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Charlie last won the day on January 30 2018

Charlie had the most liked content!

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About Charlie

  • Rank
    Occasional Poster

Business Information

  • Business Name
    American Pride Automotive
  • Business Address
    7793 Richmond Road, Toano, Virginia, 23168
  • Type of Business
    Auto Repair
  • Your Current Position
    Shop Owner
  • Automotive Franchise
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  • Your Mission Statement
    Service With Integrity

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  1. Charlie


  2. Have you ever searched various services or products from your PC, tablet and phone trying to figure out what happens when your customers do the same? I'm guessing we all have and came to the same conclusion: it's a moving target. As shop owners we are all thinking "How do people in need of my services find me online"? Once we know the answer to this question we know where to go to get found, but that answer doesn't seem to be clear. Google search is still the #1 lead generator but the playing field has changed, here is the best article I have ever seen which clearly describes what Google
  3. We've been in business since 1995, steady growth year over year by doing what we know works. I also am aware it can be a mistake to do the same thing, over and over, just because it works without being open to change. Late last year my son joined the company as General Manager. He graduated from Virginia Military Institute with a degree in economics in 2014 then worked for the Target Corporation to develop his own style of leadership. When he joined American Pride Automotive he immediately looked for ways to implement meaningful change. After reading an article in Ratchet & Wrench he came
  4. Funny you mention this. We sold used cars for the past 15 years but closed down that division (after much deliberation) in November 2017 for that very reason. Advertising these days is tied directly to several online companies: Autotrader, Cars.com, CarGurus, Craigslist and Ebay to name a few. Each of these companies earn revenue exclusively from the dealers yet to the public they pit the dealers against each other and make them compete on price. Then you have CarFax that again charges the dealer and is free to the consumer. They have trained the consumer to search for 1 owner, low mileage, ac
  5. I'm pleased to see the passion behind how we all run our businesses, it's that individual passion that has gotten us to where we are. The reason for this post was to raise awareness on a possible shift in our industry that I believe we need to build a collective passion to fight. That impending change is these lead generators that will only erode our profits, and as a result, ability to grow. As we know, there is no quick fix. I think we all agree that the most important visit to our shops is the customer's next visit, the customer who is there today. Word of Mouth is a terrific driving f
  6. Here is a perfect example. How would you price a spark plug change on a 5.4 Ford? Keep in mind, you are providing this quote to a price shopping customer and the price you provide will be discounted by 13% (26% GPM) by the 'opportunity generator' OpenBay.
  7. Is it just me? or does it seem that lately there are a lot of businesses being started that insert themselves into the flow of existing transactions only to harvest your profits and lesson the margins of those doing the work and accepting responsibility (us). I am referring to technology companies: Repair Pal, Openbay, CarFix and now Blockchain to mention a few. It is frustrating to me after having built a business (brick and mortar), purchased equipment, hired employees, provide training, accepted full responsibility and risk, supported my community only to have a startup backed by money hung
  8. Joe, The culture of your shop as well as your giving nature made Osceola Garage the perfect Family Service Day partner. Suzanne and I have heard from many of the families in the community you serve and it is clear they see you not only as a supportive business but also as a friend. You hit the nail on the head when you said "As small business owners, our biggest advantage is our ability to impact our communities". As independent shop owners our direct competition is not each other, it is the new car dealerships who are seeing no profits from new car sales and are currently growing t
  9. Joe, I will be sending you great vibes. Due to scheduling conflicts American Pride will have our day of service on May 13th to honor Mother's Day, our chosen Non-Profit partner is Child Development Resources - they're terrific. Family Service Day gives our shop an opportunity to alter our pace, adjust our attitude and re-evaluate who we are in the community. I find it to be a great 'reset'. Looking forward to hearing from you post event. Charlie
  10. Joe, you are so right. I was reminded of this fact on Friday when I was logged into an industry specific BWG conference call which included independent shop owners as well as franchise dealers across the nation. The call was mainly about retention, profit margins, competitive advantages etc. We as independents have a distinct competitive advantage against our direct competition (Franchise Dealers) and that is an opportunity for intentional community involvement. For my shops as well as many others across the country Family Service Day has given our retail customers something meaningful to talk
  11. Thanks Joe for sharing your excitement for Family Service Day, it has been an honor to be involved with this initiative and watch it become a national movement. In business, timing is critical, a good idea today may not have worked 5 years ago. As a shop owner I have seen our industry shrink due to consolidation as well as new car dealers realizing the profits in general repair are viable, thus becoming our competitors. Consumer behavior has changed driven by Google, Yelp, Open Bay, True Car, Auto MD, AAA and Repair Pal to only name a few. These distractive resources interrupt customer loy
  12. It looks like you are doing a lot right. Your website looks good, it has multiple call to actions, you have claimed your place page and you are staying current with Yelp. These days it's not 'one thing' that works it all things working together and for that I would encourage you work with a group that can provide individualized attention. Are you seeing increased activity from your Google Analytics page? The dashboard there is invaluable and once you learn how to navigate within it you will find opportunities to increase it's effectiveness. However, AS is correct, it takes time to build a
  13. Family Service Day started with our company in 2009, in 2013 we formalized into a benefit corporation and gained sponsorship from TECHNET making their network of over 7,000 shops exclusive service providers for Family Service Day events across the country. We just had our national day of service last weekend where FSD events were held in 16 states across the country. We expect FSD to be a true asset within the tools available to TECHNET shops helping them sustain and grow. I would be happy to explain it to you in greater detail by phone.

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