Meet Richard: the owner of family-run car dealership, Pain Car Sales, as he describes how he grew his business and discusses the main challenges dealers across the country are facing.
Nestled in the heart of the Sussex seaside town of Worthing sits Pain Car Sales. This friendly, family-run dealership has been in business for over 5 decades and the vastly experienced team have over 129 years of service between them!
Richard’s father, Brian Pain, founded the business in Reading in 1963. On the day Richard was born, Brian left his employer and began trading cars between local garages. His wife, Kathleen Pain, managed the office work and kept the place running. In 1968, the family of now four, embarked on a change and moved down to Worthing, in West Sussex. From here Brian continued trading cars, and 1977 saw him buy his first garage in Tarring Road, Worthing. The business then continued to grow and moved to new premises in 1988, in South Farm Road, where it still stands today.
Richard, one of Brighton & Hove Albion FC’s biggest supporters, joined the business in 1983, with his sister Sarah following in his footsteps in 1992. With both children now effectively running the business, Brian and Kate decided to pass down the business to their children, and in 1997, Richard & Sarah became company director and secretary, respectively. Pain Car Sales is now a leading used car dealer in Sussex, and are renowned for providing premium used cars.
So here at Spidersnet we decided to catch up with Richard, who was kind enough to give us some of his time. He offered us an insight into his business and how the industry has changed over the years. Read our chat with Richard below.
1. So Richard, how has Pain Car Sales evolved over the last few years?
Our business has moved through some outstanding changes over the years, ranging from buying our first calculator, then our first mobile phone to the daily management of our website and not to mention iphones, ipads, computers etc…and of course the cars have evolved to be better made, but harder to repair!
2. Sounds like the business has adapted well to the technological advancements though, what aspect of the industry has changed the most since you started?
For us, the aspect we feel has changed the most, is the increasing power of the Internet. For example, the birth of social media along with website development has allowed people to buy almost anything online, including cars.
3. What would you say are the biggest challenges car dealers like you, are faced with?
I would say, the biggest challenges are the fact that the majority of customers are very knowledgeable about the product they are buying, and also very price conscious.
4. We couldn’t agree more! What would you say the key to success is for the survival a long-running business like yours?
I think the key to our success comes down to old-fashioned business standards, providing an excellent service, together with a business that promotes family values.
5, Where do you get most of your business from? For example is it online, or local?
Our business is very much a mixture of local or repeat business but we also sell cars all over the country and have even shipped cars to Australia!
6. Australia wow! When it comes to having a business website, what do you feel are the most important features it should have?
Personally, we feel a website needs to 1. Be user-friendly, 2. Imagery is important, good photos are key. 3. Informative, providing buyers with as much information as possible.
7. What is the most enjoyable thing about being a car dealer?
The most enjoyable thing is dealing in the many different types of car, from very old to learning all the new aspects of modern cars and how much they have changed.
8. What has been the highlight of your business journey so far?
Our biggest highlight was being awarded “Dealer of the Year” by Proton Cars.
9. Finally Richard, as BHAFC’s biggest fan, where do you think they will finish this season now they’ve been promoted to the premier league?
Realistically, I hope for my beloved Brighton to remain a Premiership team for at least another season!
A great business, with family values and a fantastic work ethic, Pain Car Sales have a great understanding of the importance of digital to their business. Their website showcases this understanding, with its user friendly layout and powerful features.
Take a look at it here: http://www.paincarsales.co.uk/.
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