Electrical Engineers Become Shop Owners Growing to Seven Stores – John and Karen Manelas [RR 569]
John and Karen Manelas attended the same school, took the same degree and became successful at their careers for 15 years as electrical engineers. They decided to take a huge life change and pay cut to start their own shop. They took on the challenge and the uncertainties. With low capital, they grew their shop from one in 2004 to an amazing 7 shops in 2019.
Growth is an amazing thing when you do it the right way. Prepare yourself mentally to put a lot of work into each location, hiring, training, and preparing the right staff.
Find the key talking points, John and Karen Manelas’ bio and links to their previous episodes at remarkableresults.biz/e569Listen and view episode notes
THA 180 Why We Have Loaner Cars
This episode showcases two shops that have loaner cars. The industry seems to be split on having loaners. This episode opens up a strong position and the reasons they have loaners.
My panel includes Greg Buckley, from Buckley’s Personalized Auto Care, Wilmington, DE and Tom Lambert, from Shadetree Automotive, Layton, UT
Greg just added three new vehicles and Tom has thirteen. There are support companies that help you with a digital and GPS loaner transaction. Find the show notes at remarkableresults.biz/a180Listen and view episode notes
The Panel: Kevin Eckler is a native New Englander who moved to New York State’s Hudson Valley with his parents back in the mid-1980’s. Kevin began his automotive career at the age of 14, pushing a broom in a mom and pop shop in Rhode Island, he attended a trade school, graduating at the top of…Listen and view episode notes
Jack Weaver is a custom car builder of 25+ years and the owner of Acme Chop Shop. He started teaching the art of custom auto restoration at Kustom Built Cars (KBC). Kustom Built Cars was started out of Jack’s love and enjoyment of custom cars and hot rods. He wanted to be able to continue…Listen and view episode notes
Ken Criste is the Chief Financial Officer of the Australian Bank division of National Australia Bank. In addition to this fulltime role, Ken is a passionate car owner and collector and has a 50% equity ownership in an Independent BMW & MINI workshop in Melbourne Australia “BM Performance Centre”. This ownership with Mark Higgins blends his…Listen and view episode notes
https://youtu.be/wVGKlTmEsFE Jae Malinowski has been in the automotive trade for 25 years, starting in the auto-body industry at 18, he then transitioned to auto sales for a couple years. When a chance encounter with a headhunter introduced him to the tire industry. He started out in a management training program starting doing commercial tires to…Listen and view episode notes
RR 481: David Saline – Start or Grow Your Fleet Business
Fleet is a growth strategy only if you and your people and shop are equipped to take the challenge head-on. It is easy to start small. David shares how to break into a fleet and he gives you the blueprint on what to say and do on your first cold call visit. This episode sheds light on how to start, build and grow fleet business.
David Saline, VP Sales at Drive, is a proven industry leader in the automotive and truck repair business.Listen and view episode notes
Greg Buckley on Lyft
Greg Buckley posted a video he did when he visited a LYFT Service Center in Philadelphia and shared his observations. No doubt this business model from LYFT is a disruptor and what can we learn from it and what should you know.Listen and view episode notes
THA 131 The Future – Preparing Your Shop For the Next Five to Ten Years
What is your future? Have you planned it? What are you doing to ensure your success in the next 5, 10 or 15 years? If you do nothing you get what you currently have and that may not sustain you to far into the future.
Your panel: Kelli Weatherby, co-owner, with husband Lee, in Accurate Automotive, Inc. in Mesa, AZ., Bill Nalu, owner of Interstate Auto Care, Madison Heights, MI and AJ Nealey, Nealey Auto Service, Edgewater MD. This diverse group has some similar yet some different strategies for their future. It is so refreshing to hear the dialogue and then compare their tactics to your current or long term plans.
We are in a dynamic industry that is in a heightened change curve. Keeping up at all levels will bring you spoils. And keeping your eye on your business with the future in sight is an important responsibility you have to your employees and your family.
We talk BHAG’s, Debt, Branches, Succession, Training, refinancing, and SWOT among others.Listen and view episode notes
Tom Lambert shares his passion for his style of marketing, charging what he is worth and his three-legged stool strategy.Listen and view episode notes
Shop Talk 8 – Second Shop Challenge – The Power of Blacktop – Industry Image
I’m so glad to welcome John Eppstein from John’s Automotive Care in San Diego, CA, Scott Pelava from Lonsdale Auto Works in Lonsdale, MN, and former shop owner Scott ‘Gonzo’ Weaver, Scott has added trainer to his resume and continues to be a recognized writer in our industry, I’m sure you know of Gonzo’s Tool Box.
John tells us about his recent new location and a few challenges he didn’t anticipate, Scott Pelava has an idea to add a service to his shop that many would not agree with and Gonzo shares his wisdom of the ages. We also get into our industry image. A lot to chew on.
A bright and interesting moment is the talk about blacktop. Don’t miss this.Listen and view episode notes
Andy Bizub Is The Dealer Alternative And He Tells You Why All Independents Should Be.Listen and view episode notes
Greg Buckley Wonders if we Are Pigeonholing Ourselves Into Just One Area Of RepairListen and view episode notes
A Banker and a Master Tech Build a BMW Specialty Shop – Down Under
Ken Christie is the Chief Financial Officer of the Australian Bank division of National Australia Bank whose passion for collecting and racing cars decided to find a partner and build a BMW specialty shop. Ken partnered with BMW Mastertech, Mark Higgins and they created BM Performance Centre in Williamstown, Victoria, Australia
In this episode, we will be tackling issues and challenges of running a shop in Australia and surprisingly, it is very similar to the challenges and issues we have with our aftermarket in North America. With wide arrays of topics including customer retention, the Australian technician shortage, and earnings, a tech apprentice program like Europe and the Australian immigration policy. Learn what their BM performance experience is and get a taste of the Australian Aftermarket parts industry.
Enjoy this great study in contrasts and similarities.Listen and view episode notes
Open Four, Five, Six Days a Week. Listen to the Debate.
The panel includes Tom Piippo Tri-County Motors, Rudyard, MI, Bill Nalu, Interstate Auto Care Madison Heights, MI, and Alan ‘Ollie’ Gelfand, from German Car Depot, Hollywood, FL.
Learn how each defines or defends their days open and outlines the challenges each has in hiring, serving and making money.
Tom is a four day a week shop, however, Bill and Alan have their thoughts on how to create a four day work week for their team and still be there to serve their customer’s busy lives. Each day of the week takes on a different personality such as Saturday’s helps feed Monday and Tuesday. And Saturday’s can be a big maintenance day.Listen and view episode notes
Niche. Finding Specialties to Create New Business Services.
A very interesting summit, a lesson for the forever student of the aftermarket. We’re talking Niche or Finding Specialties to Create New Business Services. A vibrant discussion to challenge the use of your talent and facility and to listen to your customers and find out exactly what they want and need from you.
The panel warns you to keep your eyes open. The shift is coming. Toss out those unprofitable jobs. Clean out your closet. Review your current business model. We will not survive doing what we always have done.
The panel will help you understand How to consider a specialty, product based niche vs. service based niche; but an overlying theme is to be sure the basics are being done right. You cannot add a new service if you don’t aren’t fixing your customers’ problem right the first time. Get your house in order before adding.Listen and view episode notes
Can David Beat Goliath?
The Academy panel dives into the dichotomy of David and Goliath. David, quick nimble and did not perceive that he was an underdog. The panel considers that larger industry players can be Goliath-like … complacent, too structured, weighed down with rules and inflexible. It doesn’t mean that it is bad, but they say small and nimble is better than big and sluggish. They are quick to point out that we can learn a lot from Goliath’s as it pertains to systems and processes.
Ironically we did discuss that having a Goliath mentality may be good for a David. We talked about business models, being able to adapt to changes in the marketplace and consumers habits. A great example in the discussion was that Starbucks is a Goliath but they hire Davids. A very potent strategy for success. We also talk customer loyalty and what we can learn from the Goliaths of the aftermarket.
The Panel: Bambi Crozier, from Car Clinic in Lowel, AR, Jeremy O’Neal, Freedom Automotive, Freedom Automotive in Hesperia, CA and President and Lead Sales Trainer at AdvisorFix and Scott Pelava, Lonsdale Auto Works in Lonsdale, MNListen and view episode notes
Looking Thirty Years Into the Future
The evolution of electric, hybrids, hybrid/electric and the internal combustion engine and how we will do business in the future. Deb and Craig Van Batenburg share their view of the pace of tech changes and evolving business models.
Craig believes in zero emissions and that climate change is real. He feels that students at high school and college level must learn to work on hybrid and electric cars and that the transition from the internal combustion engine will happen faster than anyone knows. The driver for a rapid change will be the cost of a barrel of oil.
Deb and Craig are sought after speakers and trainers for OE, aftermarket and through worldwide clients. Their training company, Auto Career Development Center (ACDC) is all hands on and only accepts nine students per class.Listen and view episode notes
Shop Of The Future. A Business Coaches Perspective.
Bill Haas from Haas Performance Consulting and Bob Greenwood President and CEO of Automotive Aftermarket E-Learning Centre bring their viewpoints on the future of the service professional.
Bill and Bob talk about training, culture, the dealership factor, pricing transparency, and the importance of daytime training. They also share their viewpoint on competing, hiring and retaining top talent, both technicians and service advisors.Listen and view episode notes
The Shop of the Future: Are You Prepared?
Have you thought about how you will do business in the future? Well the mission of this panel was to stretch the boundaries and serve up plenty of thoughts, concepts and changes coming that you need to be fundamentally be prepared for.
So happy to be able to present this audio recording from Vision 2018. With me are shop owners, Summer Gurerro from Affinity Automotive Services, Inc in Wichita, KS, Keith Williamson owner of Williamson’s Repair and Tire in Bondurant, IA, Trainer and Mobile Technician Eric Ziegler form EZ Diagnostics, Chris Chesney the Senior Director, Customer Training at the Carquest Technical Institute and Donny Seyfer the Executive Officer of NASTF, the National Automotive Service Task Force and co-owner of Seyfer Automotive in Wheatridge, CO.
Many great thoughts that will help shape your future. There are many important action steps discussed that need your support and engagement. Listen carefully for those cues.Listen and view episode notes
Chicago. No Car. No Problem.
Joran Thompson lives in Chicago and hasn’t owned a car for years. She does fine commuting to work, buying fresh groceries and dry goods. Her dry cleaning gets done, perfectly and on-time, and her latest IKEA purchase gets constructed. When she needs medicine, pizza or to wait in a line for a restaurant on a Saturday Night she just uses her smartphone. There’s an APP for all of her needs.
The story for aftermarket professionals is that all the miles Joran is not driving are being done by the services she contracts. Transportation as a Service will rack up the miles to support all the Joran Thompson’s who don’t own vehicles. Someone will need to maintain and repair those vehicles. It’s time to make those connections.Listen and view episode notes
How To Sell Diagnostics at a Profit?
This is not an easy question to answer. Service professionals must be paid for their expertise because the cost of doing diagnostics is the most expensive service you have in your building.
It is time to move from diagnostics to testing and analyzing. Every shop needs to build a premium product around testing and analyzing. You need to be known as the ‘we can fix anything right the first time shop’. Your motto: “We have the best technicians.” Your shops testing and analyzing skills is the premium product you sell and are known for in your marketplace. No need to go anywhere else. We do the research, test, analyze and discover what is wrong. We present the solution then you decide.
Marketing this premium product requires a strong testing/analyzing process that both the service advisor and technician are totally in agreement with. The benefits allow the SA to confidently sell testing and analyzing.
The diagnostician knows that the SA will sell the value and benefits to the customer because the process dictates the work to be done. A very strong discussion and powerful take-a-ways that will arrest the black hole in your business of profitable diagnostic time.Listen and view episode notes
Growth Strategy: Fleets
Fleet business can sustain your revenue during the up and down times of the year. Get started and be willing to change and adjust as you move along. These three experts agree that it may be time for you to ‘Get out of your comfort zone’ and jump into the fleet business.
Learn from Tom Palermo from Preferred Automotive Specialists in Jenkintown, PA, John Constantin from Bison Fleet Service in Buffalo, NY and Bill Nalu from Interstate Auto Care in Madison Heights, MI.
We talk how to recruit fleet customer, obvious reasons to get into fleet business, the how and the challenges of implementing and growing fleet revenue.Listen and view episode notes
Super Growth rate of 40% Has Its Challenges to Expense Control and Cash Flow.
Ryan Blair of Blair Automotive is a highly honored Audi technician and worked at an Audi dealership for eight years before deciding to start his own Audi/VW specialty shop.
As an independent, he has brought a high level of differentiation and a better than dealer experience to his customer. His new location was a perfect ground zero for his increased sales.
We find Ryan with big growing pains and a huge scale up when he moved into his new 12 bay facility. He has no regrets to get the shop where it is and admits he stretched and has personally guaranteed his expansion. Ryan has the perfect outlook and is building a strong business long into the future.Listen and view episode notes
This panel’s perspective is meant to excite a dialogue, to present ideas and concepts to support your decision or to inspire you to take a stand; one way or the other.
This topic is a worthy discussion because of the growth rate of e-commerce part availability, transparency in pricing, and ease of self-diagnosis on the internet.
At risk can be your reputation based on the quality of part being installed. You own the cause of their concern. This panel has not gotten one new great customer from ever installing parts for walk-in customers.Listen and view episode notes