NAME: Caroline Shield
YOUR BUSINESS / ORGANISATION: Simon Shield Cars Ltd
YOUR TITLE IN THAT BUSINESS: owner/ director
WHEN DID THE BUSINESS LAUNCH?: 1996
ELEVATOR PITCH – TELL US WHAT YOU AND YOUR BUSINESS DOES IN A NUTSHELL:
We regard ourselves as Suffolk’s friendliest 5 star rated used car site. Simon Shield Cars is a family business based in between Needham Market and Hadleigh. Simon, my husband, works in the business too, buying and selling cars.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS YOUR BUSINESS’S USP OVER YOUR PEERS?
Finding the right car for the right customer at the right price.
Listening to customers wants and needs by engaging them in conversations and finding the correct car for their lifestyle.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST BUSINESS CHALLENGE SO FAR?
Simon handpicks every second-hand car and this takes a lot of time and effort. If you have a used car to sell give us a call!!!
AND YOUR GREATEST SUCCESS?
Seeing customers drive away in their used car with a smile on their face.
WHAT DOES THE NEXT 12 MONTHS HAVE IN STORE FOR YOU?
Enjoying the same success that we’ve had over the last 22 years, meeting new customers and enjoying catching up with our regular customers.
AND IN FIVE YEARS TIME YOU’D LIKE THE BUSINESS TO?
Moving with the times and if its hybrid cars that customers demand then that is the way forward for Simon Shield Cars.
NATURALLY, YOU WANT TO REACH CUSTOMERS AND SUPPLIERS AND THOSE WHO CAN HELP YOU AND YOUR BUSINESS SUCCEED. WHO MIGHT YOU WANT TO HEAR FROM?
We are always interested in developing links with the local communities around Hadleigh and Needham Market.
WHEN YOU FEEL TROUBLED OR ‘BEATEN’ AT ANY STAGE IN BUSINESS LIFE, WHAT’S YOUR SECRET TO RALLYING YOURSELF?
Luckily we have each other to talk to. We all make mistakes and fail sometimes, talking to your best friend who listens is extremely helpful.
DO YOU HAVE A MENTOR, OR HAVE YOU USED ONE? IF SO, HOW WAS THAT?
We’ve not used a mentor but frequently watch influencer videos on Youtube and regularly talk to other car dealers within the business.
WHAT’S CHANGING ABOUT YOUR INDUSTRY THAT MAKES IT SUCH A GOOD SPACE TO BE IN?
Customers use their car as an all-purpose vehicle, whether commuting to work alone or taking the family on an outing. Diverse mobility, autonomous driving, electrification and connectivity will shake up the industry. Where it will end up in 15 – 20 years’ time is difficult to say, but it will be shaped by either the present Government or the next, air pollution control in cities and the decline in 16-24 year old age group who don’t have a desire to drive.
However, in rural Suffolk, I can’t see this declining as cars will still be the preferred mode of transport. It’s a bit like broadband and 4G services – cities get the funding, rural areas struggle to keep up.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO SOMEONE WANTING TO ENTER YOUR INDUSTRY SPACE?
Ensure you have enough backing to set up the business properly, carry out the correct checks on used cars, think about the area you are setting your business up in whether it’s rural or city and buy the appropriate cars, build your reputation and best of luck.
THE PLUG BIT:
Come and talk to us over a coffee or tea in a calm, unpressured environment. We are here to help and listen to your used car needs.
Our website is: www.simonshieldcars.co.uk
You can also find us on:
AND NOW THE SLIGHTLY LESS CORPORATE BIT…
BEST THING ABOUT EAST ANGLIA:
It’s got to be the big skies, sea, quiet, quaint villages and friendly communities and only a short train ride to London.
YOURSELF IN THREE WORDS:
Friendly, local, helpful
I would love to go on a safari and get up close to the big 4.
FANTASY DINNER PARTY GUESTS:
Brian Cox as his knowledge of the universe is immense.
Alice Levine, Radio 1 DJ, she’s quirky, independent and very quick witted and cooks at supper clubs – so the food would be excellent.
Peter Kay for all round entertainment and giggles.
David Attenborough for all the latest from the Blue Planet II series.
And last but not least Pink as she could serenade us with her beautiful songs.
WHERE YOU LIVE, WHERE YOU’RE ORIGINALLY FROM (AND WHAT BROUGHT YOU HERE), HOW OLD YOU ARE, WHO YOU LIVE WITH:
I was born in Suffolk and still love living here. Why would we want to live anywhere else? Nothing beats Suffolk. We have a teenage daughter who you may have seen on some of our videos.