Company Profile: Rapid Wheels
Rafael Tomas opened his business, Rapid Wheels in late 2017. Rapid Wheels is a fully licensed and insured mobile auto service company based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. They offer an array of services from tire and oil changes to fixing alternator and starter issues. The best part, they come to you!
Rafael was once employed at a local car dealership as a Service Advisor. He was surprised how patient customers could be, despite waiting weeks for something as simple as a light bulb replacement or to fit new wiper-blades.
The fact customers were willing to wait weeks and remained patient gave Rafael the idea to provide these services with fewer wait-times by focusing on smaller jobs and bringing the garage on-the-road.
A flexible and enjoyable customer experience was a goal of Rafael’s, and a mobile garage was a great solution.
Although Rafael was already an expert in the field, he did require some funding to get Rapid Wheels off the ground.
He reached out to CBDC Blue Water and was put in-touch with Jennifer O’Quinn. As one of Blue Water’s Business Development Officers, Jennifer helped Rafael as he began applying for his loan. Rafael mentioned that he feels grateful to have had the opportunity to work with Jennifer. Rafael has said, “Jennifer will frequently reach out and ask how the business is doing, as well as my-self” which is something he appreciates.
After receiving the funding from CBDC Blue Water, Rafael was able to start Rapid Wheels. At first, Rafael would complete smaller jobs and his customers were thankful he was able to provide such a high quality garage service on wheels.
At the beginning of 2020, COVID-19 made it difficult for Rafael to run Rapid Wheels effectively. Although he offered a mobile service that would allow him to travel to his clientele, customers were still weary of in-person interactions. After implementing a variety of contactless payment options and processes designed to keep his customers safe, Rafael saw business start growing again. By communicating to his following what he had done to keep customers safe, he was able to quickly re-build consumer confidence.
Even though COVID-19 vaccines are rolling out, customers are continuously becoming more and more confident purchasing products and services from contactless providers. With this onslaught of demand, and the contactless/mobile nature of Rapid Wheels, Rafael now has 2 full-time, fully licensed, and insured mechanics. Rafael says “many of the protocols we implemented due to the pandemic and stay-at-home orders have actually improved the business in the long-run”. He said many of his customers still expect this treatment despite vaccination status. So, he has no plans on eliminating the COVID protocols as they have partially contributed to the success of Rapid Wheels through the pandemic.
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