Hall of Fame / Blackcircles.com
Chasing customers in a mature marketplace is a big challenge for anyone but, as a teenager, Michael Welch spotted an opportunity to win business and revolutionise the tyre fitting industry.
Michael’s road to success started when he began working as a tyre fitter at the age of 16. He quickly saw that tyre fitting was an old-fashioned industry, and spotted a gap in the market for a customer friendly company delivering a more efficient service.
His first foray into business was to set up a mail order company selling high performance tyres. The success of this venture did not go unnoticed, and Michael was soon head-hunted to develop a new telesales division for a major UK fast fit tyre business.
Then, armed with two year’s more experience heading up this operation, and with the knowledge gained from studying for a business degree, Michael decided to realise his ambition and started his new business, Blackcircles.com, in 2001.
Using its award winning website and call-centre, Blackcircles.com provides a new business model, which puts the customer first. Through smart tyre buying and a high quality national network of over 1,000 garage franchisees, it offers customers cheaper tyres and a faster service than the high street fast-fits.
Today, the business sells around half a million tyres to over 250,000 customers every year, making it the UK’s biggest tyre retailer. Blackcircles.com has grown to achieve a turnover of $19.5 million USD, and employs 50 staff, whilst indirectly supporting thousands of tyre fitters employed across the UK.
Michael has plans to make even bigger tracks in the future, and has already branched out into car servicing, offering drivers servicing at up to 60 per cent less than main dealers. Michael says that other new services will follow, and International expansion has also begun, with the business operating profitably in eight European countries.