Matt Lachowitzer is a husband, father of 3, avid Minnesota Vikings fan, and owner and founder of Matt’s Automotive Service Center. A Herman, MN native, Matt started this company as a two-bay shop back in 2009. He has expanded the company into 6 locations with beautiful, state of the art facilities all over the Fargo-Moorhead area. Matt enjoys being a pillar in the community, giving back in any way he can, and providing knowledge and education in the biggest ways possible. As a result of being a continuous educator and an amazing pillar in the community, Matt won Entrepreneur of the Year in 2015 through the Fargo-Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce. When Matt’s not working, he enjoys fishing, riding ATV’s, watching football, and traveling with his family. Check Matt’s other episodes HERE.
Key Talking Points:
- Grew up wanting to be a lawyer then plan B was diesel mechanics
- The family sold the farm, dropped out of school and started working at local GM Dealer
- Opened first shop with support of wife
- 6 locations in 11 years
- The secret is hiring employees that believe in your company and what you’re doing and being a pillar in the surrounding communities
- Culture of business- people want to feel something when they come to work, customers want to feel like they had an experience
- Continue to “wow” your customer and have a relationship with them- giving them a card, blanket, flag, etc- cement that “wow” moment with the customer to create your brand
- Need to have standard operating systems in order to successfully run multiple locations
- Connect customer with the technician that works on their car
- Training- twice a month and 3.5 hours each time
- Built training facility
- SWOT (strengths, weakness, opportunities, threats) once a quarter
- A lottery system for employees to go to other training opportunities/seminars- if they go they are required to help develop training for the rest of the employees that didn’t go
- Connecting with the community
- Encouraging entrepreneurship
- Girl scout cookie badge- any girl scout that comes into each store to sell the store will buy 2 boxes (has to be the actual girl scout). Donated half of the cookies local food pantries and the other half sent to veterans overseas
- Make a wish foundation
- Sister is cancer survivor and business strives to grant a wish to one child per year
- Day of Service- 5th year
- The nomination process to get up to $1,000 worth of repairs on the vehicle the day after Thanksgiving
- Any car that has a child seat in the back, technicians take a teddy bear and buckle it in and make note of version (change teddy bear once a year) and the customer keeps it. On pace to go through 25,000 teddy bears. This isn’t just a car, it’s a customer
- Knowledge is power: women car care events- 14 events so far. Average attendance is around 80
- Encouraging entrepreneurship
- Thanks to Matt Lachowitzer for his 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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