The ultimate crunch time came for us sooner than we were expecting. In hindsight we should have made the leap much sooner. After a year or so of working nights and weekends we came to the conclusion that we had a greater demand for our work than spare hours in the week.
Something had to change and given the goal was to work full time for ourselves we took the leap. Well I was the first to go full time.
In September 2011 I resigned from my then employer and started working full time for GDL Automotive Services.
Back in those days it felt a bit stupid as the amount of work we had would fill an evening but would only half fill a normal working day. For the first twelve months or so I recall finishing around lunch time on most days.
We were still working from home and still had the team to fall back on in the evenings and weekends when needed. Thinking back to the days of doing clutches, timing belts and head gaskets in the driveway makes me cringe but at the time we were happy to do it and it paid the bills.
We did througout the next year discover a few issues with our business that we wished we could rectify but at the time did not have the funds or ability to do anything about so we just made do.
The most obvious of these was space. Our little at home workshop would only fit two vehicles at anyone time. So in super busy periods this became a problem. Or if we had a job getting a head gasket replaced it would be there for two weeks limiting working space to one bay.
The next biggest issue was my parents place was located on a hill, on the corner of a main road, with a no stopping zone out the front, so any break down jobs had to be done where the tow truck driver left them which was often hundreds of meters down the road.
Along with the at home workshop came problems of super big jobs. Clutches in four wheel drives, manual conversions and engine jobs were never gong to happen in our little shop so we made alliance with a local mechanic who I will blog about later in the month.
The fourth major issue we faced back then was parts suppliers, operating from the suburbs made getting parts delivered very hard. Suppliers often would not go out of the industrial areas for deliveries and we often found ourselves wasting hours a day running to and from parts shops.
It all sounds tough, but honestly we had a blast, the business overheads were low so the stress was low, income was also low but the lifestyle had begun to develop and our client base was ever increasing.