The Story of Michael Key Auto Engineering
In 1985 Michael Key opened his car garage’s doors to the public and successfully serviced thousands of cars over the years.
However, when Michael’s son, Matthew, joined the business, he noticed a pattern emerging. The garage was busy, yet wasn’t as financially successful as you’d expect. With many months of “turning a profit, but nothing significant”.
Matthew knew something needed to change, and he tried his best to put his business degree to good use to develop the garage into a more profitable business.
He said, “We couldn’t really make it pay what we wanted it to, to take the business forward while supporting the directors”.
The business was proving more stressful than he’d anticipated, especially around Christmas time which Matthew began to hate more each year. That led to sleepless nights worrying if the business would be there in January… Clearly, something needed to change. And it led to Matthew scouring the internet seeking answers.
One name kept appearing, followed by a tonne of praise and excellent reviews: John from the Auto IQ Accelerator programme, who had led several technical courses Matthew attended in the past.
The Challenges Michael Key Auto Engineering faced before Auto IQ Accelerator
All businesses face challenges; Michael Key is no exception to the rule.
One of their biggest challenges was turning a profit and ensuring the business had adequate cash flow.
Three years ago, the garage was due to close for two weeks at Christmas. Something the staff looked forward to each year. However, for Matthew, he hated every minute of it.
Before you start comparing him to Scrooge, he had his reasons.
Closing for two weeks meant two things. No income and still paying the bills.
It caused so much stress and anxiety, leaving Matthew “…juggling bank accounts, worrying about not having a business to come back to”.
Matthew stated, “Everyone was singing John’s praises. I heard his name mentioned a few times. So I decided Auto IQ was the best option as it looked a perfect fit”.
After speaking with John, Matthew signed up for the programme immediately.
And now? Michael Key earns one year’s profit…in the first quarter. Talk about turning a business around.
But it wasn’t a walk in the park. The garage needed hard work and determination to become the success it is now. Luckily, Matthew had all the help and guidance he needed to turn his garage around.
But, worrying about cash flow wasn’t the only challenge they faced before the Auto IQ Accelerator:
They felt like “busy fools to start with”, taking any old job.
The garage didn’t turn a significant profit.
There wasn’t a plan in place to take the business forward.
Implementing change was difficult as previous changes hadn’t been too successful.
Matthew’s parents were getting older, nearing retirement.
As the challenges began to pile up, Matthew had a decision to make; he’d either continue down the same route facing the same problems daily. Or, he could try something new with a proven track record of success.
Luckily he decided on the latter and joined the Auto IQ Accelerator.
Why Auto IQ Accelerator?
Michael Key needed direction. Matthew knew this but struggled to get a plan of action to stick, especially when staff pushed back on any changes.
While he searched for a way to improve his business, he’d had guidance from various business coaches, but nothing seemed to work how he wanted.
But having been successful on technical courses that Auto IQ’s head trainer, John, has led, Matthew was curious as to what business coaching was on offer as part of the Auto IQ Accelerator. Especially, considering the reputation it had.
And one of the keys of the Accelerator for Matthew was accountability.
Accountability spurred him on to take advantage of the bespoke nature of the Accelerator programme, implementing the business strategy he’s always wanted Michael Key to have.
How Michael Key Auto Engineering used Auto IQ Accelerator
Michael Key used the Auto IQ Accelerator programme to bring stability, increased profits, and less stress to the garage.
Here’s how the Auto IQ Accelerator helped Matthew:
Matthew and the Michael Key Auto Engineering team have been under Auto IQ’s wing for over a year, and the difference is staggering.
The whole team is focused with one goal in mind and no longer “working for work’s sake,” as Matthew put it.
The garage now receives only the most profitable customers. Cars come in for a full health check, and the staff have the mantra “make every car safer for the customer”.
Before Michael Key discovered the Auto IQ Accelerator, the garage was at a stalemate.
Money was coming in but going out faster than a Formula One tyre change.
However, after starting the Accelerator programme, Michael Key doubled its net profit…In 12 months. Talk about changing the game.
During one staff meeting, they announced they’d turned over £70,000 in a month. One employee exclaimed, “Bloody hell, it was only a few months ago, and it was £30-40k a month”.
Imagine waking up each day knowing your business is on the right path—no more worrying about bills and no added stress or anxiety. Sleepless nights are a thing of the past.
It’s how Matthew feels now.
And when asked if he had any advice for garages thinking about joining the Auto IQ Accelerator programme, he said, “It’s the best thing we’ve done for our garage. Profitability, strategic planning and vision for the business. I really enjoyed it”.
Although Auto IQ showed Matthew the ‘How’, he’s done a fabulous job with implementation, and his hard work is paying off.
Looking to the future, Michael Key is looking to overhaul the garage, splitting it in two, so one half can focus on van servicing, while the other targets luxury vehicles such as Mercedes, BMWs, Audi, etc.
If you’ve found Matthew’s story inspiring and feel your garage needs some guidance to point you in the right direction, Auto IQ is here to help. You’re one quick call away from the answers you’ve been looking for.
Hit the red button now or give us a call on 01604 328500