Make Every Detail Count: What Message Are You Sending to Customers? [RR 932]

Recorded Live at the 2024 MACS (Mobile Air Climate Systems) Training Event & Trade Show, shop owner Bill Snow discusses marketing strategies, the use of social media platforms, and the importance of authenticity in video marketing. Bill shares insights on audience preferences for lighthearted content and emphasizes professionalism and the value of every customer interaction in reflecting the business’s dedication to service.
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Unpacking the Dynamics of Consumer Choice and Pricing [RR 924]

The Value Paradox: We all want top-notch service without the hefty price tag. However, quality comes at a cost. Andy Bizub explores this conundrum and how it mirrors the choices we make. Consumers often face a choice between the cheapest and the luxurious with little interest in the middle ground. This observation sparked a conversation about how the automotive industry can apply this pricing strategy to their businesses. Remember, it’s not just about the price; it’s about the value and experience you provide.
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I’m More Than Just A Mechanic [RR 919]

Can a break-up be the catalyst for an entrepreneurial leap? Find out during Shawn Gilfillan’s 20 questions in 30 minutes episode! Shawn also discusses the importance of a strong business culture, mentorship, and the joy of hobbies like aviation. Shawn shares strategies for managing gross margins and the significance of client experience.
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Technician’s Three-Year Succession Plan [RR 906]

Andy Bizub and part owner Brandon Ludwikowski discuss the transition from technician to business owner, the importance of a positive attitude, and the tools and knowledge required for technicians. The conversation also covers the division of responsibilities within the company, decision-making processes, and the importance of understanding business fundamentals and financials. 
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Creating Psychological Safety For Your Employees [RR 901]

George Kingman discusses the importance of work-life balance, psychological safety, and cultivating a positive work environment. He shares personal experiences and lessons learned from his journey in the automotive industry, emphasizing the need for passion and positivity. Kingman also discusses leadership strategies inspired by George Washington and how they can be applied in modern businesses. He stresses the importance of making employees feel valued and connected to their work. 
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Conference Planning Musts! [894]

Travis Troy, owner of Honest Wrenches, discusses the importance of conference planning and attendance for team development. He dives into the process of selecting classes, professionalism at conferences, and the significance of investing in training and planning for the future. 
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Family Business: The Dads [THA 349]

Shop owners and fathers Charlie Marcotte and Paul Campanella discuss the topic of passing down a family business to the next generation. They emphasize the importance of aligning roles and skill sets, providing training and guidance, and setting realistic expectations for children joining the family business. They also explore the value of mentorship, learning from outside sources, and the challenges and rewards of running a family business. Whether you’re considering integrating your family into your business or looking for ways to make adjustments, this episode is a must-listen!
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Overcoming the Challenges of Apprenticeship Programs [RR 891]

Jake Sorensen shares his experiences with running an apprentice program at McNeil’s Auto Care. Initially, they were able to find suitable applicants easily, but as time went on, they faced challenges in finding the right candidates.  Jake also talked about the practical skills gap he has observed in the younger generation. He shared an anecdote about an apprentice who had never drilled a hole in a wall or hung anything before. Despite this knowledge gap, Jake believes that with the right attitude and willingness to learn, the right apprentices can become great technicians in the future.
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Life Calibration: From Burnout to Balance [THA 348]

Our panel explores the challenges of achieving work-life balance and how it affects busy professionals and entrepreneurs. The key takeaway was the importance of operating with the mindset of wanting employees’ lives to work both inside and outside of the shop. Eddie Lawrence shared his personal story of experiencing a health crisis in 2015, which served as a wake-up call for him. As a business owner, he had been prioritizing his work over his own well-being. This realization led him to create ‘Life Calibration,’ a framework to help individuals prioritize and improve different areas of their lives, not just for themselves but also for their teams.
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High Performance Leadership Training [RR 888]

Carm Capriotto introduces a group of automotive industry professionals who are part of a leadership program led by Shawn Gilfillan. This group has been working on a 20-week program designed to enhance leadership skills and empower teams in the automotive industry. The program emphasizes the importance of self-talk and changing one’s self-perception to become a better leader. They highlight the benefits of using the DISC test to understand themselves and their team members better, promoting understanding and empathy. They also discuss the positive impact of active listening and effective communication in resolving conflicts and improving relationships. They emphasize the value of continuous learning and the benefits of joining a leadership coaching group.
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The Google Nerds’ Guide to Streamlining Your Business [RR 887]

AJ Nealey and Joe Hanson discuss the use of Google Workspace in their businesses. They explore the different applications within Google Workspace, such as Google Meet, Gmail, Google Sheets, Google Docs, Google Slides, Google Calendar, and Google Drive, and how they utilize them for communication, document storage, and collaboration. They also discuss the benefits of controlling intellectual property, and the efficiency and organization that Google Workspace provides. 
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New Age Employees Require A New Way of Thinking [AW 176]

Pete McNeil discusses the changing needs of employees in the post-COVID workplace, particularly focusing on Gen Z employees. He talks about the importance of providing a positive customer experience and adapting to the preferences and attention span of Gen Z employees. He also discusses the challenges of hiring and retaining Gen Z employees, including the need for benefits, learning opportunities, and potential pay advantages. 
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Elevating Professionalism Through Language and Terminology [THA 345]

Our panel discusses the topic of language and terminology changes in the automotive aftermarket service industry. It’s important to use clear and professional language with employees and customers, as well as the significance of honesty and trust in communication. They also touch on the distinction between “technician” and “mechanic” and the need for ongoing training and teamwork. We hope that our discussion will inspire you to reflect on your own communication practices and make necessary improvements.
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S.O.B: Son of Boss [THA 344]

Carm Capriotto hosts a panel discussion on family businesses, specifically focusing on the challenges faced by sons of bosses (SOBs). Andrew Marcotte and Anthony Campanella share their experiences of working in their family businesses and the unique dynamics that come with it. They discuss the perception of nepotism and the importance of earning respect and value in their own right. They also discuss leadership development, work-life balance, communication, and succession planning in family businesses.
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Acquiring and Transforming a 72 Year Old Business [AW 171]

Jon Kloosterman, the Director of Operations at West Side Service in Zeeland, discusses their recent acquisition of a business and their approach to training and retention of technicians. The acquired business had been a pillar in the community for 72 years and was ready for a change in ownership. Jon also highlights the importance of maintaining professionalism and focusing on the right KPIs in your business. 
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Redefining Business Bravery: Stories of Courage [THA 341]

Join our panel as they share insights on the importance of courage, different leadership styles, the need for tough conversations, and the role of coaching and mentoring in developing courage in teams. The panelists emphasize the importance of effective communication, training, and providing individuals with the tools and confidence to make courageous decisions. They also discuss the need for leaders to make tough decisions even when uncomfortable.
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Real Estate Strategies [AW 170]

Rick Levitan shares his experience and insights on real estate in the automotive industry. He discusses the importance of developing a strategy when expanding and finding new locations, as well as various methods for finding potential sites. Rick advises against falling in love with a specific location and highlights the option of leasing with an option to buy. He also discusses the role of real estate investment trusts (REITs) and the importance of demographics when considering a new location. Rick emphasizes the need for careful planning, good advisors, and transparency when acquiring a business or property.
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Why is Mission Strategy Crucial in the Automotive Industry? [RR 872]

“Do our technicians, when they close the hood, take the rag, you know, they rub the hood, make sure there’s no fingerprints? Do they really think about the role that they had in that customer’s life? Most of them don’t.”

Dan Taylor shares a personal experience where his technician played a crucial role in getting his wife to the hospital in a life-threatening situation. This incident made Dan realize the importance of our mission in ensuring the safety and reliability of vehicles. What is the ‘why’ behind someone’s work and why is that important? 

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From Mom and Pop to Multi Shop Owners [RR 671]

Recorded Live at the 2023 Institute Summit in St Petersburg, Florida, Jeannie and David Light, the dynamic duo behind Lighthouse Auto Repair in Manteo, North Carolina, discuss their business, challenges they face, and their recent expansion to a second shop. They also share their experience with joining a coaching program. The coaching program had a significant impact on their sales, with their revenue nearly doubling in the year after joining. Find out how they transitioned from a ‘mom and pop’ shop to successful multi shop owners. 
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EV Fire Safety: Exploring Risks and Solutions [RR 869]

What are the hidden risks associated with Electric Vehicles (EVs)? Multi-shop owner and District Chief of the Troy Fire Department Donnie Hudson and mechanical engineer and Captain of the Troy Fire Department, Pat Durham, discuss the importance of awareness and proper training for EVs. EV fires can be complex and involve risks of corrosion, and short circuits. Education and training are crucial for firefighters, first responders, and automotive professionals to ensure EV safety. Working on EVs can also have insurance implications, with potential surcharges. Despite the risks, being prepared and knowledgeable about EVs is critical when handling damaged vehicles.
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From Training to Triumph: Breathe Leadership Into Your People [RR 868]

COO’S Max Orsborn and Dave Askwith discuss the importance of training and defined leadership in automotive businesses. They highlight the need for effective training that goes beyond just checking boxes, emphasizing accountability and pressure on individuals who attend training sessions. The conversation also touches on the significance of transparency and communication within organizations, focusing on clear communication during promotions and changes. Max and Dave share their experiences as leaders, with insights on admitting mistakes and making adjustments in hiring, as well as the importance of staying true to one’s beliefs and vision.
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The Noble Mechanic: Before and After Transformation and Rebranding [AW 166]

In this episode, Reggie Stewart covers a range of topics from dispatching and business operations to shop renovations. Reggie recently undertook renovations at his shop in Kokomo, Indiana, he modernized the colors and feel of the shop to give it an upscale vibe, with the help of an interior designer. He also discusses the importance of building a positive culture and is currently working on creating job descriptions and manifestos for each position to better define expectations and attract the right people. 
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Is Your Shop Butcher Clean? [RR 866]

COO’S Andrew Marcotte and Melissa Parker discuss growth and succession in the industry, emphasizing the importance of having a sellable business. They share their experiences with acquiring and managing new shops, highlighting the value of cultural fit over work experience. Andrew and Melissa also encourage others to build relationships within the industry, learn from other operations and have a ‘butcher clean’ shop!
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Hiring Process Explained [RR 865]

Phil Carpenter discusses the challenges of finding good technicians and the constant need for recruitment. Phil maps out the hiring process at Urban Auto Care and Avalon Motor Sports, which includes video interviews and in-person interviews. It’s critical to a good fit for the long term and filtering out candidates who are not willing to go through their hiring process. He also explains the importance of maintaining a sense of urgency in hiring, employee turnover, and recognizing when it’s time to let someone go. 
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New Build in 4 Months: A Look Inside [AW 164]

A new build in 4 months? How did Bill DeBoer do it?! When his father suggested knocking down an office building and building a shop in its place, Bill didn’t hesitate. He took charge of the project, handled the financing, and oversaw the construction. This podcast episode is filled with insights on fleet management, business strategies, and the importance of having a reliable network of professionals.
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