“To be successful you have to have your heart in your business and your business in your heart.” ~Thomas J. Watson
At first there was … a cold call
It was back in 2008 (or so) when Mike, our chief and mechanic aka Mr MECHANICLONDON, received a cold call from a small online marketing company and when after much persuasion and promises of boosted search engine rankings for his garage, he ended up agreeing to an offer, which included a mini website … and the mechaniclondon website address.
The predicted wave of calls failed to materialise, and the website wasn’t very authentic either, so Mike got rid of it eventually. However, he didn’t let go of the mechaniclondon website URL name!
It wasn’t until 2012 when I, the wife aka Mrs MECHANICLONDON, entered into Mike’s life and soon used that dormant mechaniclondon URL to start a blog, Twitter and YouTube channel, and generally gave the marketing for the car repair shop a bit of a boost, initially purely focusing on promoting the car servicing and repair services and garage business, which Mike named Brent Autos and founded in 1989.
Then there was … a copy cat
It was in 2015 when something rather unexpected happened.
A car repair shop with the same business name came on the scene!
Not in another country, or in another part of the UK, or in another part of town. No, it was a ten minute drive away in the same NW London council, where some clever (or so they thought) people opened a car repair business with the same name!
Rumour had it that this bunch of local mechanics thought they could benefit from Mike’s well-established business and excellent reputation, and given the website copy was also clearly inspired and in parts directly copied, there seemed to be a lot of truth in that rumour.
Unsurprisingly therefore, we got rather annoyed initially, even worried, and consequently put all our efforts into researching legal clauses and rights to protect our business and its name. Whether it is trademarking, copyright or Companies House regulations, you name it, we looked into it. Unfortunately, to no avail and so eventually we decided that there was only one way to fight the copy cats, and that is to ignore them and move on.
Then something beautiful started to unfold
Little did we know that a beautiful transformation story was about to unfold.
Firstly, breaking free from the frustrations or worries we had about these copy cats potentially damaging our long-established business, we created space for much more important things, namely our own garage and how we stand out despite the similarity in name and industry.
Think discussions about client loyalty and demographics, type of repairs, projects and even cars. That’s when Mike’s highly sophisticated engineering mind, passion for classic cars, charming personality and long-established reputation came into the equation and brought about the pivotal moment of realising that ‘nothing and no-one can really be copied as everyone and every business is original’ … or classic as we decided to refer to this uniqueness, having consequently rebranded and renamed our garage to Classic Brent Autos.
The MECHANICLONDON cartoon
With our newly found inner classic-ness and confidence our desire to pass on our transformational experiences grew, and what’s more, it was time for our outer appearance (e.g. the garage website, business cards, the workshop itself) to stand out and shine, too.
This is when the MECHANICLONDON chap – to tell our stories and to shine our inner classic-ness – was born!
The happy ever after
Having been happy ever after to follow our aspirations to share our stories of trying, failing, trying again, learning and growing – in and out of the workshop – we’d love to leave a legacy of encouraging, motivating and inspiring others, and to turn the MECHANICLONDON into a storyteller that touches hearts, transforms minds and guides people from all walks of life to find their inner classic-ness and their happy ever after.
MECHANICLONDON is the storytelling self of a London-based mechanic and his wife on a mission to inspire happy ways. Because there is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way. #THEMECHANICLONDONWAY
If this MECHANICLONDON story sparked some inspiration or brought a smile to you, please share it to plant more seeds of joy and hope for others as well.