A BOLD decision made three and a half years ago by a man who ventured to start a business alone at the beginning has paid off as the business has gone from strength to strength.

Ryedale Auctioneers is in the running for the Small Business of the Year prize and just last year, the company’s site doubled in size, enabling it to expand its services.

When Angus Ashworth, who was a finalist in for Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2013, set the company up in 2010 with no staff, he had never envisaged he would reach profit targets two years early.

He paid tribute to the team behind him, saying: “None of this would have been possible without the hard work and dedication of my staff who always pull through and represent the company in a friendly, approachable but professional manner.”

Mr Ashworth was keen to give the firm good foundations to enable a solid platform for the company to grow and achieve a good reputation.

The company now employs 11 members of staff with more than 7500 registered clients worldwide, becoming arguable the fastest-growing auction house in the region.

The team sets themselves apart from the rest as one of the first auction houses in the region to offer live internet bidding on specialist sales and in turn growing their base of regular bidders. Currently, online bidders from specialist sales account for 40 per cent of sales.

Mr Ashworth said: “We are still a young company but we expect growth to continue, especially with the introduction of online bidding on our general sales from September.

“We are also about to take on two new apprentices in a bid to help the next generation coming into the work place.”

The first few years saw continued growth and development of specialist sales of antiques, fine arts, railways and toys. In addition, Ryedale Auctioneers carved a name for themselves in militaria and sporting, including firearms, after acquiring a registered firearms dealers’ license, and being one of the few auctioneers in the country to do so.

As part of the local community, Ryedale Auctioneers support local charities and act as a social meeting point for people from Kirbymoorside, where they are based.