60-second-start-up: LHD Car Supermarket

0-5 seconds: Sum your business up in a sentence

A self-sufficient, customer focused, British registered and based, cutting edge business model focused on the niche market of Left Hand Drive Cars, with a Pan-European supply chain and a global customer base.  

5-10 seconds: What's the business model?

Through our network of European dealers, we provide a bespoke, customer-focused search and select service for Left Hand Drive Cars, delivered to any location across the globe. We provide the unique service of being British based, and English speaking, allowing our customers to access vehicles they would otherwise miss out on through language or cultural restrictions while giving them the reassurance of UK customer protection, and the ability to deal with us in a language with which they are comfortable.  

10-15 seconds: Who are your competitors?

We don't have any direct competitors who have our vast European network which can search for any car, to any specification across Europe, our focus on customer service, logistics network, and the quality of our network is unrivalled.

There are a few businesses in the UK where you can buy a left-hand drive car, but their search, selection and export resource is limited.

15-20 seconds: What's your USP?

Our ability to search the whole of Europe for any make, model and specification of the car, if the model is listed by the manufacturer as being made we can find it. We ensure our network dealers are approved to highest standards, ensuring the cars arrive at the customer's chosen location, be it in the UK, Europe, or further afield, with all the correct paperwork for the country to which it is going to reside.

20-25 seconds: How have you funded it so far?

The business has been funded by me, and my close personal friends for the first three months. Through our focus on customer service, delivery and attracting repeat customers, we were able to clear all capital investment within the first three months, and have no external borrowing of any sort.

25-30 seconds: What were you doing before?

I was working in the car industry, for an import-export business, and gained a huge amount of knowledge relating to car logistics, and re-registration.  From this, I have been able to capitalise on my relationship with our European network of dealers and provide the service of export, registration and re-assurance for the Left Hand Drive market that was missing.

30-35 seconds: Where did the idea come from?

The idea came from my experience within the industry, and the recognition that there was no customer focused, UK based Left Hand Drive dealers who could provide the level of service and reassurance the marketplace demanded.

35-40 seconds: What's the smartest thing you've done so far?

Starting the business, realising the potential of this untapped and niche market, by focusing on service and reassurance.

40-45 seconds: What's the stupidest?

Print ten thousand brochures for a European residential show; we still have stacks of the brochures in the office.  Our route to market is via the internet, personal recommendation and retained customers, brochures are an old marketing format that has proved to have a limited return.

45-50 seconds: If your business was a biscuit, what would it be?

I am not sure I can answer that, comparing us to a biscuit is taking the biscuit, and I don't eat them.

Although I am reliably informed that a Hob Nob is very tasty!

50-55 seconds: Which idea are you a bit jealous of?

We attract most of our initial leads through the internet, from which we then retain customers and work through recommendation.

The internet is phenomenal resource, for which we should be grateful to one of Britain's greatest inventor, Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee.

Although I would say I was more admiring of his invention than jealous.

55-60 seconds: Where are you going to be in 12 months' time?

Our focus over the next twelve months will be to service our returning customers who have been buying vehicles from us for the past three years. I have got to know many of them very well, and look forward to serving them.

We are also working on plans to increase our customer base within key high net worth locations across Europe such as Monaco, the Channel Islands, Gibraltar and Lichtenstein through recommendation and a direct marketing strategy.

Our success in providing vehicles for the United Nations has also provided a key market sector with which we are looking to expand over the coming months.

We are well past the company setting-up stage and are now looking to expand our customer base, and service to the maximum potential.

For more information about LHD Supermarket, click here

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