Service While You Shop
One of my pet hates is taking a car for service. It just feels like money down the pan for nothing
you can see – and a lot of wasted time. Independent Porsche specialists Autofarm haven’t solved the first
problem, but they have attempted to solve the second by offering to drive people having work done on their cars to
a local shopping mall while they wait. While this wouldn’t appeal to me (I hate shopping!) it does appeal to
the growing number of female owners, and those stay at home mums, on whom the duties of car
servicing often falls. It gives them a reason to choose Autofarm over anyone else.
Is this an idea you can use in some way? It may not be directly applicable, but to broaden it out, is there some
additional service your customers would appreciate that would make them more likely to use your services than those
of your competitors? When times are tough, the default position is often to reduce prices. There are often
more innovative solutions.
It's Taken 100 Years
The first new high street bank in over 100 years opened its doors in
Holborn, London this week. Metro bank is a private company, founded by Vernon Hill who already has 500
branches of his Commerce Bank banking chain in the United States. The company have opened with a promise to
shake up the industry with enhanced customer service, no underhand charging, longer opening hours and 7 day
The company intend to concentrate on Greater London in the short
term, with an aim to have 200 branches in the capital within the decade.
I think we can expect the likes of Tesco and Virgin to follow suit
in the not-too-distant future as they spot a sector with enormous potential, but lousy customer satisfaction
On a personal level, this is something you should always be looking
for in your own search for a profitable business. It doesn’t have to be new. An established sector with
complacent, floundering or incompetent competition opens up the way for new people to steal a large slice of
the business. You don’t have to look far to find plenty of those..
August Energy deals
August is probably one of the only times of the year when hardly
anyone thinks about their electricity and gas bills.
But you should do!
According to comparison site uSwitch.com, now is the time to shop around and secure a cheap online energy deal.
These are creeping up in price - and now reach an average of £900 a year compared to the typical payment of £1,194
uSwitch.com's Emma Bush says that online tariffs are still competitive compared to standard gas and electricity
deals but that there is upward pressure on internet-based plans.
These might well translate into an increase in overall dual fuel charges soon!
If you're going to shop around, do it now before they start pushing up the price from next month onwards when we
move into the autumn and then the winter months.
I’d suggest uSwitch.com is a good place to start; but Google and Yahoo for other comparison sites to get a ‘best of
best of deal’.