THA 146: The Value of Twenty Groups

The Panel:

John Eppstein is the owner of John’s Automotive Care in San Diego, CA. He is the incoming ASCCA President. One thing he credits for his success is making his customer his main focus. John was honored as the 2016 NAPA ASE Technician of the year.  Hear John in our one on one interview in episode 119200 and Academy 003 on the Top Qualities of a Service Advisor. Look for John’s other episodes HERE.

Judi Haglin and husband Dana own Haglin Automotive Inc., a full-service auto repair shop in Boulder, CO, and they’ve been leaders in the Boulder auto repair industry since 1981.

Judi and Dana have a super working relationship and they pay attention to details, share a core value; ‘Everyone Speaks’ that is part of their strong business culture.

They received Motor Age’s Top Shop honor in 2015. Key to their success is they know their roles and together make a strong business owner. They say, “Fixing cars is secondary, we are primarily solving our customer’s problems”. Look for Judi’s previous episodes HERE.

Keith Williamson is the owner of Williamson’s Repair and Tire in Bondurant, IA for over 20 years. He is a member of MWACA where he leads the Shop Owner Support Group (an amazing group of shops) in Iowa. He and his team focus on the customer experience, as well as Hybrid, Electric and emerging vehicle technologies. He recently added a solar array to his building and uses a Toyota Prius and Chevrolet Volt as shuttle vehicles and plans to add more hybrid and electric vehicles as they continually update their loaner fleet. He is a member of RLO Training’s Bottom Line Impact Group for 4 years. Listen to Keith’s previous episodes HERE.

Lisa Eckler is an executive assistant by trade, and a native upstate New Yorker – and somehow managed to marry a Red Sox fan!  Lisa’s background in office management and marketing brought a new facet to the business. When she left her position three years ago, Lisa became the business and marketing manager for Foreign Car Specialists.  In her new position, she has increased customer awareness for the business, increased the shop’s search engine optimization (SEO) and has brought the business to the first page of Google’s organic rankings for search engine results.

Lisa has two boys who are grown and gone and a daughter still at home.  Kevin’s teenage daughter and son live with them full time and rounding out the family are four cats, a perfect dog and 11 chickens who provide breakfast and entertainment daily. Find Lisa’s other episodes HERE.

Key Talking Points:

  • You need to be in a good place in your business where you need help or a bad place and you need help, twenty groups are for you. You must be willing to commit to the process and responsibility
  • You don’t know what you don’t know and discover that in a big way by joining a twenty group
  • Learn quickly what basics you need to start fixing
  • You’ll learn to give a higher level of customer service and give exceptional service
  • Judi is experiencing an explosion in your business since she is focused in another area with ATI to support its 20-Group program. Without Judi, the business is flourishing.
  • Besides national groups, there are regional twenty groups
  • Find close friends that are all willing to help you with your success and even take your call then things are not going well. Lean on each other.
  • There are local groups such as NAPA’s BDG (Business Development Group). Jasper has some groups like this. But they are not exactly like twenty groups, but they are there to help.
  • Travel in twenty groups can be limited to twice or three times a year and ZOOM meetings monthly supplement
  • Google Drive is supplementing the ease to share your numbers and even ads used to hire
  • One of the biggest values from twenty groups is accountability
    • It is not easy to accept accountability from your peers especially if you are not strong enough to hold yourself accountable
    • It is OK if you are struggling and being held accountable will help you and your business to blossom
    • You are looking too closely at your business. Backing up and getting a bigger picture will help you see what is wrong
  • Many who going twenty groups find themselves at the bottom of the metrics. The goal is to grow your success by measuring your success
  • You’ll find members in your group that have special strengths to pull from. They are for you to use
  • Some twenty-groups use this time for social, to get to know each other and some for philanthropic purposes
  • Grow as a leader and become a reader (readers are leaders). Books on Tape and podcasts are great resources for learning
  • Other networking opportunities like BNI are places you can get help
  • Great ideas on what to do beyond the shop: Mentoring
  • Many did not enjoy going to work until they joined a twenty group
  • Twenty-groups help you find and pull the levers of change
  • Twenty-groups do shop tours:
    • You get a chance to have your peers review you. All details.
    • Accept what you learn and start your transformation
      • Can be difficult to do
    • You’ll discover things you already knew you had to do (why not do them?)
    • You’ll learn things you did not know you needed to change
    • Judi has done a virtual tour for her group and learned a lot and learned a lot more when there was an actual shop visit from her twenty-group peers.
    • A marketing survey ‘Do you own your own neighborhood’ Survey of local businesses by your twenty-group members
  • Financial measures and goals are one of the first things you’ll start to learn in a twenty-group
  • You learn a lot about the soft skills that make you a better leader
  • Most owners are car people and not business people. Hence the value of a twenty-group
  • The panel believes they get an ROI on the costs they spend on going to their twenty-group meeting

Resources:

  • A special thanks to John Eppstein, Judi Haglin, Kieth Williamson and Lisa Eckler for their contribution to the aftermarket.
  • Books Page HERE
  • Leave me an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one of them.

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Town Hall Academy Sponsored by:

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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.