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It’s all good in the Hood as they prepare to explore international markets

09 October 2019

From selling a small line of tractor and machinery parts in 2005, Hood Engineering and Agri Parts in Newtownstewart have grown into a thriving parts and servicing business with ambitious plans to expand into international markets.

The family run business have grown steadily over the last 14 years, expanding the business to respond to customer demand for a wider range of products and repairs and building a specialist workshop to service customers’ machinery.

The company enjoy a strong relationship with their local clients in Newtownstewart, Omagh, Strabane and surrounding districts and, with the support of Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Business Boost programme, they have grown their customer base to throughout the UK and Ireland.

The programme offered them support to grow the digital marketing side of their business and with business planning.

They now plan to take the business to the next level and expand their reach oversees through Council’s Ireland NorthWest Export Development programme which offers participants a range of support and training taking them through every stage of the preparation for their export journey, from identifying opportunity, assessing capability and planning for growth.

Founder and owner Anthony Hood established the business 14 years ago and his son Jack has since come on board as Operations Manager.

Their range of products include hydraulic fittings, bearings, PTO shafts, oils and lubricants which they sell from their Crockatore Road base and online through Ebay.

“My background before starting the business would have been in agri contracting,” explained Anthony. “I still cut grass and hedges but my time spent fixing machinery in those days led me to form my own business in 2005.

“Our main customer base is in the North West but we have customers all over the UK and Ireland who we have sold to online and we would like to explore international markets.

“We attend trade shows all over Ireland which are a great way to connect with new customers.

“The Balmoral Show and the National Ploughing Championships attract huge numbers and have generated multiple leads for us.

“We have setup a facebook page which we update with new products and that has proven another useful way to communicate with customers and showcase our products and services.”

For any budding entrepreneurs in Council’s rural area, Anthony assured them that a more remote location will not prove an obstacle if there is a need for their service.

“Our rural location has never been a hindrance,” he contended. “If you have a product that there is a demand for then it will sell, your location won’t be an issue.

“Farmers rely on us to repair their machinery during busy periods so we believe it is crucial that you can provide a dependable service, if you do that you will build a strong relationship with your customers and they will come back to you.

“Customer service is equally important, we do our best to make sure that every customer is taken care of and people are happy with our service.”

As well as expanding into new markets, the company are always looking at new products to add to their range,
The most recent addition is a Quick Hitch that can be fitted for both the front and rear of tractors that helps users get more from their loader / handler implements.

The Q Hitch cuts down on the requirements and cost of having two implements to do the same job and makes your tractor more versatile as you can use loader implements that you may not previously have been able to attach to your tractor.

Other products include a Folding Bale Spike which is used for round and square bales and a Double Bale Spike which is available with four to six spikes and a Bale Shear with Plastic Catcher that can be fitted with any brackets with a meal bucket attachment.

For more details about how Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Business Support teams can help existing, start up and prospective businesses go to http://www.derrystrabane.com/businesssupport and http://www.derrystrabane.com/RBIS.