The Business Owner: Safi Ahmed and Rafiq Ahmed, Car Communications

Being in business since 1991, the brothers have built up a wealth of experience about how to steer an enterprise in the right direction

The Business Owner: Safi Ahmed and Rafiq Ahmed, Car Communications

Founders: Safi Ahmed and Rafiq Ahmed
Company: Car Communications
Location: Blackburn
Proposition: In-car safety and entertainment automotive electronics
Size: Family Business

How is your business different from what’s already out there?

We have over 25 years’ experience and expert knowledge in the retrofit of OEM car audio and safety products, which includes being able to install and program in-car accessories (normally fitted in the factory when a new car is assembled).

We are also recognised as a leader in the retrofitting of innovative automotive accessories. Many independent automotive engineers and garages will buy from us due to our after sales support, which includes a mobile nationwide fitting service.

How did you finance your business?

We pooled together our savings to start-up the business back in 1991. With sales on the rise and interest in our service increasing by the day, we started to reinvest profits back into the business to give us an edge over competitors.

What is the most important thing to keep track of in business and why?

Being the first to adapt new and innovative products. This gives us an edge on our competitors and ensures we are ahead of our game at all times. Take our Dension DAB+R for example which is a brand new product available to purchase at Car Communications.

We are the official and exclusive UK distributor for Denision and are forever on the lookout to market their new products while expanding our growing portfolio of car safety gadgets and accessories.

What marketing techniques do you use to attract new customers?

There are plenty of mainstream techniques companies can use to better market their services, but for us it has to be digital marketing and word of mouth – good reputation really does sell!

We have established a collaborative working relationship with Bespoke Web Specialists who have set up a dedicated optimisation campaign for our business including email marketing, blogging, social media and PR.

Do you think it’s important for small businesses to export, any tips? 

Yes, it’s very important. With the arrival of eBay and Amazon, international markets have opened up. Selling around the world is a lot easier through these trading platforms.

Secondly, for us many emerging European countries even some parts of America and Australia don’t have the local expertise and look outside their countries.

What’s the business app you couldn’t do without?

Microsoft Office allows us to share and collaborate on the move with documents sent to customers and suppliers from our smartphone, iPad or on a PC.

Describe your company’s culture in three words:

Customer focused business

What would you like the government to do for small business?

More support and mentoring when a business is taking a major step in growing or diversifying.

Who’s your biggest small and medium enterprise hero?

I don’t have an enterprise hero as such, but we’re all a great support network for one another. My colleagues and I are forever on the lookout for new ways to diversify the business and share knowledge to ensure we are delivering the best possible service to our customers.

Where do you want the business to be in three years?

Car Communications has the potential to become recognised nationally as a car audio retrofit specialist. We’re on a mission to double our turnover with a clever marketing plan and the introduction of never-seen-before products – watch this space!

What’s your top tip for keeping it lean and making profit?

Negotiate hard with suppliers and try to get exclusivity on products.

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