2015 – What Did We Do With It?

Trolling back through previous blogs posts I stumbled upon a post I wrote in early December 2014. The post reviewed the year past and listed many positives of the twelve month window that was drawing to a close. I felt this was a good exercise to get involved in, at the very least a positive mind set can’t hurt so we decided to do it again, looking back at 2015.
million dollar
so large scale items we placed on that list all have been achieved, in the process of being achieved and will be completed early next year or, in one or two cases, the goal was dropped after commencing as it was decided that the particular goal was not consistent with where we wanted to take the business this year. The greatest of these goals was the target of doubling the existing client database, this we achieved within nine months.
To start with we needed to look at the list of annual goals we penciled out back in January. Looking through these goals I am encouraged, of the ten or
The decision in late 2014 to avoid the high performance market has paid off massively, whilst we still love the cars, the culture and the people involved, the high performance work was damaging cash-flow in the business. The call was made to move our focus away from this and find another niche. We began a campaign in early 2015 targeting the stay-at-home mum with the family SUV, more commonly referred to as the soccer mum. Almost six months later we realised this to was probably not the best niche for our business either. Our soccer mum clients were responding positively to us and our marketing but the increasing number of corporate clients who were throwing credit cards at us and saying “I don’t care what it costs just make my life easier” led us to the realisation that our business template best suited those working in professional sectors. This realisation came late in the year but it has helped guide and change our marketing approach, which so far is working.
Early this year we entered the small business awards for the second year running, for the second time we missed out on this award but it does not detract from the enjoyable community evening that the awards night is. It was nice to bump into many of our clients and business friends at this event. If nothing else its a great coming together of local business community and is a night well worth investing in.
We didn’t completely walk away from the performance cars either. Nick, a friend who has not worked for the past year but spends many hours mucking around with metal fabrication has somehow managed to convert two vehicles from twin turbo to single turbo in the past twelve months and our apprentice Haimish built himself a S13 Silvia which after many months of anguish, once completed, he almost immediately sold. The Sprinter build was completed and registered this year, as was the EK civic we were building, (a little more on that latter)
When looking at work we were outsourcing in 2014 we concluded that there were many things we were sending to other workshops and paying for services we were capable of doing ourselves. We decided that with some large initial investments we could bring these repairs in-house and increase our revenue. Two of the greatest out sourcing expenses were our tyre sales and Blue slips.
We spent some money and invested in a tyre changing machine and a balancer and established accounts with tyre wholesalers. The result was tyre sales contributed to more than 20% of our revenue in 2015.
Two of our team drove out to Grandville TAFE three days in a row earlier this year in order to establish the workshop as a Blue slip inspection station and get the qualifications required to operate the station. Many hoops were jumped but GDL is now a functioning Blue slip or AUVIS station.

June this year was the achievement of a great milestone. The reaching of the turnover of $1 million dollars. To celebrate this event we hosted a black tie cocktail party in Manly and invited many of our business friends and clients to come and celebrate the evening with us. The reaching of this milestone was the achievement of a goal I had, had since my teens and it was a very special night to be able to celebrate that event with a special group of people.
ekcivicMay 2015 we completed the tribute car built in memory of the late Tim Nicolas. This too was an emotional mile stone for both us and Tim’s family.
Motorbikes became a thing for our team this year with almost all of us now having bike licences and road bikes of one type or another.
Towards the end of the year, the news of a baby on the way coincided nicely with the increasing work demand and the pressure to add another hoist and possibly look at more staff as an option. The news of the pregnancy meant the relocation of a lot of our personal belongings and this freed up the space to remove a make shift room in the workshop. This has freed up additional space for some hoist shuffling, a new hoist and eventually a new staff member.
The big scale dream of establishing the largest stand alone service centre on Sydney’s Northern Beaches is well on its way. Now that we are close to five years into the journey and were looking at 2016 with the intention of adding more staff, the goal feels like it getting closer with every passing day.

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