How long have you been living and working in the Cheltenham Connect area of South Cheltenham – are you a lifer or a relative newbie? I was born in Gloucester and moved down to Dorset as a youngster, before returning to Cheltenham to work in the family business in 1999.
What do you feel is special about our local community in this part of town?
The local community is very supportive, we have been lucky enough to help and support local families though out the years of Cleevely Motors and are pleased to say that, like the business, we see three generations of some families too.
Please tell us all about your business and why you started it.
Cleevely Motors was established in 1962 by my Grandfather John Cleevely. In 2018 we began looking towards the changes that lay ahead and began working on electric cars; from this Cleevely Electric Vehicles began.
What have been the biggest challenges and rewards?
The biggest challenge we have faced was moving from our premises in Andover Street, Tivoli where the business started in 1962 to our new site on Lansdown industrial estate. Whilst doing this we were building momentum with Cleevely Electric Vehicles and in the midst of a global pandemic. The biggest reward also stems from the change of location and the number of loyal customers who have moved with us, and continue to use us at the new site.
What keeps you going?
Pride in what we do and continuing in my grandfather’s footsteps of providing a trustworthy, professional and affordable car repair and maintenance service.
What motivates you?
The family name being over the door. It’s our legacy that we have great pride in continuing. My grandad and father both worked hard to support their families and Claire and I do the same as we continue the family business.
Dreams for the Future
What are your future plans for your business? To continue supporting our local community as well as further afield. I am pleased that the business is becoming a well-recognised name in the electric vehicle field, as well as working to support other independent garages to develop and encourage electric and hybrid training for their technicians.
Do you have any further ambitions?
Always – but for now working on developing the businesses is my priority.
What has running your business taught you?
I now own the biggest business I have ever worked in which can feel very daunting. I began to realise that I needed to develop my own skills across some areas. With the help of another local business, I enrolled on a Quolux management course last year which has really helped me develop my own skills and understand alternative ways of working.
Do you have a message or ‘top tip’ for anyone thinking about starting their own business?
If you have an idea you are passionate about, try it. There is a huge amount of information and support available locally from the Connect team, Glos Info, Growth Hubs and Gfirst LEP who have been on hand throughout our experience of growing a new business and maintaining the existing one.