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The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation

Garage owner fuels growth with £250k investment

Date: Monday 25 July 2022

A Nottingham-based independent garage has its sight set on further growth after a £250k investment reaped a full and early return on investment.

Carl Regan, owner of Arnold Garage, took a leap of faith and continued with a move to new purpose built premises, after the investment was put on hold when the pandemic hit.

The decision proved to be the right one and the return on investment took less than 12 months.

The garage found itself operating at four times its original work capacity. With forward bookings secured, Carl then decided to expand the MOT offering having been approved for Class 7 testing.

The investment in the vehicle repair and services business included more than the new build alone. As well as workshop equipment and a new management system, Carl appointed an independent website specialist and says the decision has been a key factor in the garage’s success.

He said:

“Like most garages, we’re always busy so I never really saw the point investing in a proper website. It wasn’t like we were desperate for the work.
“But with the new premises nearing completion, it was clear we needed an online presence that reflected our professionalism and capabilities. I also knew without one, we’d be limiting the amount of new customers we could attract as well as making it harder for existing customers to interact with us.”

Arnold Garage saw a huge upturn in business. Following the launch of the bespoke website, customers using the garage for the first time increased by over 20 percent. Carl says he also gets an average of five website generated enquiries every day, directly to his phone.

“I get a lot over the weekend when we’re closed and many of them are people who’ve left things until the last minute. Customers expect to be able to go on their phones these days and just order or book something at will; and their MOT or car service is no exception.
“Without doubt, I would not be without our website now. It only has to generate one single job a month to pay for itself and ours does that ten times. For something that took me less than half an hour to organise, I can’t believe I didn’t do it sooner.”

Jim Lang from Garage Services Online, the company behind Arnold Garage’s website, said:

“The beauty of a bespoke site is not just how easily it’s found by a Google search, but that it’s being clicked on by potential customers who are self-qualified for the exact services the garage wants to be contacted about.
“In Carl’s case, we were also able to steer his web enquiries towards Class 7 MOTs so he’s maximising business in that new area. It’s this versatility that shows just how a website can work in alignment with so many aspects of a garage’s business.”