Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

At 37, He's Now Making His Mark on Family Coach Business; Finance Expert Mark Hodgson Is Putting His Knowledge of Budgets to Good Use as He Looks to Steer His Coach Hire Firm to a Bright Future. Jez Davison Met Him

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

At 37, He's Now Making His Mark on Family Coach Business; Finance Expert Mark Hodgson Is Putting His Knowledge of Budgets to Good Use as He Looks to Steer His Coach Hire Firm to a Bright Future. Jez Davison Met Him

Article excerpt

WHEN Mark Hodgson climbed on board Coatham Coaches in 2007, he knew he was joining a rm with a decent pedigree and a strong brand.

Currently nestled in a picturesque rural location at Margrove Park, about ve miles south of Saltburn, the company has been motoring along nicely since it was launched in the early 1980s by his father, Michael.

Formerly the manager of Guisborough Town Football Club, the elder Hodgson is still very much hands-on in the business, but at the age of almost 70 he has handed over the day-to-day running of Coatham to his son.

Although Mark ocially took over as MD last year, the gradual passing of powers eectively began once he came on board eight years ago.

Steady acceleration has been the order of the day, with Coatham on course to top PS1m sales in its current nancial year, which ends in July. Mark says: "In our last nancial year we did about PS650,000 and we've already done PS560,000 in the rst six months of this nancial year.

"We've managed to get quite a lot of work from the likes of Sabic and SSI. We also provide coach hire for local schools - for school runs as well as trips - and we take bookings for stag weekends and day trips."

is diversity has put Coatham in the fast lane, as has its partnership with Falcon Cars, which has allowed it to oer airport runs for time-pressed businessmen and women.

Coatham now operates a 12-strong coach eet for 16 to 57 passengers, as well as ve Falcon cars. Mark plans to add two new cars to the eet and, with support from the Regional Growth Fund, is investing PS525,000 in three supergreen coaches to comply with EU rules on transport-generated emissions. While he hopes these investments will reap commercial dividends, he's refusing to map out a grand plan for exponential growth.

"We're not chasing turnover," he says. "We're trying to drive e-ciencies and improve all aspects of the business. ere is a danger you can try to grow too quickly and then you don't have the systems in place to cope."

At the age of just 37, he has a challenge on his hands to lead, coax and manage a team which includes several family members: sisters Louise and Nicola, mum Barbara, brother-in-law Andrew Baker and nephew Aarron Baker.

But he's used to inuencing, problem-solving and building relationships in a career that has spanned the public and private sectors.

Born in Guisborough, Mark completed an accounting and nance degree from Teesside University before training as an auditor, working rst in local government and then at professional services rm Bentley Jennison. He returned to the public sector in 2005 when he became information manager at Stockton Council, where he mapped out data systems that strengthened connections between the organisation and its key partners. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.