With his love of cars and motorbikes, there was only one option for Leo Dack’s career. Starting in the working world at the age of 15 straight after his GCSEs, he made the motor industry his life. So much so that he started his own business when he was 24 with nothing but his savings and an overdraft. Now Vauxalist is a thriving business with the 29-year-old director at the wheel.
This feature interview was first published in issue 17 of the Lincolnshire Business weekly magazine, now available to read at www.lincsbusiness.co. Subscribe to the email newsletter to receive the latest edition in your inbox this Friday.
Living a quiet life with his girlfriend Harriet and his two Labradoodles, Doodle and Deefor, Leo wasn’t always sure how his career would go. “At school, I didn’t know what I wanted to do but I knew that I always wanted to run my own business. My late dad used to have his own business. I grew up around it, but when I left school, I just wanted to get a job.
“I got work experience at a Vauxhall dealer and worked Saturdays and on half term in the parts department, the service department and eventually I worked in the workshop for a few years.”
Leo fought to build his knowledge within the profession by taking courses and training himself up. “I am quite good at teaching myself. Some of the guys were a bit funny about me picking stuff up quite quickly, so they withheld information from me a little bit. I went on all of the courses which helped a lot, as well as researching a lot of it by myself too.”
It wasn’t too long before he came up with his own business idea after another MOT garage opened up near where Leo used to work and he noticed a drop in business.
“My previous employer had another garage which was used for MOTs and bigger vans. I had an idea that we could open that up as a different name. People associated a dealer name as being expensive, so a different name would combat the new garage that had opened up.
“Everyone thought that it was a really good idea. I was so convinced that it would work, I had even gone to the boss saying ‘Look, we need to do this’ but he didn’t so I thought ‘Right, I will do it myself then!'”
Read the full cover interview in issue 17 of the Lincolnshire Business magazine here. Also, look out for the next issue on Friday.