Family paves the way for future success

Two brothers have joined forces with their father to help increase the turnover of his business, Forth Companies Ltd, by a projected 25% next year.

Grant and Gregor Sleith joined their father Graham’s enterprise earlier this year. Since then, the trio have put plans in place to increase exposure of the local plant hire and paving company.

Using advice from Business Gateway Clackmannanshire, when investigating the launch of two new websites, Grant has worked with a local web design team to launch and this month (December). 

It is hoped the new websites and the fact the business is opening up its base at Old Russell Yard, Alloa, to the general public, allowing them to browse paving and the full range of plant and tool equipment, will help the enterprise increase its turnover significantly next year.

Grant, who joined the company after studying for four years at Robert Gordon University Aberdeen, said: “Both my brother and I have been involved in the business in some capacity for years but it wasn’t until this year that we came on board full-time. I now manage the company with my father as well as head up marketing and design while Gregor is a plant operator in training and works in the paving and landscape side of the business. We’re so busy that having the extra hands has helped free up time and allowed us to focus on what we want to achieve and how we will achieve it over the coming year.

“I have a good head for business but I wanted to find out more about the technical side of things so when I first joined I went to Business Gateway. The free workshops gave me a good grounding whilst specialist support in finance systems and employee contracts was invaluable. When I wanted to find out more about launching the new websites, the DigitalBoost programme and the excellent advice from IT expert, John Paterson, helped me understand things that initially seemed technically difficult. John armed me with a lot of useful advice and I always left our meetings knowing exactly what I needed to do next.

“Now, with the new website in place and our social media strategy working well for us, along with our rebrand that I implemented earlier this year, we’re able to clearly highlight both the plant hire and paving arms of the business to the general public and to small businesses who make up our customer base. Next year’s focus will be investing in staff development.”

Alison Davidson, Business Gateway, said: “It is an exciting time for Forth Companies. Both Grant and Gregor have brought new ideas and ways of working to the table that have already helped the business grow. Grant benefited from our workshop programme and 1:1 DigitalBoost support and our IT adviser gave him a greater understanding of technical issues and our HR adviser helped with staff contracts. The support package has bolstered his confidence and helped drive him forward.”

Having left the water board to follow his dream of starting his own business, Graham set up Forth Plants and Forth Paving in 1990 in Riverside View, Alloa. Since then, the business has grown from a ‘one man and his digger’ operation into an employer of eight with over 15 pieces of heavy machinery and over 70 large and small tools available to hire from its base in Old Russells Yard. 

Grant said: “I always remember having a digger parked in our back garden when dad first launched the business. Over the past 26 years hSince then, e has single-handedly grown the company. His drive, commitment and high standards have helped establish a great reputation based on quality products and excellent customer service. My brother and I are delighted to now be on board, working with our dad to help grow the business further.”

To find out how Business Gateway Clackmannanshire can help your business call 01259 208426 or visit