Hello and welcome back to another blog post.
I’ve been wondering what I could write about this week without it being all about cars and finance so I decided to write about vans and cash!
No I’m joking. I realised we’ve been going for 6 months now and I thought I would do a post about how we’ve found it so far, the ups and downs and how I see things going in the next 6-12 months.
So a brief explanation for the people who haven’t been with us from the start, I originally started my company in the name of M Squared Car Leasing LTD earlier this year and we got off to a pretty good start.
I managed to arrange meetings with several dealers and manufacturers all over the country and secure some amazing deals on just about everything ranging from Citroen vans to Range Rovers and everything in between.
Very pleased I had the offers in place I started with a simple FB Profile and started advertising the cars. Initially I didn’t know how to go about this for the best so it was a very simple case of get a random picture off Google images and type a price on it then post it.
It worked surprisingly well and I managed to supply a number of vehicles off the back of it which kept me going for a couple of months.
After doing this for a couple of months I spoke to an old colleague of mine (Adrian) who was leaving his current position to start his own business Sports Prestige & Classics. Adrian was going to work very similar to me but wanted to focus mainly on the higher end vehicles, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Bentley etc.
We had a couple of meetings and got our heads together and decided we would join forces and go at it together. Next came one of the hardest things we have had to do so far and that was to chose a name for the company. It sounds like a simple task but took us a little longer than I’d care to admit. We eventually agreed on Bywater Motor Group as our office is in Allerton Bywater and we both liked the sounds of it.
So what’s next? Well as mentioned above we decided it would be nice if unlike most car leasing companies our customers had somewhere they could come and see us, sit down with a brew and go over their options, spec cars on the configurator and get any advise they might need before placing an order. The idea was to give our customers the benefit of a dealership but without paying massively inflated dealership prices.
So once we had our new name and office in place we had to find a way to make the whole thing more slick and professional, we initially subscribed to a generic website that’s designed for car leasing companies but to be honest it was just terrible and if anyone reading this has ever visited our site I’m sure you will agree.
It was very busy, overrun with all the cars people don’t want and hardly any of the cars people do want and it was very hard to navigate, even for us and it was our site. We have now ditched the generic site and are in the process of having one custom built as I type, this will be very easy to use and give you all the information up front so you can do as much research as you like before even picking up the phone as we know that’s how people shop nowadays, ourselves included.
We went to a marketing team and asked them to give us a professional brand we could be proud of as up until now we were still using google images with a price typed on.
They gave us a new logo and colour scheme and created banners for us so we could uniform all of our social media posts. I now do the majority of posts but marketing still do our Instagram stories and videos as they’re very time consuming and I can no longer do it myself.
To give you an idea of how far our posts have come along since taking on a marketing team I have posted two images below, the top one being how we originally advertised and the second one being how we post now.
So what’s been the most challenging part of starting a business from absolutely nothing? Exposure.
Getting people onto the website or to follow us on social media is a very slow process and we need to be very active on SM all the time to continue being noticed.
We have accounts on Facebook (Page & Personal accounts), Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google & our website and it must all be kept on top of and posted on regularly.
This is very difficult as they all work in very different ways, for example when I go to create a new post like the one above I have to do at least 2 as FB and instagram use different dimensions for their pictures to fit nicely into the space provided, Stories/TV is then very different again so one post can take an hour to do and we do 1 or 2 a day as the prices vary ever so slightly but very frequently.
The behind the scenes work that has gone into Bywater Motors and continues to be put in is phenomenal. We have constant meetings with our deals/manufacturers to make sure our deals are constantly up to date and the best possible prices. As an example Audi deals can change weekly so we must be on top of that and they’re not alone. We are always looking for ways to keep motoring cheap for our customers.
With Contract Hire you can opt in to a maintenance agreement as part of your contract but we teamed up with a 3rd party company to provide a maintenance package which is on par with the dealerships price wise but offers so much more than just servicing and tyres.
This takes time to do and many meetings to make sure we have the best possible deal to offer you.
I guess to sum up how we’ve found our first 6 months of trading it’s been very difficult, expensive and there’s been many a day of starting work at 5am and still sat on the laptop at 11pm that night but I have to admit it’s all been worth it so far.
When the website launches the long days will start again but it will make the whole process much easier for our customers so it’s worth every minute of it. Lastly we will be running another competition in the next month or so just in time or Christmas so make sure you keep an eye out for that.
Thank you for reading, I enjoy reading the emails I get from people off the back of my posts and as always if theres anything you’d like me to write about please let me know.