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Watton car salesman is on the right track after bumper first year in business

PUBLISHED: 15:48 31 August 2017 | UPDATED: 15:48 31 August 2017

Jacob Freshwater is the founder and director of Fresh Motors in Watton. Picture: Ian Burt

Jacob Freshwater is the founder and director of Fresh Motors in Watton. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2017

A year after graduating, many students are still navigating their way on to a career path.

But a 22-year-old used car salesman has had confirmation he is on the right track after turning over almost £250,000 in his first trading year.

Jacob Freshwater, founder of Fresh Motors in Watton, has seen sales accelerate quickly since incorporating his business last summer.

The University of East Anglia graduate, who has a degree in accountancy, has an average of at least 25 vehicles on his forecourt at any one time – approaching full capacity for his current base on Thetford Road.

After recently taking on his first full-time employee, his brother Isaac – who manages the sourcing of vehicles – Mr Freshwater’s plan for year two is to move to bigger premises locally and take on another salesman to share his growing workload.

“We have increased our stock considerably. Changing premises is the next big thing as a result of that growth,” he said.

“So far this year we are hopefully on track for turnover of £500,000. Last month we turned over £120,000 – that is what increasing stock does.

“But the difficult thing is, you have to spend more time sourcing the cars, more going back and forth to garages, and that is where having someone else would help.

“I do the selling and the customer-facing work, but we are getting to the point where we need to have another person involved.”

Mr Freshwater said the addition of finance options for customers has “helped massively” with expansion, enabled by enlisting four new lenders and a broker. An estimated 30-40% of sales are now paid for through finance deals.

But he remains sceptical of personal contract purchase (PCP) deals, which he said some larger dealerships encourage customers into through “incentive-based schemes”.

A foray into the commercial market has also proved profitable, with 10-15 vans and small commercial vehicles in stock at any time.

“We are doing well because Norfolk has quite a strong base of small tradesman, and once they find you they will keep coming back,” Mr Freshwater said.

The company was recognised in this year’s Auto Trader Click Awards, receiving a “highly commended” commendation in the business transformation of the year category.

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