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 passion of cars with that of building and growing a small business.
He has an Undergraduate Degree in Banking and Finance from Victoria University, an MBA from Melbourne University and is a graduate of the Advanced Management Programme at Harvard Business School. His passions outside of work include snow skiing, car racing and vehicle restoration and spending time with his family. As a side note, his passion for skiing has led him to pass his level 1 and 2 Canadian Ski Instructor exams. Check Ken’s other episodes HERE.
Mark Higgins is the Co-Owner of BM Performance Centre and is an experience BMW Mastertech. His experiences have brought him to New Zealand, US, and the UK. He is already in the business for 8 months and has set the roles and responsibilities of the shop. He has worked before as a workshop manager and a BMW Diagnostic Technician. Check Mark’s other episodes HERE.
Key Talking Points:
- Original episode 379
- Review the new business success
- Made a slight pivot and added VW to their specialty BMW and Mini.
- The business has grown successfully
- Mark had a friend who they brought in to do VW
- Ken wrote the business case and he is happy with how it has turned outSales volumes are slightly higher than the plan and margins are slightly lower
- VW volume is 50/50 in the last 6 months
- Labor rate the same as when they started in the last 18 months $175
- A 50/50 partnershipIt works by empowering the role and responsibility
- Ken has had to learn to back off. He does the financials and has helped Marked learn it
- Mark is still turning wrenches until he gets another tech in
- They are starting to replay the equity they invested
- The business has been cash flow positive without paying the rent to Ken
- To grow their VW/Audi business they used a card drop and Facebook
- Growth with an equity partner
- Don’t get overfocused on KPI’s without putting the customer at the center
- Thanks to Ken Christie and Mark Higgins for their contribution to the aftermarket’s premier podcast.
- Link to the ‘BOOKS‘ page highlighting all books discussed in the podcast library HERE. Leaders are readers.
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