Back in 2011, I purchased a small classic car restoration business. I renamed it Ol’ school Garage and quickly added mechanical upgrades and classic car sales to its service offering. Before I knew it, the business had 12 full-time staff and was spread over three separate building.
Over time, however, I realised that the more we grew, the less time we spent doing what I love. My passion has always been restoring cars from the ground-up. This is why I purchased the business in the first place! And I'm not alone - this passion is shared by the entire Ol’ School Garage team.
So, we've made a New Years resolution - to follow our dream! And that requires a few changes to the way we do business.
For those visiting our workshop, the most obvious change is that we now operate out of a single location – 18 Tradelink Road, Hillcrest (previously our paint shop). But the biggest change will be our service offering. In 2018, Ol’ School Garage will focus on bare-metal restorations. That is, all jobs will start with us completely disassembling a car before removing all existing paint.
We realise that this style of restoration is not for everyone, but there are two primary reasons behind this change. I touched on the first already. Simply, we like building and restoring cars from the ground up. We find the process challenging, satisfying and rewarding. So, that’s what we’re going to do…because work should be fun!
The second reason is all about business. Concentrating on bare-metal restorations allows us to work on less cars at any one time. These are big jobs with many tasks that are completed over a long period. Fewer jobs simplifies our business model. We need fewer staff and less space as we are able to focus our efforts on a smaller number of jobs. This is not only good for us, it is also good for our customers.
I must confess that there is some self-interest involved. It's coming up thirty years since I started my first business. So, these changes are also designed to help me to spend a little more time away from the business. Luckily, Tim is a great workshop manager and he is supported by a great team - so our customers remain in good hands. Truth be told, other than some bookkeeping, I haven't done anything useful in years!
Want to know more about the bare-metal restoration process? I will explain the process further in an upcoming post.