Business Action | April / May 2019


April / May 2019 issue of the independent North Devon-based business magazine covering news about business and enterprise in Barnstaple, Bideford, Braunton, Chulmleigh, Combe Martin, Holsworthy, Ilfracombe, Lynmouth, Lynton, South Molton, Torrington, Woolacombe and more.

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people and companies from

purchasing or leasing businesses

or business premises. In

fact, our pipeline is the strongest

it has been in 10 years, so

from a buyer’s point of view

the confidence is still there that

they want to purchase.

“More of the difficultly

might be in a few months time


Commercial property and business specialists

celebrate 10 years

If ever there was a difficult

time to set up a specialist estate

agency in the sale and letting of

commercial property and business,

you would probably pick

a few months after the Lehman

Brothers bank collapsed,

when the ‘Great Depression’

or ‘Financial Crisis’ was really

at its worst. However, this is

when James Doble established

JD Commercial and now in

2019 the firm is celebrating its

10-year anniversary.

James himself has been

dealing with commercial property

and businesses throughout

Devon, Cornwall and Somerset

for longer than this, with more

than 20 years’ experience. He

says that since establishing the

business, “although the market

remains challenging, there is

seemingly a growing number

of those who want to be their

own bosses and run a business

or those wanting to move to

the area for a home and income

lifestyle change, whether that is

renting a workshop to establish

a business or buying a going

concern B&B, tea room or

cottage complex.”

With many of the challenges

in the market at present

appearing to come from issues

surrounding Brexit, James says:

“Although Brexit is still up in

the air, this is not deterring

Applegate Marketplace, based

in Barnstaple, has doubled

the number of transactions

it handled in 2018 compared

with 2017. The online marketplace

matches buyers sourcing

products and services with

suppliers across the world.

Jack Richards, marketing

communications executive at

Applegate, cites three mains

reasons for the increase: repeat

usage, word of mouth and

artificial intelligence.

“We have placed emphasis

on retaining site users and

encouraging them to place

multiple requests for quotation

on a repeat basis,” says

Jack. “We know that not only

does this mean the buyer’s

purchasing process becomes

habitual, but that this in turn

increases the likelihood of them

proceeding with the purchase

from our supplier base.”

James Doble of JD Commercial

when these deals have gone

through, as there does not

appear to be the stock coming

on the market to replace these

soon-to-be-sold and leased

premises. Maybe it is a case

that buyers have more confidence

and desire to purchase

than prospective sellers think?

If this is the case, now may be

Online marketplace

doubles transactions

While Applegate invests

heavily in technology, it also

recognises how traditional

advertising and PR add

value, and, as well as working

with global businesses and

organisations, Jack works

with businesses locally. This

approach is generating significant

numbers of referrals

and recommendations which

have contributed to the large

increase in transactions.

Complementing this

human approach, Anneka,

Applegate’s artificial intelligence

tool, continuously

searches social channels to

identify possible leads. This

AI tool frees up employees so

they can follow up leads and

strike while the iron is hot.

“Our substantial transactional

growth is not down

to any one thing,” adds Jack.

“We see buyers coming back

to us in numerous industries,

particularly in manufacturing/

engineering, promotional

printing and digital agencies

and web design. Often, we

notice that these repeat within

the same industry, but also in

other industries too. As with

many services, I believe that it

is through providing a service

people find useful and easy

which will see them return.”

Established in 1996,

Applegate now employs a team

a good time to consider a sale,

when purchaser confidence is

high but supply of stock is low.

“For those who are considering

a sale, we offer a free no

obligation marketing appraisal,

whether you put your property

on the market straightaway

or in five years’ time. We are

happy to meet prospective

clients and offer our advice

with a view that hopefully we

will do some business with

them in the future.

“Whatever happens around

Brexit, one factor remains

consistent: the quality and

speed of response is something

that is key to what

we offer at JD Commercial,

and something that clients

and purchasers appreciate.

Whether it is a voicemail,

email, text, Facebook message

or Twitter comment, who

wants to be waiting 24 hours to

be responded to? We find the

key to offering first class service

is client contact.”

James is happy to discuss

any aspect of buying or selling

a business or commercial

property in Devon, Cornwall

or Somerset and is looking

forward to JD Commercial

working with clients old and

new in the years ahead.

■■Details 01237 424053 or

of 31 at its office on Petroc’s

Sticklepath campus. A technology

leader, it launched its

Applegate PRO eprocurement

system in 2016 and in 2017

secured an Innovate UK grant

to develop its artificial intelligence

and machine learning


In partnership with the

Institute of Data Science and

Artificial Intelligence at the

University of Exeter, Applegate

now develops machine

learning systems, continually

enhancing the matching of

suppliers to buyers’ requests.

Applegate is also a Strategic

Partner of the US Department

of Commerce International

Trade Administration. While

operating globally, Applegate

retains its established base in

North Devon.

■■Details 0345 600 7177 or

4 business action | April / May 2019 |

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