A Somerset garage, which changed from a generalist garage to a German car specialist, has seen its turnover triple in just three years.

Family-run Robert Cockings Motor Repairs (RCMR) was turning over £400k a year when Tom Cockings took over from his father in 2020. Following the bold move to become a German car specialist garage, the business saw its turnover soar to £1.05m by 2023. Further growth is predicted for 2024.

Whilst the decision to specialise proved pivotal to the garage’s success, Tom says it wouldn’t have been possible without a specialist website, the integration of a garage management system and a business coach.

He said: “I really needed to push our specialism to get the work in, but I didn’t know how. I built a Wix website myself, and whilst it looked okay, it was effectively lost at sea with every other poor performing website.

“I then found Jim at Garage Services Online which was a real game-changer. His team created something night and day better than most other websites. So much so, we now rank higher on Google than the nearest main dealer.

“The website is our main lead generator. When people call us, their opening line is usually, ‘we found you online’. We’re also seeing a lot of online enquiries coming through between 7pm and 12pm, and of those, we convert about 70 percent. The other 30 percent is generally work we choose not to take on.

“Having the website is basically a big stress reliever. I don’t have to worry about replacing customers lost to natural attrition, or finding new customers who facilitate our growth.

“It also works seamlessly with our garage management system (GMS) from Garage Hive; the two go hand-in-hand. The GMS integrates with the website so customers can book in online.

“It’s like the website catches the perfect customer, passes them to the GMS, and the booking is automatically entered into the diary with no hassle.”

The business has also evolved on the ground too. In the last three years, RCMR has gone from four to nine staff, expanded its workshop from 1,620sqft to 10,000sqft, and now runs 13 ramps compared to the four it had when Tom took over in 2020.

Jim Lang, managing director at Garage Services Online, said: “It’s been a privilege to watch Tom grow RCMR to where it is now.

“And to hear him attribute his garage’s success, in part, to the website is testament to our team and the relationship they build with each customer.”