Lead Forensics

How Steely Products matured from a start-up to established

Steely Products was formed over 50 years ago, in 1970. Back then, we were a start-up business, but we are now well-established. Here’s some insight into how we developed into the company we are today.

Beginnings as a start-up

A start-up is a newly established company that has created a business model it hopes will be successful. In 1970, Steely Products was a start-up company, though that term was not commonly used at that time. Like today’s start-ups, Steely created a new business model. This consisted of three main parts:

  1. Designing and making equipment to store and move awkwardly shaped items
  2. Making equipment out of tubular steel at a time when plastic and wood were more common
  3. Offering end-users a bespoke design and build service

These three essential elements are still part of our business model today. We continue to use tubular steel to make premium-quality equipment, though tubular steel is now widely used by many equipment manufacturers. We still make equipment for sofas, mattresses and other heavy and awkwardly shaped items, and we continue to offer a bespoke service.

From start-up risks to an established business

Most of today’s start-ups take risks. They create new business models, which run the risk of failure. When Steely was founded, we tried out a new business model. This was risky, but it paid off. The customers – our end-users – validated the business model by appreciating the quality of what we produced and purchasing our equipment.

Steely Products, after 50 years in business, has moved from start-up status to a well-established company. The business model we created proved to be sound, repeatable and scalable. Our focus is now on successfully implementing it.

Innovation and partnership

Steely’s business model has two other elements – partnership and innovation. In 1970, our founder, Frank Richardson, envisioned new ways to make the construction of equipment quicker by improving the efficiency of the manufacturing process. He started using his innovative skills in making trolleys and soon expanded to packing tables, racks and storage equipment.

Innovation was embedded in Frank’s approach to design and manufacturing. Steely would not have been as successful without continual innovation and the regular development of new products. An established company that does not innovate risks failure. The history of UK business is full of established companies that failed because they became stagnant and ceased innovating.

Another key to Steely’s success is partnership. Our equipment designs are collaborations between the design engineers here at Steely and the end-users, including business owners, managers and the workers who use our equipment every day. The combined input of everyone involved informs new designs and leads to innovation.


Steely Products is an established business with over 50 years of history. We have survived economic downturns and the Covid-19 virus. We fully intend to be around for the next 50 years, innovating and fabricating well-designed equipment that is built to last.

To find out more about Steely Products and our wide range of equipment, call us or use the contact form below.

Get a free quote
welding metal

    Please fill in the form below to get in touch.

    * - required