Repair and Go: Donald During

Like many of the best business ideas, During says the idea for his online car repair marketplace was formed from personal experience of a gap in the market

Name: Donald During
Age: 31
Company: Repair and Go
Staff numbers: 5
Location: London
Date launched: 01/03/2013
Website: www.repairandgo.com

Tell us what your business does:

Repair and Go is a revolutionary new online marketplace for car repairs in the UK. We connect motorists in need of car repair with local reputable mechanics who can provide the best work at the best price with the aim to save motorists time and money.

Where did the idea for your business come from?

Like any good business idea Repair and Go was built on my personal experience when I had a car accident on my way to work. Approaching my insurance company was not an option as I wanted to protect my no claims and prevent my premiums skyrocketing.  To cut a long story short I was forced to choose a garage because of convenience and the outcome was less than satisfactory.

How did you know there was a market for it?

There is an estimated forty million vehicles on UK roads and of that 2.5 million cars break down every year according to RAC, coupled with the industry requirement for MOTs and servicing, therefore I believe the question is not how do you know there is a demand but rather how to effectively cater to the demand for the best interest of motorists. Repair and Go provides a cost effective, hassle free solution to get multiple quotes from mechanics in the UK from the comfort of your home.

What were you doing before starting up?

I come from a finance and banking background, with over nine years in the financial industry as a financial professional. When the economy took a turn for the worst and I was made redundant, starting a business seemed like the next logical move.

Have you always wanted to run your own business?

Business was never at the forefront of my immediate goals and aspirations. However it seemed a sensible move when the economy took a turn for the worst.

How did you raise the money?

The business was initially funded through personal savings for a prototype website to test market reaction. Having received good feedback it was time to build the real thing and that was when I approached the Princes Trust. The support I received by the Trust helped me to fund the website plus I have a listing on Seedrs for future growth.

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

Building the website to function and operate as I imagined in my mind proved to be an ongoing battle with the developers.  The developers failed to fully understand the business’ operational requirements and therefore fell short of what was needed which lead to delays on completion of the project and subsequently launching the website. However, with perseverance and a lot coffee and late evenings we eventually got it back on track.

Describe your business model and how you make money:

The website is free for motorist to post repair jobs and also free for mechanics to register and quote for repair jobs. We make money from commissions from mechanics and through premium rate listings.

What was your first big breakthrough?

From conception to inception the project has been a long and challenging road. Just getting the website to a position where it is live and functioning as it should is a breakthrough in itself. Everything else really is a bonus and although we have seen good progress I believe a major breakthrough is still ahead of us.

What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?

Wise men put trust in ideas and not in circumstances. It is your attitude and not your aptitude that determines the difference between success and failure and therefore we must only concern ourselves with positive thoughts so that it may lead us to positive results.

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

We want to build on the success of the business and establish a strong foothold of the brand here in the UK through exponential growth. We also want to be synonymous with quality, value for money and customer service.

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