RR 165: Mark Goldsmith from Mark’s Independent Service

Mark Goldsmith found his passion for cars in 1971 when his first job was with an independent shop. He took all of the ASE required tests and earned his Master Technician Certification.

First Started as chief cook and bottle-washer. In 1988 Mark opened Mark’s Independent Service in Chatsworth, CA. He aspired to be the best owner/technician he could be and constantly pushed himselfmarks-independentf to further his knowledge and understanding of the automotive industry.

Specialist. Mark’s Independent Service works exclusively on Volvo, Lexus and Toyota vehicles. Mark and his team have always focused on fair values that put the customer first. He’s worked hard to create the type of auto repair company that has built trust with his customers and like to be known as a dealership alternative!

Associations. He joined ASCCA and quickly became a Chapter Representative and shortly after that he became Chapter Vice President. This opportunity grew his knowledge while surrounded by other shop owners and taking in their perspectives. Mark credits special books that have changed him and increased his business and leadership acumen. Books like ‘Extreme Ownership’ and ‘E-Myth’ are two important book that have made a difference for Mark.

The proof is when Mark’s customers tell him that they are more convenient and affordable than the local dealers.

Special insights into this episode:

  • Mark recently hired a female millennial service writer. He says it made a big difference in his company and she and his wife recently fired Mark from the counter. Listen to him tell the story.
  • How his friend Mitch Schneider helped convince him to make a tough decision on an employee who was no longer a cultural fit in his company.
  • He believes every service professional entrepreneur needs a business coach.
  • He admits that he should have listened to his business coach much earlier and made changes in his company that were recommended sooner than later.
  • Mark discusses his succession plan that has him, after 3 years, in the shop only 2 days a week.
  • He integrated tablets in the bays two years ago and he tells you the status of that change.
  • He shares his positive customer service culture. They always do the extra’s.
  • Mark holds an ‘open concept’ meeting once a month with this team
  • He stopped micromanaging and let his people do what they were hired to do.
  • Mark tells the story of his wife Joann who quit her job to help him start the business.

Community and family. Mark learned along the way that staying active in your community plays a major role in how you can bring new business in and maintain a much larger civic bond and a family atmosphere. Mark has two grandkids and stays active in local sports such as football and baseball, which keeps him face to face with new and recurring customers. Along with his wife Jo Ann they stay active with a local boot camp workout group for the past 10 years, along with being a mountain biker, road biker, and runner.

Books mentioned

  • E-Myth Revisted by Michael Gerber
  • Extreme Ownership

Mark’s Independent Service Website

Mark’s Independent Overview

Years in industry: 48
Years in business ownership: 28
Number of technicians: 2
Number of lifts: 4
Number of bays: 4
Other team members: Service Advisor  Colleen Yarger
Open: Mon-Fri
Specialty: Volvo – Toyota – Lexus
Industry involvement: ASCCA – ASA – ASE
Supplier Marketing Group: Bosch Service
Supplier Advisory Council: Bosch Service
Trainer/Coach: ACT Group

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About the author, Carm Capriotto, AAP

Carm is the founder and host of the Remarkable Results Radio Podcast; the only one of its type in the automotive aftermarket. Carm calls on his 35 years’ experience in the aftermarket to bring engaging stories from his guests.

Listen to raw, unfiltered, honest, and sincere stories that include insights, trends, best practices and expertise. Each interview brings an opportunity to learn one new thing through the stories of personal achievement. Many podcast guests tell their story of transformation from working in their business to working on it.

As host, Carm uses his enthusiasm and passion for the aftermarket especially the service sector to take his listeners on a journey showcasing successful service professionals’ path to Remarkable Results. He also enjoys interviews with aftermarket industry thought leaders who bring their industry perspectives to his listener.