Clubtyre: Marc Hawkey

After securing finance from The Prince’s Trust, Marc Hawkey turned his entrepreneur dream into a reality with his new mobile tyre start-up

Name: Marc Hawkey
Age: 27
Company Name: Clubtyre
Staff numbers: 2
Location: Wales
Date Launched: 03/06/2013
Website: www.clubtyre.co.uk

Tell us what your business does:

We are a mobile tyre operation. We operate from vans using the latest equipment and technology. We carry out tyre repairs and replacements at customers’ homes, places of work or even while they’re shopping.

Where did the idea for your business come from?

Having worked in the motor industry for many years, I was used to seeing first-hand the complaints and criticisms the industry received, particularly regarding the lack of image and innovation in the industry.

With consumers using the internet for shopping more and more, the idea emerged to start a totally mobile service where people could buy tyres over the phone or internet, then have the tyres delivered at their home or work and fitted for free.

How did you know there was a market for it?

With over 35 million cars on the road and a legal requirement for tyres to be replaced at a certain tread depth, there was always going to be a market. In regards to our service we completed a lot of market research and found the results for such a service were very good. Lots of different businesses are now operating the mobile way. Mobile services are now at their highest demand.

What were you doing before starting up?

I was a workshop controller for a local car dealership, but unfortunately sales and work slowed down so I was made redundant at the beginning of 2013. With a family to support and a house to pay for I knew starting out on my own was the best option.

Have you always wanted to run your own business?

Yes, from a very young age. I never knew what I wanted to do though. I had a note pad full of business ideas. Previously my favourite idea was to start my own jacket potato take away chain, but then I had this idea.

How did you raise the money?

I used a mixture of sources for money. My redundancy money helped and I also approached The Prince’s Trust and Finance Wales for loans. I found the whole process to obtain funds from these sources much easier than first anticipated and I would advise anyone looking for funds to do it.

What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?

Capital has been tight, so we have had to learn to do everything ourselves. I’ve learnt how to do accounts, photography, use Photoshop, leaflet designing etc.

Describe your business model and how you make money:

People tell us their size and budget, we source the best tyres and book them in for delivery and fitting. We attend a location to suit them and fit the tyres. Once fitted they pay by card or cash, simple.

What was your first big breakthrough?

I sent a few emails to local businesses explaining about our business and how we could help their fleet costs, the next day I had a call from one of the companies asking if I could come in for a meeting. Then, before I knew it, I had bagged a contract for 30 vehicles.

What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?

If you want to start your own business, just go it. If you need help with funds then I would advise The Prince’s trust, they really do help you get your business started.

Where do you want to be in five years’ time?

Our five year target is to have 45 vans operating across the South West.

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