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[Podcast] Margaret Palango – 20 Questions in 30 Minutes [RR 570]


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Margaret Palango is the Executive Vice President at Autoshop Solutions, Inc. based in Apex, North Carolina. She has overseen and been a key catalyst in Autoshop Solutions’ growth into the award-winning website design and internet marketing agency it is today.

In her role as Executive Vice President, Margaret leads the Sales, Marketing, Services, and Development teams at Autoshop Solutions, as they continue to be the industry’s gold standard for internet marketing solutions.

Margaret joined Autoshop Solutions in 2006 when she began establishing its brand position for quality website design and progressive internet marketing. During her time with Autoshop Solutions, Margaret has expanded her responsibilities. She started with direct client management before moving on to managing the entire website production process. Margaret enjoys taking every opportunity to share her marketing expertise with clients, employees, and fellow automotive industry professionals. She now spends her time working with industry partners to bring internet marketing solutions to the Automotive Aftermarket.

When she is not working, Margaret enjoys spending time with her husband and children. On the weekend they can often be found driving their cars to a local PCA event. Margaret is an active member of the North Carolina Hurricane Region Porsche Club.

20 Questions:

  1. Do you have a strong intuition? Do you listen to it?Yes, daily! Relies on it for difficult decisions, never regrets listening to her intuition. Developed stronger in professional life.
  2. Any good habits that you would like to share?During COVID created a habit to do 10-minute yoga, continues to still do it. Sets tone for the day. Creates balance for the day  
  3. Do you still have the fire you had when you first started?Yes, feels like she's just getting started. Continues to grow and make changes. Stays new and fresh.  
  4. If you could pick up a new skill in an instant what would it be?Writing (blog posts, stories etc). Would like to develop written communication skills.
  5. What is the latest book you read? Big take-a-way?“Fear is my homeboy” How to be the CEO of you, challenge, and let yourself grow along the way.  
  6. How do you manage work/life harmony?The calendar is the number 1 tool to prioritize. Everything is scheduled during the workday to minimize bringing any work home. Outsourcing chores at home so time at home is more fulfilling. Moves tasks on the calendar but never deletes them. 
  7. If you could send a message to yourself 10 years ago, what would you tell the younger YOU?Prioritize your personal time without guilt, guilt of trying to be everything to everyone. It’ll all be okay and you WILL get there.  
  8. What did you sacrifice in the early days to get where you are today?Trying to do it all and running yourself into the ground but doesn’t regret it because she learned from the experience.
  9. Do you see obstacles not as roadblocks but as opportunities?Yes, an opportunity every time. Love the challenge. Opportunity to grow. Often shares roadblocks with the team to put together a plan with a timeframe to get done.  
  10. What do you do for fun?Hike and take drives 
  11. Any secrets to ‘time suck’?Planning and prioritizing what you consume  
  12. How much training per year do you get?Personal development- Women in AutoCare conference 
  13. American Marketing Association- once a month lunch and learns, keeping up with trends  
  14. How does one start to build a strong business culture?Accountability for your team- when you hold your team accountable it builds trust which leads to teamwork 
  15. While working remotely they instilled virtual team meetings between different departments for clear communication and collaboration, a virtual happy hour once a month. Happy team members mean happy customers.   
  16. What are you doing to put the Customer first in your business?Customer success team- training the team and empowering them.  
  17. Ever made a major pivot in your business? If yes, what?Remote virtual culture 
  18. 2018 pivoted how they offer services- a positive impact on business. Evaluated based on customer feedback.  
  19. What is your dream car? Do you own it?Searched for over a year to find 2012 Porsche 9114's 
  20. What skills do you delegate because you're not good at them?Outsource writing 
  21. Strong teams always win. What is your winning formula in developing a strong team?Training is the foundation of a strong team. Train, set the expectation, and then move out of the way. Let them make mistakes and learn.     
  22. If I asked a good friend or peer what is the secret to your success what would they say?Positive attitude and some grit
  23. How long ago did you update your website?The new version launch of website in October 

Resources:

  • Thanks to Margaret Palango 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.
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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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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. With 2,500 exhibiting companies, you’ll see the latest products, parts, and technologies for your business. As a result, the event also offers advanced training for shop owners, technicians, warehouse distributors (WDs) and auto parts retailers, as well as networking opportunities to grow your business. AAPEX 2020 will take place Tuesday, Nov. 3 through Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020 at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas. Therefore, more than 48,000 targeted buyers are expected to attend, and approximately 162,000 automotive aftermarket professionals. They will be from 135 countries which are projected to be in Las Vegas during AAPEX 2020. For information, visit aapexshow.com

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

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      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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