Co-owner Kevin Hogan – who started the business with his two brothers – says that keeping a close eye on the competition is essential. Getting expert advice wherever you can is a smart strategy too.
Staying on top also means staying with the times, and that’s something the next generation is currently helping with. “It’s fantastic working with our kids,” says Kevin. “You need youth in a business and they’re now advising us on the technology to invest in. The lads have brought us into the 21st century.”
Start your enginesIt hasn’t all been plain sailing though. Unexpected competitors and surprise bills have thrown spanners in the works over the years, yet despite this Hogan Bros has been a story of success. Kevin says a large part of that is down to loyalty.
“We’ve had fantastic customers,” says Kevin. “They’ve stuck with us from the beginning and because of that we’ve just grown and grown.”
Check out this video to get the nuts and bolts of the Hogan Bros story
Using payments to grease the wheelsKeeping up with modern technology is essential too, and that also applies to payments systems. Hogan Bros has been clever, using contactless payments to both drive competitiveness and turbo-charge the customer experience.
“We’ve priced our MOTs at £30, just so that we can accept contactless payments for them,” says Kevin. “People want to pay that way. It’s so quick for them and we’re taking more and more payments this way.”
The research backs this up. Credit and debit card payments using contactless rose by 164% last year1. A third of merchants now take contactless payments, and a further 17% are planning to take them in the near future2.
With lower processing costs than cash and a faster transaction process than Chip and PIN, Matthew Haines, VP Contactless Business Manager, Digital Consumer Payments at Barclaycard, says promoting them to consumers is a “no brainer”.
“We take very little in cash and cheques now,” says Kevin. “We take 90% through the card machine and when you take payments like that the job is complete. With cheques, you have to wait days to see if they will clear and if you take too much cash you have to go to the bank every day.”
And a final secret of success? It goes down to the very foundation of the business.
“It’s because we are three brothers,” says Kevin. “We all stick together and if one of us makes a mistake, the others are there for him. The only bad part is that we can’t all go on holiday together because then we’d have to close for two weeks.”
Sources1 Barclaycard data comparing 2014 to 2015 contactless spending. 2.6 times annual spending increase is calculated as follows: (2015 total Spend figure – 2014 total Spend, divided by 2014 Spend).
2 An online survey of 305 retail business owners aged 18+ was conducted between 25th and 27th August 2015. Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria. All research was conducted by Opinium Research.
Please note that the views expressed in this article are personal opinions. Barclaycard cannot accept any responsibility or liability for reliance by any person on this article or any of the information set out in it.
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