Robert runs a mobile based business, Monster Vehicle Care. Based at his home address in Manchester, He started by focusing on the Manchester area. But high demand has allowed Robert to expand the business across the North West.
Robert has now been trading for 4 months. Initially he intended to work part-time on the business for the first 12 months of trading. But after the first month of trading it became clear that his services are in high demand and he now operate full time, 6 days a week.
Robert does not currently employ any staff but it is certainly something that he will look to do in the future. He has also looked at the possibility of operating a nationwide franchise scheme, but again this is something that he will look into in the future.
Prior to starting his business, Robert had held many jobs within the motor industry. He first started cleaning cars at 13 years old; his neighbour owned a taxi company and he started cleaning his vehicles after school and at weekends in order to help bring money into the house to help his Mother. He did this until he left school, and went on to study vehicle mechanics, business studies admin and finance, and levels 1,2 & 3 NVQ customer service. He always knew that he wanted to have a thriving business of his own, and be in charge of his own future.
Robert is a qualified vehicle brake technician, trained by Delphi and Brembo, market leaders within the industry. He is also a qualified Vehicle Tyre Master Technician, trained at a Pirelli centre of excellence, which he then went on to manage just 6 months after his initial training. He then went on to set up his own business operating a mobile vehicle servicing and maintenance company offering low cost vehicle maintenance.
The business grew very quickly, and after his first 3 months of trading, he had expanded and opened 2 static car washes as well.
Robert states that his family was his initial inspiration to start a business. He wanted to be the person that was working for his family, and not lining a employers pocket. Robert always questioned why should another person benefit financially from all his hard work. Earning minimum wage has never been an option, he has always been a firm believer in “you get out what you put in”.
Since launch. the business has grown quickly. Initially Robert started just caring for friends and relatives vehicles, but studied and researched marketing techniques and how to use social media to the best of its ability. He also learnt how to build a website and write code to divert traffic to his site.
Robert joined various forums and vehicle enthusiast clubs, and attend shows and meetings to promote the business. He now has over 100 regular clients, and is taking on new customers every day, travelling further afield and increasing the range of services that the business offers.
Robert found that the hardest issue to deal with is managing his time between his night job, his business and the admin side, and spending time with his family.
Robert’s brother in law recommended the Start Up Loans Scheme; he runs a camper van hire company, and used funding to start up his business. Robert now maintains his fleet of vehicles.
Robert’s main plan for the future is to grow the business. Excellent customer service is always a priority, so he will grow when he is content that he is able to manage the growth without compromising the level of service that he delivers to his clients.
Robert plans to purchase a bigger vehicle so that he can start offering a mobile tyre fitting service and increased mechanical services. He is also currently in talks with a market leading aftermarket exhaust manufacturer, who is offering him exclusive rights as a mobile supplier and fitter across the Northwest. He would like to have more vans on the road and maybe some staff or franchise, but is not looking to run before he can walk!
“The service has been a blessing, I would not be in the situation I am in now if it wasn’t for my start up loan. The application process was simple and there was help at the end of the phone should I need it. My mum passed away during my application process and I had to re arrange a few meetings, but the staff were helpful and sincere and made the process as easy and as flexible as I needed it to be.
“Pay-out after approval was so fast, even to the point that I wasn’t fully ready to start the business and funds had cleared in the account. The delay in the first re-payment was also great, as it gave me time to put some working capital back in the bank.
“If I am totally honest the only downsides to the experience was, I still have not received any paperwork regarding my agreement, although it is me that has not chased it up enough. And the other being not being able to change the repayment date. I was informed that this is a fixed date and cannot be altered. But I have adjusted my finances accordingly to suit.”