Happy new year! Wheel Easy is wrapping up the winter 2021 season of providing tire service to London and the surrounding area, including Lucan, Ilderton, St. Thomas, Cambridge, and Kitchener / Waterloo. Overall, we had 45 customers who had the tires changed on 56 cars. It was amazing to meet all of you and chat about our business and how it helps you. Many of you offered insightful perspectives which will be valuable in guiding Wheel Easy’s direction and growth in the future.
Genesis of the Concept
My name is Dennis Ho, founder of Wheel Easy. I have a dual diploma in both gas and diesel vehicle diagnostics and repair, and I’ve been a licensed technician for 7 years and have worked at two repair shops - a small independent shop and the dealership Central Auto Niagara. I know it's tough getting your vehicle in for service, especially for minor jobs - it’s inconvenient to take time out of your day to come to the shop and wait with your car, or find someone to give you a ride home after dropping off the car, and likewise getting back to the shop when your vehicle is ready.
We aimed to address these problems with our New Venture Project at Ivey Business School in London - we introduced the concept of a mobile tire service that comes to your home to perform service. In the interest of validating the market, we posted Kijiji and Facebook Marketplace listings offering the service. The response was significant!
I decided to complete as many of these requests as I could. I used my truck to bring my jack, air compressor and other tools to people’s homes and changed their tires in their driveway or parking lot.
I was grateful for the opportunity to meet so many customers and learn what was important about our offering to them. Key takeaways from these experiences were that 72% of people want access to more services, 50% of people want to be able to book easily online, and that generally, people were open to trusting a mobile technician to change their tires.
Wheel Easy will continue to offer the tire services in 2022 as a direct service provider, and consider offering further services. Online bookings can be made on our website or through our Facebook page, and you can always call at 519-870-4546. Tire storage will also be available. Of course, we’re happy to take all referrals.
Wheel Easy will explore the viability of developing an online two-way marketplace that allows customers to book services online and matches them with local, licensed technicians that are available to do the work at the customer’s home. This Uber-type platform connecting supply and demand aligns the high level of interest in mobile services that we’ve observed with the availability of many independent service providers that list their services on various online classifieds websites. By increasing the availability of information, we promote accessibility of tire and automotive service for our customers while simplifying the process of generating business for local service providers. Wheel Easy will be the first service provider on the platform, and hopefully, you will be the first customers!
We’re excited that our business plan submission has been selected as a finalist in the Morrissette Institute’s HBA Business Plan Competition, with a focus on the platform concept and its scalability. The competition is scheduled for January 21-22.
Wheel Easy has been an eye-opening part of my entrepreneurial journey so far and I’m thrilled to continue down this path with my passion for making automotive service more accessible. Thanks to my NVP group mates Jesh, Lauren, Aaron, Naomi, and Lianna for their contributions to the project, as well as mentors who have helped in an advisory capacity, including Ian Haase, Zach Weber, and Nicole Haney. Can’t wait to see what the next few months have in store!
Have any thoughts or suggestions? Want to learn more about Wheel Easy? Leave a comment below or send me a message, I'd be happy to chat.