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What it Takes to Be the Leader of a Family Business [RR 614]

Esteban Gonzales came from a family with a dad that worked as a diesel mechanic and a brother that owned his Auto Repair shop, it gave him the opportunity to be involved in the automotive industry. Being fascinated by automobiles and always wanting to start his own business, he had the opportunity to open Proshop Automotive. Colton, CA,  in 2013.

Not having a clear business plan, he quickly realized that there was a whole lot more to running an automotive repair shop than just “fixing cars”.  He had to change his mindset and adapt to what it actually took to run a proper auto repair business. Knowing how to fix a vehicle is not that difficult with proper training. Knowing how to run the business by understanding your numbers and putting together a team that shares the same passion as you is a whole different story.

In the last couple of years, he has grown into a person and as a business operator and is always eager to learn as much as possible. Joining ASCCA has been one of his highlights because of the community that is built around this organization.  Being involved in a chapter level and now at the state-level has given him the opportunity to help in ways he never imagined. It also made him realize that he is not alone in this journey and there is a lot of help if everyone is willing to accept it. Esteban’s episodes HERE.

Key Talking Points:

  • Shop owner at 36 years old 
  • Brother was technician right out of high school- became shop owner for 9-10 years then closed business
  • Esteban was involved with the front office and received a technician license- always wanted to be a business owner and saw the opportunity when brother closed shop
  • His wife told him “If you start, you better not quit.”- supporter and cheerleader for Esteban. Reminds him of the progress he’s made, initiated training and boot camps    
  • He didn’t realize the amount of money needed to make the business run- thought he would be making a profit and paycheck for himself immediately 
  • Monitors numbers daily and has daily and weekly meetings with team
  • Joined ASCCA 2 years ago- a pivotal point in his career started networking and receiving support with other shops owners 
  • There is no ‘secret sauce’ between you and the shop down the street- Esteban started going to neighboring auto shops to try and convince them to better themselves 
  • Training boot camps/seminars
    • At first, Esteban would come back fired up and ready to implement new changes but employees weren’t completely on board and eventually, he lost the fire. Continuous cycle. 
    • Elite Worldwide Fly with the Eagles- all about appreciating your team and thanking them. Started thinking differently. Realized the team has to be on the same page together.  
  • Challenges
    • Having the right people around you to keep you informed on changing rules and laws (CPA, ASCCA)
  • Family affair
    • Parents house is next to shop- home-cooked meals almost every day 
    • Sister and younger brother works on the front counter 
    • Older brother master technician 
  • Advice for other young shop owners
    • Network with people in the industry and seek the advice of people that have ‘been there, done that.’ 
    • Keep an open mind with changes and different perspectives you aren’t used to 

Resources:

  • Thanks to Esteban Gonzales 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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About the author, Carm Capriotto, AAP

Carm is the founder and host of the Remarkable Results Radio Podcast; the only one of its type in the automotive aftermarket. Carm calls on his 35 years’ 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, Carm uses his enthusiasm and passion for the aftermarket especially the service sector to take his listeners on a journey showcasing successful service professionals’ path to Remarkable Results. He also enjoys interviews with aftermarket industry thought leaders who bring their industry perspectives to his listener.

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