Case Study: JM Motor Repairs

Long standing tenants stand the test of time and plan for future growth

JM Motors were one of the first tenants to move into the Barle Enterprise site, and have since become a firm favourite with local residents and companies looking for a friendly, reliable independent Somerset garage.

Business partners James Sapsford and Martin Stilling are familiar faces to all the tenants at the Barle site. The business was established in 2011 when James decided to follow his dream and start up his own garage. He signed the lease on the Barle unit, and the reality of running his own independent garage business took shape.

JM Motors is now an established garage offering repairs, servicing and MOTs for both car and commercial customers.

Martin originally joined as an apprentice, before becoming a fully-fledged partner in the business in April 2018.

The Challenge

The motor repair industry is a competitive sector to be operating in. With limited experience of running a business James was realistic about the hard work establishing an independent garage would involve.

Alongside business partner Martin they were determined to prove that this Dulverton garage could meet the needs of the local area, and successfully run their own business.


The Solution 

Starting out, the biggest challenge was to get the unit equipped and fully operational, establish a name for the business and to build a customer base. The business has grown steadily since it began, but has not been without its challenges. Talking about his business journey James said:

“We have worked hard to build the business into what it is today.   Customers expect a reliable, competitively priced service and our job is to deliver just that.”

“We are proud of the business and the positive feedback we get from our customers. When people keep coming back and recommending us to others, that is when we know we are getting it right. There are plenty of garages to choose from and how you treat your customers, and the quality of your work is essential to making a business successful.”

Location for any business is always key. The Enterprise Centres throughout the region provide suitable sites that promote a business community, and act as suitable bases for a whole range of sectors.

The variety of businesses at each of the Enterprise Centres is testament to how this can be achieved. Both office-based and customer facing businesses sit side-by-side and positively thrive.

Commenting on the Enterprise site James said:

“The Barle site has been excellent for putting us on the map and importantly for our line of work provides a convenient place for customers to bring their vehicles to us. We have space for parking vehicles, customers are able to drive right in and we have been able to adapt the unit to exactly how we need to work, and to make the best of the space available.”

Somerset Enterprise Centres exist to support business growth across the County. Talking about JM Motors Ges Green, Operations Manager for Business Centres South West said:

We are so pleased to have been able to support JM Motors on their business journey. One of the benefits of being a part of the Enterprise Centres is that we are able to offer independent business advice to all of our tenants, and this is something James and Martin have been able to take advantage of. Both James and Martin are a key asset to the business community at Barle, and we’re delighted to have them as part of the fold.”

Commenting on the support received from TDA Business Advisors James said:

“There’s a lot to running your own business, we have been fortunate to be able to receive advice and expertise from TDA. This has been a significant help to the business. Anybody looking for a new business premises I would recommend the centres and also to make use of the help available. It has definitely supported us along the way, and made the prospect of running our own business a reality.”

The Future

Along with part-time reception and office assistance from Sally Mather, JM Motors is looking to continue to serve the area, and are pleased to have secured a multi-vehicle contract with a local company.

Plans for the future include an MOT bay onsite to increase productivity and future turnover.

JM Motors continue to be a valued tenant at the Barle site and we look forward to seeing their plans unfold into 2020 and beyond.

For details of workspace and units at any of the Somerset Enterprise Centres visit




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