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Hello everyone. My name is Matt. I am 27 years old. I have a diploma in Automotive Technology and an AAS Degree in Business Management. I have worked as a service advisor, as an auto technician under the billable hours system, as a tech doing fleet servicing, at a small service station and various other things like aerial photography, building websites, and helping my wife in her small business. I am ASE Certified in 6 of 8 areas.


In high school it was my goal to own my own shop someday. The list above was the plan that I stuck with. (for the most part). Throughout my experiences working as an auto tech, I have also had thoughts like "why am I doing this" and " I hate this" from time to time. Now I find myself with a potential opportunity to start my own shop. There is an 2 or 3 stall radiator shop right on the main US hwy though my hometown of 1300 where I move back to 3 years ago. It is sitting empty. I know the owner pretty well. He is just using it for storage right now. He also owns the Napa store in town. I have not talked to him yet about my idea. There are 2 or 3 other small repair shops in town and a few home-based garages out in the country. The niche I think there is in this market is for a repair shop that is female and professional friendly. Currently there are none! I ran that thought by the Napa owner and he concurred with my assesment with excitement!


My biggest passion has alway been Quality Customer Service. My biggest irritation is Poor customer service! So I know what my main focus would be in my business venture! I am currently trying to come up with more details for a business model in my market. The other shops do not emplyoy ASE Techs. I would try to use that to brand myself as "The Professional" in town. I would have a nice, clean waiting area and a nice, clean bathroom! The other shops are more than lacking in those departments! I would offer free shuttle for people and/or a free loaner car. I think I would offer moderately priced oil changes ($30-$40). They would include a free "safety inspection" and a tire rotation if neccesary. I could sell the oil change packages at a discount or a refferal system discount. I would also consider selling tires. (I'm not sure about that but there is only one other place in town that does!) I would also be sure that I have a good system for doing follow up calls/emails/texts to my customers.


Does anyone have any advise for me? What would a good strategy be in my situation?


Thank you ALL for your time that you put into this forum to make it a great resource for people like me!



Edited by NoBull
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  • 2 weeks later...

Good luck with your venture. Sometimes the best thing to know is ... not everything. You'll find that a lot of ideas will come to you once you get started but... your plans sound good. Go for it...!!!


Keep ASO in mind for any help or more ideas. Gonzo

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Welcome to the site. I like you did the same basic thing. Would love to be able to give some advice. Look forward to getting to hear from you. The "older" shop owners on this site have a lot of excellent advice. Make sure you search this site as there are a lot of posts that I am sure will answer your questions.

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      A recent study, done by Harvard Business School, concluded that the real problem with attracting and retaining employees has more to do with the workplace environment, not pay or benefits. While the study did find that an adequate pay plan and offering an attractive benefits package did help with recruiting and retention, it’s not enough to satisfy the needs of employees, especially those of front-line workers.
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