One of our FOXY Lady Approved garages is Boro Tyres in Scarborough and we asked their Marketing Manager, Sarah Hoff, to tell us about the family business.
Q/ Tell us about your background Sarah and how you came into the family garage business?
Whilst my journey into the motor world is a little unexpected, I’d say that on reflection, it’s not entirely surprising. I was submersed into the business world from a very young age as my parents had set up Boro Tyres in the late 70s, just a few years before I was born. My dad looked after the tyre fitting and mechanical work side, whilst my mum did the accounting and book keeping.
My brother Adam and I were often there playing with our toys in the back office, where we gradually worked our way up to helping frank the mail, filing and counting the coffee machine money!
As the business developed, my parents took on more staff and opened other branches as well as Scarborough, including Bridlington and Driffield. Whilst I carried on helping out with odd bits during the school holidays, it was very much Adam who was drawn to the family business first, and he formally joined the company after completing his A-Levels.
Meanwhile I headed for College and University before working at a high profile FMCG company. It was demanding and high profile, but I really enjoyed it. However, after having children I found the long hours, the commute and childcare arrangements overly challenging and wanted to spend more time with my daughters.
So when Adam was developing a radio campaign with our local station and asked me for some advice, I was happy to get involved and returned to Boro Tyres for a couple of days a week. It feels good to be part of something that my parents created and worked so tirelessly towards for over 35 years.
It also gives me the opportunity to ditch the nappies and baby food for a few hours and engage my brain!
Q/ Is there such a thing as a typical day? What sort of things do you look after in your role?
My role here at Boro Tyres is very varied which I like. I prepare and analyse monthly reports and plan marketing and sales campaigns. For example, today I’m working with our telecoms provider to cut costs, arranging a car care course for our local NHS trust and designing a loyalty card that we’ll issue to the numerous local clubs and organisations that we sponsor and support.
Q/ Is this a profession you can recommend to women/or would like to see more women in?
Yes, absolutely. For me, it’s not so much about a specific profession or type of industry, it’s more about the stimulation and satisfaction you get out of doing a role. Of course, what that role and profession is will be a very personal choice and vary enormously. So whilst most of us will have the occasional ‘bad day in the office’, I think that if you enjoy your job and are recognised and rewarded for doing it well then you’re onto a good thing.
Q/ What tyres do you recommend in cases of high and low annual mileage?
I’ll be honest! I really wouldn’t know how to answer this, so here’s the recommendation from one of our experts.
“Mileage is only one element of a tyre’s capabilities so I would suggest a tyre that delivers better overall performance including dry and wet handling and shorter stopping distances. With tyres you really do get what you pay for, and it’s worth bearing mind that no matter how good the car or brakes, the only thing keeping the vehicle on the road is the tyre. That said, we do appreciate that budget plays an important part, so we stock a range from premium Goodyears to value Autogrips – all tyres we can recommend to suit every budget and occasion.”
Q/ Please tell us more about regular tyre care and why this matters
The one thing that we are forever reminding motorists about is the importance of regularly checking the tread on your tyres. Too many are driving around on unfit ie dangerous and illegal tyres. Just think of all the vehicles driving up and down on motorways and past schools with worn tyres affecting stopping distances.
That’s why we offer free tyre safety checks without appointment, as well as showing customers how they can check the tread themselves. All they need is a 20p coin after all. We have recently started doing on-site tyre safety checks in staff car parks of big, local businesses – these have been really well received.
Q/ What are women looking for and impressed by when they visit you?
That’s easy to answer. Our customers are all impressed by our staff. We are very lucky that we have fantastic staff, many of whom have been with us for a very long time. James and Iain on the front counter have over 30 years of service between them. They really know their stuff, but are also very approachable and friendly which I feel is very important in the garage environment. Nothing is too much trouble for them, and they are very good at stripping away the technical jargon and helping customers make informed choices.
We have worked hard over the years to build up a reputation based on trust and quality, so it’s very important that the customer’s first point of contact reassures them on that count. First impressions matter and that includes the look of the depot exterior and car park as well as a clean and warm waiting room with staff always smart and well presented. We run a tight ship and it works … most of the time!
Q/ Have you seen a growth in the number of female customers as word spreads about your quality standards and facilities?
Yes, we have. In recent years we have started to run car care courses which have proved popular with many ladies who are so good at referring friends and family. Additionally, we have invested in an extra couple of courtesy cars which we offer to customers to tide them over a repair.
And because I know it helps busy mums we’ve added a small box of toys and books to keep the little ones entertained in the waiting room. Small things on their own, but added together this all shows our combined commitment to delivering superior customer service and impressive value for money for all motorists.