Jobs hope for Keys To Success entrants

Phill Smart in the middle of a PC installation project
Phill Smart in the middle of a PC installation project

A COMPANY director hopes to create employment if his firm was to clinch the fantastic prize in the Keys To Success competition.

PC Trends Ltd is run by Phill Smart, 34, from Hartlepool, and Simon Woodhouse, 35, from Thornley.

At the moment, it is run from home by Phill who said: “There is no getting to work. You just get up and you are at work.

“But having an office would mean we would have more of a presence in town and we would also have the ability to have employees.”

PC Trends becomes the latest entrant in Keys To Success which is run by the Hartlepool Mail in association with UK Steel Enterprise. The eventual winner can move straight into a 200 sq ft office, spacious enough to accommodate three people.

Both Phill and Simon work on contracts in an area stretching from Birtley to Yorkshire. The latest, which was ongoing this week, was to put in 100 sockets and a wireless installation for a Birtley company.

PC Trends Ltd was established in 2008 “in the heart of the financial crisis to serve a need for reliable and fairly priced IT support,” said Phill.

“It was run on a part time basis until 2012 when we made the leap into it full time after building up a number of clients in the transport industry, education and voluntary sector. Since 2008, we have seen our turnover increase year on year and this year it is estimated to be our highest ever.”

Phill added: “We do not have call centres, or a faceless person on the end of the phone. We know all our customers personally.

“We are currently at the stage where having another member of staff would prove beneficial, both in terms of doing the existing work but also gaining more. However, we do not currently have an office so the option of more staff has to be shelved as there is nowhere for them to go.

“If we were to win this competition and gain access to an office, then the world will be our oyster. We would be able to hire the staff needed along with an apprentice which has always been one of our goals.”

We are now into double figures for the number of entrants in our Keys To Success competition. For more details about Keys to Success, visit the Hartlepool Mail website at

Entries should be sent to