London.
The company has contracts with four large insurance companies and also works with the NHS and national hotel and restaurant chains.