When Stuart Compton, the founder and president of AutoCustoms, decided to turn his lifelong passion for automobiles into a career, he knew two things: He wanted to start his own business, and he wanted to keep it in his hometown. “My wife grew up in Ocala, and I’ve been here almost half my life. It’s a great, great place to raise a family,” he says. The third thing he knew was that he would need to use the Internet to be innovative as an automotive aftermarket retailer. Since opening AutoCustoms in 2005, delivering everything from running boards to truck bed covers, Stuart has leveraged the power of the digital economy to grow his business into a career for not just himself, but for his employees.
“The Internet has been an integral tool this whole way, and I see that becoming even more important going forward.”
Stuart Compton, Founder & President
Stuart years ago researched how AdWords, Google’s advertising program, could turn a small start-up’s advertising budget into big results. Nothing has changed since. “We really look for a big return for any Google program that we’re using,” he says. He attributes 70% of their 2015 sales to AdWords. AutoCustoms expects to hit triple-digit growth in coming years thanks in part to Google tools. In addition to AdWords, AutoCustoms also creates YouTube videos to inform customers and build brand awareness. Google Apps for Work’s suite of workflow tools like Gmail, Google Docs, and Google Sheets helps to keep the company running and everyone connected, which is particularly important because they plan to add an additional 40-50 employees by the end of 2016.
AutoCustoms has 142 employees.
Stuart measures his true success not by sales, but by the prosperity he helps bring to his Florida town. “We are able to create jobs, good jobs—fun and fulfilling jobs. It is gratifying and rewarding,” he says. “’Exciting’ is an understatement for what the community’s response has been to keeping the talent pool in Ocala.” Google is helping AutoCustoms continue to be a shining example of what’s possible, from anywhere. “The world is a big place, but with Google and these tools, you can reach them.”
For more information on the Saatva Mattress case study, visit http://economicimpact.google.com.
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