Eccleston building a legacy for his brand through innovation
Dennis Eccleston started his company, Synergy Performance, in 2015 on what he described as a sheer fluke. “I’ve always been a car enthusiast, and I was at MegaMart with a friend of mine, and she said to me, ‘You love cars so much I’m going to buy you two turbochargers so you can start a business’. I turned to her and said ‘I’m not good at sales’, but she assured me that anything I put my mind to, I can do.”
From that recommendation, it propelled him to venture into the business arena, and he instantly came up with a name and logo design for his company - but not without challenges. “I started with $6,500 to my name, and everything that could go wrong was going wrong. I posted my products on Facebook. Then a customer reached out to me.”
He continued, “So in starting the process, I did not know about shipping logistics or how to get the product to the customer because the person was based in Mandeville. But I eventually found out about online shipping couriers, and I was able to fulfill this delivery in less than two weeks.”
He shared that the investment he started his company with eventually increased to $300,000. However, he experienced a few shortcomings. “One pitfall that happened right after we made that money was we sponsored a drift event in Montego Bay. Because I’m doing business for the first time, I didn’t know that my initial earning was a revenue stream to put back into my business. Instead, I used all of it to put the car together so it could make it to the event.”
Eccleston highlighted that while it may have been a flawed approach as a business owner, he believed that the more people saw his brand, the more the company would be known. “The car show was the perfect opportunity for us to represent because we had banners and a team wearing the Synergy Performance. Everyone loved the company and what we are about, and that was the main idea of what I wanted to achieve for my company.”
He indicated that the exposure was great because through this partnership, seven months later, his company was hosting its own events.
While this was not his first entrepreneurial stream, because he initially started out with media, he adds that cars have always been his passion from a child growing up. “My dad always customised his cars by adding bigger bore and bigger pistons to his vehicle, so I always had an interest in customising vehicles.”
Also, it is through his experience in the media, as a graphic designer, that he was able to make graphics for his business. “Even now the graphics that come out of my company are produced by me and my team, so we were able to save and cut costs of creating graphical work for the company.”
Advancing the company
He shared that there have been a lot of hiccups and downfalls over the years, when he started his performance parts company. “We had to pivot from just a performance parts business, and we broke ground into automotive detailing, focusing on both the interior and exterior of vehicles.”
Eccleston continued, “My team and I were introduced to a product called purple rain, which is a rim cleaner that we bought from the United Kingdom, and I was also bringing in different car shampoos as well, so we experimented with them.”
However, apart from experimenting with the imported products to assist in vehicle maintenance, he opted to make his own. “So we had to shift from selling car parts, because they weren’t selling anymore, to doing automotive detailing of cars.”
After such hard work and commitment, he was able to put his brand called Vue Car Care Line on the market. “So we now have a line of eight products that are currently on the market and are being distributed by gas stations, car washes, and we have also exported to Cayman, St Lucia, and the United States.”
Also, because of his ability to mix the car products, he was able to get positive responses from his valuable customers. “Every time we brought back the cars to our customers, we would get feedback that it’s extremely shine and they wouldn’t return until a month later because the car stayed clean for a longer time.”
He highlighted that the car shampoos are very hybrid ceramic products that can be used on any vehicle such as a bike, bicycle, and truck.
Currently, on the market he has two types of car shampoo: the polymer wax-infused car shampoo and the ceramic infusion, which are to protect the vehicle from scratches. “The ceramic infusion gives the car what we call a nanostructure, so each time it’s used on the car, it’s like a building-block method. So it’s adding layer on top of layer, making the car harder to be scratched. Also, the sunlight’s ultraviolet rays cannot penetrate the vehicle, so a driver doesn’t need to spray his car. It even prevents watermarks and oxidisation of the headlight,” he said.
Balancing career and being a parent
Eccleston shares that balancing his work life and being a parent is extremely hard because sometimes he has to be up in the early mornings. “Sometimes I have to cancel going to work in order to spend time with my child. Responsibilities are great, but I learn what my priorities are, which is not really making money, but building a legacy.”
Advice to other entrepreneurs
His advice to business owners is that while things may not work out in the time they want to, they should never give up on their vision or what they believe in. “Never give up on the ideas you have. Sometimes it’s better to innovate and pivot rather than to work in a failing structure. Believe in what you sell and put the research and investment into what you’re offering to your customers, and ensure that your creation will foster generational wealth.”