Business Profile: Pavico Group

Name: Paul Coburn
Business Name: Pavico Group
L: C6 Omagh Enterprise Centre, Great Northern Road, Omagh
M: +44 7771 946498

Business Profile: Pavico Group

Can you describe your business?

Pavico is a company which provides environmental health and safety support and guidance to organisations throughout the UK and Ireland. We provide a wide variety of support in the area of food safety, health and safety and environmental management, primarily to the food service and manufacturing industries as well as national and independent retailers. Pavico is currently the preferred supplier of food safety and health and safety audits for the Excellence Ireland Quality Association and also with the International Food Safety Auditing Company, NSF. Through this association with EIQA we provide auditing services to the likes of Musgrave, Supervalu, Centra, Mace and Spar. With NSF we are busy auditing the likes of Premier Inn Hotels, Starbucks, Whitbread Group, Domino’s and many other high street names and brands.

It is likely that if you ever visit a ‘big name’ coffee shop, restaurant or hotel… I’ve more than likely inspected the place! We complement our auditing and inspection services with accredited and bespoke training, consultancy and project management, recruitment and strategic planning.

Why did you start your own business?

I qualified as an environmental health officer 23 years ago and after two years in the public sector, the majority of my career was spent in the private sector working for international food companies such as Compass Group, Kraft Foods/Mondelez and Nestle. I spent five years in Switzerland in senior global environmental health and safety roles, based out of Zurich and Vevey. After spending the  majority of 2017 in London working, I decided to spend a little more time on solid ground, rather than flying across the World. So I returned home to my family in Omagh. Not one for being idle, I quickly used my 20 plus years contacts to identify any work opportunities, initially in Ireland. My first contract from EIQA was to complete food safety inspections in 125 Londis shops in the island of Ireland. This created the foundation to grow and look elsewhere for similar and evolving projects. Quickly I received requests to do work for the Musgrave Supervalu Group and the UK giant BWG. More recently, I won the contract to be the preferred supplier of environmental health and safety services to NSF. This opportunity exposes Pavico Group to more UK and International assignments, which in turn will require the company to grow.

What are the best things about running your own business?

Being a pay-as-you-earn employee for 20 plus years, receiving your first cheque for work completed by yourself is very rewarding. The completion of projects and the positive response from clients and  customers is extremely satisfying too. Business is all about making contacts and everyday, every visit and every person you meet is a potential new customer.

What are the main challenges facing the business? 

As the business grows, I tend to be on the road a lot, meaning my administration duties, marketing and new sales work is becoming more difficult to fit in. Undoubtedly I could do with growing the team and whilst this is a challenge, it’s also an exciting opportunity.

What advice would you give to someone starting a business? 

I would advise that you focus on a specific service or product when you start out. My initial focus was on food safety and health and safety inspections, and from this I could build upon and introduce additional options and services to my existing and future customers. Use your contacts and don’t be afraid to ask questions… even if you think it may be stupid. It’s important that you schedule the sales and marketing aspect of your business. You can have the best product and service in the world, but you need customers to make your business work and complete.

Can you describe your experience of running a business in three words or less?

Exciting, stressful, (but) fulfilling.