Cars have always been my passion – right from a young age when I would spend all summer with my Uncle working on cars and dirt bikes in his garage. As I grew up and learnt to drive, I would spend countless hours cleaning, polishing, and maintaining my car. This soon expanded out to maintaining the cars of my closest family. Deeply unhappy in my day job – one which required me to sit behind a desk all day – my mental health began to deteriorate and one of the only things that helped clear my head was being out, working on my car, regardless of the weather.
So, in 2017, Found Valeting was born – the idea was simple. A small, family run business with cars at its heart. I started off doing family and friends, but word soon spread, and my reputation increased. For me, a car is part of the family. And I treat it as such. Often a job has resulted in more hours then originally thought but that is ok. The deep-rooted pleasure and pride I feel when a customer is raving about their ‘new’ car is like nothing else.
Having grown since then, it was time to take the next step. After having been purely mobile based, in late 2019 I was able to rent a small unit near the town centre. This meant I could expand my business opportunities to offering ceramic coatings and vinyl wrapping year-round. Since then I have gone on courses which had led to being accredited to work on motorcycles and I have further plans to include sign writing into my business by the end of this year.
The global COVID-19 pandemic has created a very uncertain future for millions of small British business including myself. Over the last few weeks I have watched as the businesses of friends and colleagues grinds to a standstill – none of us knowing how long for and whether we will even have a business to return to when all of this madness stops.
I love my work. It gives me a sense of freedom and pride. It involves me working with people and vehicles in their driveways or at their place of work at a time that is convenient for them. Often, they will stand by their car and chat while I work, or ask for advice on maintaining their car once it is finished. They will exclaim over how new it looks; how it has never looked better; and get excited about the Haribo packets I leave as a treat.
But right now COVID-19 is making these interactions impossible.
As a mobile valeter, I do not have to pay business tax although I do pay rent for my small unit. This means that I can’t claim Government funding in their recently announced scheme to help small business owners through this crisis. My ‘office’ is at home and my ‘team’ is my wife, daughter and a soppy German Shepherd "Quinn". As my business is still considered ‘new’ by the Government, my net profits are minimal. The Government has said they will pay up to 80% of profits to self-employed (based on our first year trading only, before our reputation and business took a growth spurt)…for 3 months…in June…back dated to March. Unfortunately, I can’t afford to wait that long to find out how much I might be getting.
This is where you come in.
I know that some of you will be thinking that having a clean car is not the most important thing right now. Did you know that the COVID-19 lives on surfaces such as metal, plastic and fabric? That means that every time you go shopping – where you run the risk of transferring the virus – you could be taking it into your car. Transferring it to the steering wheel, or the door handle or the seats. Then you drive home – empty your shopping (which some people wipe over) and you wash your hands. But the virus is still potentially in your car.
So, I’m asking you to look at the following pre-bookable deals. I can still come to people’s driveways following strict social distancing – but this makes many people uncomfortable at the moment and I understand why. But once this is all over and the lockdown is lifted – who knows if you will still be transferring the virus in your car? You can pre-book a car valet with me now which puts you at the top of my bookings list for once life is back to normal. In the meantime – if you feel you can’t wait that long – it can either be redeemed immediately, or we are offering home care kits for you to protect your cars – and yourselves.
If you would like to see some of my work and reviews, please feel free to pop over to my Facebook page or website and take a look.
In advance – thank you.