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Career Upgrade: Service Manager to Shop Owner at 29 Years Old [RR 608]


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Colleen Yarger came from the hotel industry 10 years ago and now owns her own shop today. Colleen’s career has been a whirlwind! She always had a passion for helping others and to become a true customer advocate in whatever job she had. She truly enjoyed being a service manager and thought what better way to continue her path than to become a shop owner.

Colleen enjoys taking time for the little things and traveling, a true old soul stuck in a millennial body. She spends most of her free time with family and loves to garden. Colleen’s episodes HERE.

Key Talking Points:

  • Owner of Mark’s Independent Service Owner as of January 4th, 2021. Purchased form Mark Goldsmith
  • Buys the shop before owning her own home
  • Came from the hotel industry (working front desk at 19 years old)- met Maylan Newton (hosted service writers school at the hotel). After sending him her resume and interview with Ryan Tunison and accepted the job without knowing what it was going to entail 
  • The first day of the job was to sell work orders- didn’t have any knowledge about cars but had a customer service experience 
  • Spent time learning about cars and taking classes on the weekends
  • Moved back home and with the help of her business coach, had an interview with Mark- hired on a trial basis and hired after 3 days 
  • Worked for Mark for 3 years and then bought the business at 29 years old 
  • Constantly working with technicians on processes and procedures for business - written in tablet form
  • Has 4 bays, 1 technician, and 1 apprentice technician- interviewing to gain another technician and apprentice technician 
  • Female service advisor- warming and inviting to customers when they first walk-in 
  • Values the importance of belonging to associations- networking with other people and gaining insight on their input  
  • Succession planDo I really want to do this? Where am I at in my career? Where do I want to go from here?
  • Worked with Bob Ward on the succession plan 
  • Nerves took over her first day as owner- working on building self-confidence, often overthinks and second-guesses herself  
  • Owners often don’t know when they want to retire- if becoming a business owner is your goal communicate that with the owner

Resources:

  • Thanks to Colleen Yarger for her contribution to the aftermarket’s premier podcast.
  • Link to the ‘BOOKS‘ page highlighting all books discussed in the podcast library HERE. Leaders are readers.
  • Find every podcast episode HERE.
  • Every episode segmented by Series HERE.
  • Key Word Search HERE.

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This episode is brought to you by AAPEX, the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo. AAPEX represents the $740 billion global automotive aftermarket industry and has everything you need to stay ahead of the curve.  The Virtual AAPEX Experience 2020 is in the record books. Virtual AAPEX lived up to presenting leading-technical and business management training from some of the industry’s best and brightest. Now set your sights on the homecoming in Las Vegas in 2021. Mark your calendar now … November 2-4, 2021, AAPEX // Now more than ever.

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This episode is brought to you by Shop-Ware Shop Management. It’s time to run your business at its fullest potential with the industry’s leading technology. Shop-Ware Shop Management will increase your efficiency with lightning-fast workflows, help your staff capture more sales every day, and create very happy customers who promote your business. Shops running Shop-Ware have More Time and generate More Profit—join them! Schedule a free live demonstration and find out how 30 minutes can transform your shop at getshopware.com/carm

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         0 comments
      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
      While money and benefits tend to attract people to a company, it won’t keep them there. When a technician begins to look over the fence for greener grass, that is usually a sign that something is wrong within the workplace. It also means that his or her heart is probably already gone. If the issue is not resolved, no amount of money will keep that technician for the long term. The heart is always the first to leave. The last thing that leaves is the technician’s toolbox.
      Shop owners: Focus more on employee retention than acquisition. This is not to say that you should not be constantly recruiting. You should. What it does means is that once you hire someone, your job isn’t over, that’s when it begins. Get to know your technicians. Build strong relationships. Have frequent one-on-ones. Engage in meaningful conversation. Find what truly motivates your technicians. You may be surprised that while money is a motivator, it’s usually not the prime motivator.
      One last thing; the cost of technician turnover can be financially devastating. It also affects shop morale. Do all you can to create a workplace where technicians feel they are respected, recognized, and know that their work contributes to the overall success of the company. This will lead to improved morale and team spirit. Remember, when you see a technician’s toolbox rolling out of the bay on its way to another shop, the heart was most likely gone long before that.
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