How to build your business

Andrew Walsh, founder of AW Repair Group, explains why you need to invest in your branding – even if you're a small business

In 1988 Andrew Walsh founded the AW Repair Group. Starting out on a shoestring, with a staff of just two, the business has grown to become one of the leaders in the UK’s bodyshop industry, with eleven branches across the East Midlands and a workforce of more than two hundred. In recent years, the Group has been selected among the London Stock Exchange’s Top 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain, and Andrew himself has just been named among the industry’s top influencers.

Among the factors behind the Group’s success have been its ability to identify and anticipate trends in the automotive industry, and its willingness to invest in people and technology to keep it ahead of the field. But there’s obviously a lot more to it than that, and over the course of this series of this Masterclass series Andrew will share some of the experience he’s picked up along the way.

As we’ll see in this first episode, he’s a great believer in the power of the brand. Right from the start, he feels, a business needs to think hard about the image it wants to project and to employ professional designers to ensure that every aspect of its branding matches its vision. It’s well worth spending whatever time it takes to get it right, because it should last you for years to come. You don’t want to be chopping and changing.

And even if cash is short, a small business should invest in promotional materials to make sure its brand is highly visible. Liveried vans and uniforms are great, but if your budget won’t run that far, even branded items like pens and coasters will help to create the impression that your fledgling business is already an established enterprise, giving your customers confidence.

Check out more in the video above.

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