Klavs Simkus of CarExamer shares his entrepreneur journey in the used cars industry.
First of all, how are you and your family doing?
Klavs Simkus: My family is really fine. My mother, father, and sister, thankfully, are doing great. It’s a little strange still adjusting back out of the COVID stint, but we’re getting there.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded CarExamer.
Klavs Simkus: through some tough times several years ago, while working for The AA, I noticed that the company didn’t have any direction as to where they were heading, and with the huge debt burden they have, that was a bad formula. On top of a poor working environment, feeling let down by the company, and having my promised promotion removed, by the time I realized this, my mental health started to deteriorate rapidly from all of the constant pressure. I planned to help them change the business and make it more profitable as a whole, but the final breaking point was when I realized I had been manipulated.
This is where I set a major goal, where I do something that can truly help millions of people in the UK and around the world. My trade niche was used car inspections. While recovering from depression, I had been working on the vehicle inspection projects and working with developers to get this off the ground. After several battles with trademark rights, finally, CarExamer was born.
How does CarExamer market its product/services online?
Klavs Simkus: We use all channels possible to market CarExamer. That includes all social media platforms possible every day, posting content and videos. Blogging is also a big part of our plan, getting visibility and traffic to the page. The CarExamer podcast is also on various podcast platforms like Amazon, Spotify, etc. We are working to increase visibility and organic traffic. Small sponsorship to kids radio car event in Birmingham, Elmdon park area organized by elmdonparksupportgroups is also an interesting channel. This is all supported by PPC services through online search engines.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how did you get through it?
Klavs Simkus: Of course, the pandemic has meant there is less activity in the market. That was the case, at least, and certainly isn’t now. However, it made things tricky for the business, resulting in a drop in business of around 80%, a huge number of course. We have engaged in more marketing to offset this, including offline marketing and leaflet dropping to help things move along.
By minimizing overheads safely and having a marketing strategy that is highly dynamic depending on the climate, we were able to navigate through even with personal sacrifice just to keep things moving forwards, all because I know that what I’m doing has to pay off.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to manage your online marketing?
Klavs Simkus: We use various tools to get information but mainly focus on google search console and analytics. We occasionally use other tools, such as domain strength tracking tools, keyword tools, backlink tools, and much more. Generally speaking, with just one site to manage, we find that the Google tools are more than enough for us to make smart and informed decisions throughout.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Klavs Simkus: A number of larger organizations in the auto industry like the AA and RAC offer inspections on top of the hundreds of other average and unspecialized services that they offer, but we’re much more dedicated to our own niche. We’re not in business to compete with anyone. We have our vision and mission to be the best in what we do in the used car inspection trade. Our vehicle inspections help people get better quality vehicles and better outcomes when purchasing the vehicle. With every inspection, we only get better and better.
After nearly 3 years in business, we don’t have anyone who would do inspections to our standard in the market right now. We are finally ready for the investment. We have a huge track record finally. We are looking for investment currently to complete stage 3 of the global expansion of CarExamer.com for licenses and franchises to other countries.
This is one of the hardest industries to tackle due to consumers’ lack of awareness, as they often only realize we exist when the situation is too late and when they have purchased wrongly described vehicles and have to spend a significant amount for legal help or on the vehicle rejection process form the seller. All of this can be prevented with our vehicle inspections in the vast majority of cases through our thorough and documented inspection services.
Your final thoughts?
Klavs Simkus: Our journey after several setbacks during these 3 years has just begun.