Make your Competitor Your Friend [THA 163]

Brad Pellman first started working in the automotive industry at the age of 15 and over his career has held a wide variety of jobs at both dealerships and independent repair shops. In 1995 this dream of owning his own shop became a reality when he opened up Pellman’s Automotive in Boulder, CO with his wife, Lisa.

Brad is ASE master certified and AAM designated as well. He is currently on the Board of Directors for ASE and ASA Colorado, with past board involvement with CCPN and the TECHNET Automotive Council. He has had the added privilege of being designated as one of the Motor Age Top shops in the country. And hopes to continue to raise the awareness and importance of Independent automotive repair across the country. Brad’s previous episodes HERE.

Peter Foreman from Integra Tire, Second Generation Shop Owner, 39 Years old from Langley, BC. Peter literally grew up in the shop. As a baby, there was a cot in the office while his mom Cheryl did the books! Taking his Dad Dave’s beliefs and expanding on them, Peter went out and made a career on his own in the auto parts industry before deciding to come back and help his family bring the shop into the next age of auto service and repair in 2005. Peter is happily married with two children. His children love to visit the shop as well. Maybe there will be a third-generation one day! Learn of Peter’s Previous episodes HERE.

Paul Marquardt Started in this business in 1979 as a pump jockey and lube tech. Paul attended various training over the years, some of it daytime training 4 hours of travel time. He bought the business Northwoods Auto Techs, Rhinelander, WI, in 1990 and in 1995 expanded from 2 bays to 5 bays and became a NAPA Autocare center at the same time. He was the NAPA Stevens Point NAPA ASE Tech of the Year from 1999 through 2008 and was the National NAPA ASE Tech of the Year for 2010. Paul Joined the NAPA Autotech training team around 2011 as a contract trainer and have been doing that as well as keeping the business going. Learn of Paul’s Previous episodes HERE.

Key Talking Points: 

  • Big reality is that there is enough business for everyone.
  • You cannot work on all the cars that drive by your shop
  • Problem is not the shop across the street or down the road
  • Many shop owners have learned from their peers
  • Smart shop owners are in a network and talk weekly
  • There is no reason to create from scratch. Get ideas from colleagues, tweak to make them yours and implement. It is called R & D. Ripoff and Duplicate
  • It is better to have friends than enemiesCall for support from a local team or network can help you solve a problem
  • If you get along they can be there to help you
  • You see strong comradery at events like Vision. Why can’t that get down to the very local level?
  • You solve problems by having resources. Friends in your market can help you
  • In Peter’s group, they used to have a Google sheet that listed all their tools so they knew what they could borrow
  • If you borrow a tool twice you should own it
  • You can also share business challenges and marketing ideasSome have even helped with a tech
  • If you share marketing ideas use different companies to keep your identities separate
  • Visit every new shop in your area. Just stop in.Ask for their opinion on things. Tools, training, etc
  • Encourage the shop down the road to visit aftermarket events including social events and training
  • No secret sauce exists. Don’t worry about someone taking ideas. That is the point. Make it your own and grow your business
  • Don’t ever talk negatively about another shop. It does not make you look good. It makes you look small
  • Always defend shops in your town
  • You may discover a customer who is never happyFriends share that information
  • We are all in the business for the same thing and we cannot work on every carWorking together insures your own success
  • Fighting one another never grows a great industry
  • “You’re the average of the five people you spend most of your time with.” Jim Rohn
  • Friends help you. Make your competitor your friend. It is not a bad thing. It will help you grow your business
  • Help each other with tools and similar software systems. 
  • Small Shops … Big Egos. It is real not to share and have your Ego get in front of important decisions.
  • You’ll never get better if your ego rules
  • If your customer ends up at the shop up the street. Then you screwed up.
  • Friendships enable your success


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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!