Mike Bennett has been in the industry since 1985. He is an ASE Master Tech who has worked for GM as Technician, Shop Foreman, Service manager and Service Director for 2 locations.
Mike bought his current shop, Mike’s Kars, in Gettysburg, PA in 1999. It is a a four bay shop with 3 technicians. In 2011, he became a full time coach with Automotive Training Institute helping shop owner’s to re-engineer and grow their businesses.
We sat down in Santa Barbara, CA at the AutoVitals Digital Conference for our interview.
- Mike co-owns the shop with his wife Shelle who is also the General Manager.
- He had his light bulb moment when he realized he needed more training on business and leadership.
- He re-engineered himself so he could he teach his people.
- He became an ATI client and fully immersed in it.
- It started with learning leadership so he can teach the why and influence the people around him.
- He started to gain control in his business and he found some additional freedom (time).
- Best employees are empowered and understand their role. Great leaders show their people how to succeed.
- Once Mike worked himself out of the business, his team prefers he doesn’t come around.
- Two areas of struggle for owners today.
- The business side of the business.
- Be a leader of people
- It is a state of mind, an awareness, to relate with people, understand yourself, to influence people.
- There is some level of desperation that brings a shop owner to a coaching program.
- An important part of building a great business is to have a quality culture. It can be a result of great leadership.
- You are being shopped by potential employees rather than you are shopping for them.
- They are researching you, your website, your reviews, etc.
- The most powerful statement of the health of your business is when they come to you to find out if you have openings.
- Books to read.
- E-Myth and the E-Myth revisited by Michael Gerber.
- Predictable Success by Les McKeown.
- The Five Temptations of a CEO by Patrick Lencioni.
- Accountability factor has to do with the owner’s beliefs in systems/processes.
- Accountability is higher when there is the biggest desperation. Your clay is the ripest for molding.
- Work life balance and a successful business.
- If you don’t have a good balance at home, you won’t have one at work.
- As shop owners we do not bring the same level of curiosity we had as techs to the business side of the business.
- We will survive the tech advancements as we have every decade.
- Heavy penetration of hybrids will not peak until 2040.
- A smart business and entrepreneur will prepare themselves.
|Years in industry:||38|
|Number of technicians:||3|
|Number of service advisers:||2|
|Number of lifts:||4|
|Number of bays:||4|
|Performing hybrid repairs:||Yes|
|ASE Blue Seal Certified:||Yes|
|Succession plan:||Yes – Working on|
|Full-time business coach:||Yes – ATI|
|Biggest challenge in business today:||Parts quality|
|Primary source for parts:||Aftermarket|
|Primary source for electronic components:||OE Dealer|
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