RR 333: Keith Benline & Jeremy O’Neal – 10 Steps to a $1M Shop

The panel:

Keith Benline has been in the automotive service and repair business for over 26 years. After working as VP with one of the current popular automotive consulting companies and helping shop owners reach their goals, Keith purchased his own automotive repair shop 15 years ago. Keith owns and operates Robert’s Auto Service in San Diego, CA and has one of the largest independent automotive shops in San Diego. Keith has learned the difference between what sounds good in a seminar and what actually works in a hands-on experience in running an automotive repair shop.

Keith has joined Advisorfix, to bring shop owners and service advisors the most current, up to date and affordable service advising and shop owner coaching available in the industry today. Keith lives in Bonsall, CA with his wife Kelly and when he is not running his shop or coaching others, he is helping homeschool and babysitting his grandkids. Keith’s previous episodes HERE.

Jeremy O’Neal  President and lead sales trainer for Advisorfix, began his career as a Service Advisor and moved into Service Management at the dealership level for VW, Audi, and Porsche. He consistently placed in the top 3% of Service Advisors across the nation. With a passion for helping others, Jeremy started coaching Service Advisors in 2007. Jeremy also owns an independent auto repair shop, Freedom Automotive in Hesperia, CA.  Jeremy’s previous episodes HERE.


Talking points:

  • Working smarter not harder as a business owner.
    • Being a strong leader.
    • Letting go- don’t be afraid to let go and empower your employees, allow mistakes to happen and use as coaching moment.
    • Find your strengths and implement while surrounding yourself with people whose strengths are your weaknesses.
    • Don’t forget it’s the people that make the business run, always treat them as people, respect them as people.

10 steps to a million-dollar shop

  1. Assessment
    Current assessment of business- Financial and overall business: What are the numbers? What’s not right? What are the KPIs?
  2. Performance goals.
    Where do you want to be? What targets do you have? Budget?
  3. Service advisors.
    SA’s are mini owners, the face of the company, constant contact with customers and technicians. They require assessment tests to discover their strengths and communication styles. Then provide training for constant improvement.
  4. Workflow. Shop operations and technicians:
    1. Assessing technicians: productivity, diagnostic abilities, keep communication open with service advisors, safety issues and workflow. Keep everyone engaged and empowered as a team.
    2. How is work being dispatched? Fairly?
    3. Service writer programs, efficient, working right, should it be relooked at?
  5. Assessment of operations and staff.
    1. Can they do it?
    2. Will they do it?
    3. Do they want to do it?
    4. Operations: Hurting or helping you obtain your goals?
  6. Hiring and Keeping Key Team Members.
    1. Always Be Recruiting. Build your bench you’ll never know when you are going to need talent.
    2. You should be coaching or managing their behavior.
    3. The team member should not be surprised if they are let go.
  7. HR Compensation Plans and Motivation
    1. Knowing your state’s HR laws and requirements before implementing any plan.
    2. Check if you’re in compliance with OT and payroll laws.
    3. Three tier commission.
      1. Sales collected.
      2. Authorizations per week.
      3. Four stars or less reviews; incentive cut 10%.
  8.  Marketing
    1. Paying for direct marketing isn’t the only way to market. Try doing something different: Customer gets free oil change vouchers to hand out and earns credit for every voucher used.
  9.  Self-Coaching
    1. Empower yourself, personal discipline.
    2. Earn your freedom.
    3. You’ve got to learn this discipline.
    4. You do it. Coach yourself. Coach your people. Monitor.
  10.  Freedom
    1. Finally work outside of your business.

Advisorfix website.


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This episode is brought to you by Federal-MogulMotorparts and Garage Gurus. With brands like Moog, Felpro, Wagner Brake, Champion, Sealed Power, FP Diesel and more, they’re the parts techs trust.  For serious technical training and support – online, onsite and on-demand – Garage Gurus is everything you need to know. Find out more at fmmotorparts.com  and fmgaragegurus.com

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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.

Follow the podcast on your favorite podcast listening app and always listen to learn just one thing!