What was your first job after leaving school/further education?
Selling educational books to families in the US.
When did you start your business & what prompted you to do it?
July 2012. We felt like there was a gap in the market in terms of providing an educated, informed service to individuals and businesses buying vehicles.
What did you find most challenging at the beginning?
Setting up with very little capital, no customers and no suppliers!
Who did you ask for advice & why did you choose them?
As accountants are our best introducers, we spoke to Brian Hay Smith at Mazars, who continues to be a great help, as well as Kevin McGlone at Brodies, who has been a great advocate for what we do.
How did you fund your business?
Savings from the two partners, myself and Nathan Pike.
What would you do differently now looking back?
Its been a learning experience, interacting with the motor industry. It has so many idiosyncrasies, which make it sometimes a challenge to deliver the type of service we are committed to.
What or who has helped you to grow your business the most?
Friends and family have been a huge help. We’ve recruited a great team, who go above and beyond for our clients.
What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced?
Learning fast that there is much more to running a business than looking after customers. We also compete in an industry that’s does not yet have the regulatory control that it should, which is frustrating.
What are the future plans for your business?
Consolidation in the Edinburgh market as well as expanding our offering to professional services firms in the shape of cash allowance employee benefit schemes and directors/ partners car schemes.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to set up their own business?
Not sure that we are in the position to give out advice yet, ask us again in a few years! Just keep on believing.
And finally, why did you join WeDO?
As young entrepreneurs, both Nathan and I are keen to learn from those around us and everyone we have met in WeDO has been so helpful and approachable.
Pike+ Bambridge won our 2014 Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award which was collected by co-founder Nathan Pike.
As with all good business ideas, Pike+Bambridge began with a simple goal: How could we improve the experience of acquiring a new vehicle?
Then, like now, we began our learning with the most important resource to any business; people. The more people we spoke to, the more difficult this industry of ours seemed; whether it was the complexity of financial agreements, overwhelming and confusing sales pitches or, simply, being ignored whilst in vehicle showrooms.
All these factors have, unfortunately, become convention, damaging the perception of the car sales industry and, more importantly, doing car buyers a disservice.
This fuelled our desire to become the most qualified team we could be, becoming experts in finance, HMRC tax guidelines, and analysing small businesses in order to deliver the best service possible.
Most importantly, we continued to listen.
Now we have a team of listeners, as well as experts, committed to helping you or your business make the most informed decisions, no mean feat considering we supply vehicles from over fifty six car manufacturers.
We may supply vehicles, but our methods are more inline with a professional services firm; expert, ethical, advisory. After all, car buying is often one of the biggest expenditures an individual or a business will make.
Now, as we did at the very beginning, we look ahead to the future, and to evolving the way that people buy cars.