Nothing great was ever built from a comfort zone.
But sheer hard work, a lust for perfection and the odd gamble can take you all the way in the business world.
Just ask Rob Clark, owner of Scuff ‘N’ Scratch Solutions, who has poured his blood, sweat and tears into making the Bletchley-based automobile repair company the success it is today.
The 34-year-old (pictured below left), who has lived in Milton Keynes all his life, has taken his bodywork repair and alloy wheel refurbishment business from humble beginnings to a company that now boasts more than 8,000 local fans on Facebook.
But the road to success hasn’t been an easy one for motoring-mad Rob.
He said: “I started the business on my own with just one van, going to people’s homes to do small repairs, often painting cars in the cold or snow with frozen hands!
“Then I employed Jamie Whittington (below), who is still with me, and we bought a second van. We took a risk by moving in to an old workshop in Fenny Stratford, and then the business blew up from there.
“We outgrew that in about 12 months so I borrowed a lot of money and took a bigger risk by quadrupling the business in size when we moved to our current site in Denbigh Hall, Bletchley.
“It’s been a manic five years – it’s been 110 miles an hour forward really!” It is no surprise that the business is such a roaring success when you listen to the customer-focused philosophy of the man in charge.
“We’re very different to normal body shops,” explained Rob. “We work a diary system so when you book your car in with us, if we say you’ll have your car back in 48 hours, 99 out of 100 times you’ll get your car back in 48 hours, and we’ll put the hours in to make sure that happens.
“We don’t mess customers around – having the customer happy is our main priority.
“As long as a customer leaves here happy we know they are going to go and tell their friends and family about us. We’ve just built the business on referrals basically.”
You might think that after smashing all of his five-year plan targets, Rob would now be ready to take a back seat and let others do the dirty work. Think again.
“I’m still very hands-on and I think that helps the team get motivated because they see me in there getting my hands dirty and working stupid hours,” he said.
“Our official working hours are 9am to 6pm but I’m in here most days from seven in the morning until seven at night.
“Whatever needs to be done gets done. It is obviously working as we’ve just come to the end of our first five-year plan and we’ve over-achieved every year – the growth of the business has been ridiculous.
“I’ve just bought a house in a village on the outskirts of MK so I’m hoping to start mountain biking and maybe take up golf soon, but whether I get the time to actually do it is another matter!”
If your car needs repairs to its bodywork, or if the alloy wheels need to be refurbished, call Carly (below) on o1908 377217 for a free quote or log onto http://www.scuffnscratchsolutions.co.uk. Rob will be in the workshop…