Expert puts firm on road to expansion

Ian Griffiths and Patrick Patel
Ian Griffiths and Patrick Patel

A MORPETH-BASED businessman is the driving force behind an independent mechanic’s plans to grow his firm.

Ian Griffiths and his team at are helping Patrick Patel, of Automotive Components Specialist in North London, to expand after steadily increasing his customer base online.

When Mr Patel left Audi to set up his own company in 2009, he struggled, like many fledgling businesses, to gain momentum due to the difficult economic climate.

He then discovered whocan on Twitter and after speaking to Mr Griffiths and his staff, Mr Patel signed up to the site, which enables customers all over the UK to post job requests for free, receive quotes from rated garages and mechanics nearby and leave feedback about their experiences.

In 2013, he took on more than 100 jobs via the site, with additional repeat work and recommendations to family and friends. Thanks to these sales, he has been able to invest in a workshop space with nine ramps and has taken on four employees.

Mr Patel said: “Launching my own company in the midst of the recession was undoubtedly a struggle, but when I started to focus on my online presence, I noticed a change very quickly.

“The service from whocan has been excellent and has helped me to find new customers and receive fantastic feedback, which has in turn contributed to the growth of the company.”

Mr Griffiths said: “We’re thrilled that we’ve helped Patrick reach a position to be able to expand his business. His success is a key example of how first-hand feedback online can rapidly increase sales.”