RR 258: John Francis from Francis Automotive Services

John L. Francis has over 50 years of industry experience and has owned and operated Francis Automotive Services Inc. for more than 35 years. John’s most important business philosophy as a shop owner is to “be honest, speak from your heart, and always be authentic”, so it’s no mystery why he’s been so successful.

For years Francis Automotive, an industry-acclaimed full-service auto repair shop in West Chester, PA, has not only supported the YMCA and Toys for Tots but has led the industry in developing a child safety brand.

John is an Automotive Service Association (ASA) member and served on the ASA Mechanical Division Operations Committee for many years. John also represented the ASA in Washington, D.C., where he gave demonstrations to members of Congress on the importance of providing repair professionals with open access to service information. These presentations were instrumental in the information availability agreement that was eventually signed between the ASA and the automobile manufacturers.

John is a past National Chairman of the Automotive Management Institute. He has served as the Chairman of ASA CARS. John also served on the ASE Board of Directors for 8 years and served as an AMi trustee for many years as well. He’s been featured in AutoInc magazine and is a two-time runner-up for NAPA Tech of the Year. John is a recipient of the AMi Alpha Award. Not only is John an extraordinary business professional, but his commitment to the industry and his peers is second to none. John lives in Atglen PA, he is married and has 3 children, 8 beautiful grandchildren, and 3 wonderful labs.

John is also a part-time Business Development Coach for Elite Worldwide and works with shop owners to improve their financial position.

Talking Points:

  • He still has his oldest customer coming to his shop from 1969.
  • There are three Generations of Francis’s working in the shop.
  • His dad was a sergeant in the motor pool in the army. Vehicle repair is in their blood.
  • He is semi-retired but shows up at the shop a few days a week especially to see his legacy customers.
  • John is a part-time business coach at Elite Worldwide.
  • Helped start AMi with a fundraising effort.
  • He tells his story on when he went from working in his business to on it.
    • Dick Vinet was the catalyst for this to happen.
    • He gives a good tip to help make the transition to working on your business.
    • You must read the E-Myth a few times and get a coach to hold you accountable.
    • It is in your best interest to change your focus.
  • John is very proud of his ethics based business.
  • Everyone can fix cars. What do you want to be known for?
    • Francis Automotive Services is known for child car seat services.
  • John learned a lot about ASE while serving as a director.
    • The ASE organization and its affiliates are there to benefit the industry.
    • ASE is the standard in our industry.
  • John tells a story about being a marathon runner and his goal to run 20 marathons and ultimately running in the Boston Marathon.
    • He also completed the Marine Marathon eight years in a row.
  • John talks about mountain climbing and his proposal to his wife at 8,900 feet.
  • John explains the transition moving your business from Monday through Saturday to Monday through Friday.
  • John loves to fly his drone in the Pennsylvania countryside
Shop Profile
Years in industry: 50 plus years
Years business ownership: 38
Number of technicians: 3
Number of service advisers: 1
Number of lifts: 5
Number of bays: 5
Days open: Mon – Fri
Annual estimated volume: $750K
Percent Repair vs Maintenance vs Other: 60%  – 40%
Technician training hours per year: 16
Service adviser training hours per year: 16
Specialty: Child Seats and Child ID
Association memberships: ASA since 1980
Industry accreditations: AMAM
SMS: Mitchell
Paperless: Yes
DVI: Bolt On
Primary supplier: World Pac & Federated
Supplier marketing program: Bosch Service Center
Performing hybrid repairs: Yes
Succession plan: Yes
Biggest challenges: Technician Shortage:
Part-Time Business Coach: Yes, Elite Worldwide

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About the author, Carm Capriotto, AAP

Carm is the founder and host of the Remarkable Results Radio Podcast and the pioneer of automotive aftermarket podcasts. Carm calls on his years of 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 of over 1,000 episodes, Carm uses his enthusiasm and passion for the aftermarket especially the service sector to take his listeners on a journey showcasing successful service professionals’ paths to Remarkable Results. He also enjoys interviews with aftermarket industry thought leaders who bring their industry perspectives to his listener.

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