BUSINESS

How local communities are helping local businesses succeed

How local communities are helping local businesses succeed

Having the support of a local community can be hugely beneficial to the success of a business. When first starting a business, it is often the local community which provides many of the early customers and spreads the news of the business through word of mouth.

Local communities provide essential support to local businesses when competing against larger national companies with higher budgets and more extensive infrastructure. One such local business which has received tremendous support from their local community is I and K Motors. Providing a variety of used cars for sale Aberdeen residents can view either via their website or at their Inverurie showroom.

I and K Motors started selling used cars back in 1983, and the family-run business has since sold over 300,000 vehicles to customers. Director Bill Duncan has been at I and K Motors for 11 years and has seen the benefits of the local community first hand.

“We find it extremely important to be part of the local community; we are part of the local business community as well as supporting local sports, charities and local events,” Mr Duncan said.

As a result of being part of the local community, I and K Motors have seen the benefit of developing long-standing relationships which have improved sales. Mr Duncan explained that the business does not have issues acquiring vehicles to sell, despite being an independent local business as “we have some fantastic contacts built up over the last 35 years plus.”

When it comes to selling their cars, I and K Motors have also found that again, being engaged with the local community and an established local name has helped drive sales. “We have many loyal local customers who bring in their families too,” Mr Duncan said.

Being so engaged and established has also helped I and K Motors to succeed in a business sector which is increasingly being dominated by large internet sites and chain businesses. “The independents do seem to be vanishing,” according to Mr Duncan.

With sites such as AutoTrader commanding such a large share of the online used car sales market, it could be expected that businesses such as I and K Motors would find it hard to compete. However, Mr Duncan has found that “people want to deal with people, and the majority won’t travel too far.”

Furthermore, Mr Duncan believes that there are specific advantages to operating an independent used car retailer compared to their national chain rivals. “We have the freedom to react to market changes without long drawn out consultations, and we take pride in our customer care and are very much hands on.”

Despite their place within the community, I and K Motors do find that sometimes it is hard to compete with the buying power and discount levels of the chain businesses and online retailers. As such, I and K have diversified their business and now offer MOT, repairs and services to help better establish itself as more than just a used car dealership. This, according to Mr Duncan, has helped with customer retention as well as making I and K a “one-stop shop” for the local community.

It is clear that local communities provide a significant amount of support to local businesses, but when they are starting or have been operating after 35 plus years. Being able to understand the needs of your community and tailor your business accordingly is what separates the highly successful companies form those who could struggle despite the support they receive.

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