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EPISODE #57 • Feb 26th 2020

Managing Multiple Shops

In the Digital Age

Managing Multiple Shops in the Digital Age [Ep. 57]

To be a multi-shop, or not to be a multi-shop? That is the question just about every shop owner out there has asked themselves. There are so many opportunities available when expanding your business, but there can be a number of headaches and challenges as well. In an effort to help any shop owner friends of ours who may be struggling with some of these questions, we thought we would bring a On this week’s episode of Digital Shop Talk Radio, we have Mike Button (Affordable Automotive and Affordable Automotive West) who currently owns two locations and is working on adding another location (as well as some other interesting projects). He is going to fill us in on what goes into his decision-making process when considers further expansion, how he knows when to pounce at an opportunity and how he uses the Digital Shop to manage his locations. Tune in for a thought provoking look at multi-shop ownership.

Posted by AutoVitals - The Creators of The Digital Shop on Wednesday, February 26, 2020
Read the Transcript of "Managing Multiple Shops in the Digital Age [Ep. 57]"

Host: Tom Dorsey, AutoVitals

Guests: Mike Button, Affordable Auto Care & Affordable Auto Care West, Chico, CA

[Tom] – We got Button buddy. Good morning and good afternoon. Welcome to this week’s edition of the Digital Shop Talk Radio. I’m Tom Dorsey. I’m with Mike Button, a multi shop owner from Chico California, Affordable Automotive West. We’re gonna be talking about, how do you expand your operation? For all of you guys that are either running multi locations now or thinking about doing it. I got a fantastic guest on today. He’s right in the middle of it. So, he’s going to give us some great insights on his experiences, kind of the pitfalls to look out for, and the opportunities to take advantage of. Mike Button, welcome, buddy.

 

[Mike] – Thank you, it’s nice to be here.

 

[Tom] – Yeah, man, I’m really excited to have you on the show. You know, I’ve known you Mike a long time, you know, kind of as an acquaintance. You know, and I never really got a chance to kind of I don’t know I guess sit down and get to know you, but we spent a little bit of time hanging out at conference and man, I gotta tell you I was pretty impressed. You know really struck me Mike about you, was just how humble you are in your success, you know. It’s kind of really kind of just flying under the radar and when I got to kind of hear the story, it’s amazing what you’ve got going on. And the other thing man, I really that you know I gave you a little shout out at the conference too during the opening session and stuff because, you know, you told me a story about just helping some folks. Some struggling shop owners I think they’re probably competitors or competitive shop to you in the area. And and yes, you know, what you told me about that was really, really hit my heart you know is that you’re gonna go out of your way whether there was a benefit to you or not to help those folks out. And you know, I really just took that away as a you know, what an impressive person you are, what a great operator you are. And Mike said I’m excited to have you on the show and pick your brain a little bit.

 

[Mike] – Well, thank you, Tom. Appreciate that.

 

[Tom] – Yeah, buddy. So, let’s get into the nuts and bolts man, you know when I know you’ve got two locations now and I think you’re in the middle of acquiring and opening a third. Tell us a little bit about that.

 

[Mike] – Yeah, so, little bio. I’ve had my main shop on Park Avenue for almost 24 years now. About a year and a half ago, June 2018, I opened a second location. It’s about three miles away from the main location on Park Avenue. It’s about a 2200 square foot shop. I have five employees there right now. This third shop opportunity came up and it was for the real estate. It was a former air cooled Volkswagen shop from back in the

 

[Tom] – From 50s?

 

[Mike] – Yeah, yeah. And the old man that owned it wanted to retire. He wanted to, you know, lock up this box and be done with it. So, we negotiated an offer on the land, The land is basically it’s a quarter acre lot, two large metal buildings a 3000 square foot and a 2500 square foot. My plan was to expand again, and kind of where we’re at right now, we’re busting the seams of both locations. And so this third shop, for right now is gonna be a production facility. I’m gonna set it up with lives and, you know, compressors and tools and all those things that are needed to run a shop. I will also put in a small office and waiting room. But for right now, I don’t plan on opening it for retail public. It’s gonna be a standalone production facility, where both shops can feed work to it. So I’ll have two or three texts in there. And it’s just another space to work on cars, which we need the space.

 

[Tom] – Well, that’s great concept, is just because I was looking at your metrics before the show. And you know, it’s pretty impressive, right? And that’s kind of what happens, you know, success, you kind of get enough of that success. And then you find yourself short on space. Right? And you wanna help everybody and you’ve got people lining up, and then what do you do to take care of them? And, sure, yeah, you can go out and open up another retail spot, but what a great concept, you just get a large shop area that you use as a production center and feed those other two shops. And then of course, you can expand on that later, you could open that up as a retail location if you wanted to, you could build a waterpark out in the backyard, who knows? But, you know, there’s a lot of possibilities there. So, I mean, huge investment I’m sure you know, you gotta come in and probably gut that place out and rebuild it and do all that good stuff. But so, let’s talk some numbers. What do you think is gonna be your you know, kind of percentage of increase in production you’re gonna be able to feed into that production center.

 

[Mike] – Well, the way that the concept is kind of evolving as we speak. Originally, it was a location to work on some of the long term projects and the bigger things. We have a fair amount of customers who bring in their classics, they bring in the old Mercedes and combats and come out of those and things like that. And they usually come in with pretty big budgets. And our town is really lacking that niche. It’s a passion of mine. As that’s kind of what I’ve loved from the beginning. And so currently, we have those vehicles running through the two shops currently, and what I’m finding is it’s actually creating a bit of a plug. Because you know, you’ve got these cars where you gotta wait on parts or there’s some fabrication involved and that kind of thing. So, coming out the gate, you know, I like us to see you know, 30 to $40,000 a month. Again, the overhead is low. I was able to do a lot of things recently. I mean, first of all I purchased property, my mortgage is less than rent would be if I had to go rent those that side shot. Two, I was able to help that family out by closing out their repair shop, and basically purchased all of their equipment inventory. So that fourth shop closed down because of a death in the family. And it fell on the plate of, you know, a retired father that didn’t know what to do with the stuff. And so, I went in and I inventory what he had, gave him a fair price and he actually took less than what I offered him, because of the burden I took off his plate. So, right now I’m in the process of moving all that equipment over to the new shop. Just have it all down here. Couple more listening and move. But this is the idea, I come in with very low costs, and still be able to make it up by getting some of this work done that we already have, but we just don’t have the facility to do it. So, this is my concept. This is what’s working in my head. Everyone I’ve talked to so far, have, you know, agreed with it, and I thought it was a good idea. So, I’m gonna keep rolling with it, you know, and if something changes and it looks like I do need to make it a retail place, then I think it’s just a matter of hanging up some signs and doing some things with the Bureau of Automotive Repairs first another licenses. Anyway, it has options. So, but the idea is, go into it. Don’t stick your neck out too far, have a budget, stick to a budget and it can be done. And I’ve done it two other times so, I kind of have a template to follow. So far, so good. Will now hear in a couple months when I get a .

 

[Tom] – Yeah, buddy. I’m looking forward to having you back on talking about that success. ‘Cause, you know, I gotta tell you, I can hear the wheels spinning in the audience, right? There’s folks out there that probably just right now had an aha moment. They’re thinking they’re at capacity. They’re looking around, where can I get another shop? I’m in a small town. I’m gonna have to build from the ground up. I’m out of that game. I just can’t do it. And then wow, to take over and add old add building or just some big old tilt up or whatever it might be, and go ahead and move your equipment in there, just start it as a production facility. You don’t have to have a coffee maker in a waiting room yet, right? Just get it in there. So, you get more capacity and start, you know, handling that business, and then planning for that future expansion as you go. I mean, just really, I mean, there’s really an awesome idea. So, help some folks out ’cause there’s a lot of people out there that are in those in that spot, you know, and it’s funny. We were talking a little bit about before the show is, you know, kind of you and JR Luna you know you’re brothers from Drive and you’ve known each other for a long time, and JR is on a mission to take over the world and his locations in Ventura. And believe me, I take my vehicle there so, you know, from what my ARO is my invoices, he’s well on his way. But you guys kind of feed off of each other and compare each other and so talk a little bit about how that actually helps you maybe from a motivation perspective, you know, to kind of you’re not direct competing, but you guys kind of are competing on that taking over the world strategy.

 

[Mike] – Yeah, well, it you know, it’s not just JR. Luna. I’m on a top 20 group and shop owners are in that crew of high level, high operating dudes and that we push each other. We encourage each other. And I think that, you know, not only JR but you know, Kevin from Canada, he’s got two shops up there. They, I looked at them as mentors, and you know, I saw the things they were doing, and it was working out for them. And then I also saw the things that they were doing that wasn’t working out for them. So, having that network to feed off of was critical. I mean, I tell the guys to this day that my second location I don’t think would have been possible without not only their encouragement, but their guidance and kind of how they, the pitfalls they’ve seen, but also their successes. And so, you know, the other thing that’s a great advantage is that, you know, when it comes to technology, and software and we’re using protractor and AutoVitals combined and we can actually try things in our shops, and share them with these other guys and we can compare the same thing. we’re comparing apples to apples. And I feel like that’s a huge advantage going into this. And of course, you know, with things being cloud based, it’s nice that, when I’m in Mexico next week, that I can check in on the shops if I want to, but I don’t necessarily have to. But I also found that now that the shops are talking to one another, it’s really helping with the flow of the shop, you know, making sure we can get all of our customers handled. If we’re busy at one shop, we can direct them to the other shop. Service history is shared, branding is shared, inspection gets done at one location, it’s gonna look the same at the other location. Those types of things.

 

[Tom] – Yes, and that’s all critical, you know, and, you know to that is, as your car counter, your capacity increases well, and the complexity of the process increases. Now you got three locations just shuffling around and you’ve got different maybe go equipment services available in the production facility vice versa. So, what a great, you know, product something like AutoVitals is, is where you can a it’s cloud based and so, all you can interconnect all those locations. But then through the workflow management tool really enables you to see what’s open when what’s gonna come open, where you can kind of fit the puzzle pieces in. So that you can also keep your efficiency and productivity high, and not just kind of grind everything to a halt, waiting on a phone call from the guy down the street to tell you that the alignment rack is open or whatever it is, come on over. I mean, that kills so much time in that all that back and forth. So, that’s a fantastic benefit, you know, that you’re able to employ there. Talk to us a little bit about, you know, for somebody who’s looking to strike out on this, kind of give them some ideas on how to go about doing some due diligence, maybe what kind of pitfalls to look out for when they’re getting out there and testing the waters.

 

[Mike] – So, you know, for me, the expansion was almost forced on me. And it was the fact that I had this great staff, this great group of employees. And I didn’t wanna get rid of any of them, ’cause they were highly productive. The care factor was through the roof. You know, they had ownership in what I was doing. And so, it was almost like I had to build a shop for them. You know, I didn’t wanna lose, and I knew what an asset they were to our business, that it was almost as though I had to have the staff in place before I can make that move. And I would highly suggest that to anyone out there that’s looking at expanding, just make sure you have the loyal the type personnel that you can really lean on before you strike out to do you know, another shot. Because, we all know that employee retention or employee acquisition is a big issue for a lot of shop owners. And until you have that tight group that you can really lean on and not fit out one team too much to where they struggle. That I think I dealt with that earlier on, where I was taking people from one and moving them to another. And I saw what happened to the one that you know, the cash cow. And so, I’m very cautious and careful that I read by everybody before we do it. I did recently move an a tech to the West shop temporarily because we had lost a tech there and I’ve seen the impact at the main shop, but it’s not as great as I thought it would be. But the impact of the new shop is through the roof. And that’s exactly what they needed, they needed another a tech So, moving, I don’t wanna call them pieces because they’re not pieces. They’re my great crew but moving them around to see personalities, placement as far as who gets along team aspect. Because there are guys that were tighter than others and really trying to build on that. But I guess getting back to your question ’cause I do ramble a little bit. Making sure that the team that you have that staff in place and it was really cool. So, JR Luna has got Cockers Motors and Asian AutoTech of Ventura. He recently purchased Airport Auto of Oxnard, I was there. I was right there with him. I come down for a weekend thing and we’re in negotiations with the owner. And he also took me to have lunch with his new manager for that location. So, JR actually went so far as recruiting the manager before he even bought the shop, so that he knew once that shop open, that he had a guy that he could just roll with right out the gate and I, that’s key. Otherwise the owner is gonna get stuck on that account or the owner is gonna be there all the time and that’s not what you want. You don’t wanna go out and buy yourself another job, you wanna buy a potential business that’s gonna make profit. So anyhow, I hope that answers your question. I think its

 

[Tom] – Yeah, no, no. And I mean, what a brilliant idea right? You know, I’ve never thought of that in the past is that you know, because as a matter of fact, you know, for folks out there that look in it. I heard you talking earlier about your Drive 20 group and how you know, you guys are feeding off of each other but also learning from each other. And if folks are interested in getting into a 20 group with Mike Button, or one similar, you know, shout out to Drive, call Brian Dorado over there, Dave or any of them and they’ll take care of you. Because that, what a great idea. I mean, if you haven’t gone through the process before go shadow somebody who’s going through that process, right? And you get a lot of good insight and experience by watching somebody else go through it, right? And then you kind of you know what not to do and what to do, and what questions to ask and maybe you can mix it up a little bit from the whatever experience you have. But that’s, you know, what a great idea to go ahead and do that especially you know, if you’re able to just network with folks in a strong group like Drive. And I’m sure Michael is tagline, I tell you what it, the only thing bigger than this guy’s brain is his heart. And so you know, call him at the shop he’s a good he’s a guy you’d wanna have as your buddy, I’ll tell you that much. Call him up, hit him up on Facebook, Instagram page, whatever, you know, wherever Mike is, but you know, find him at the shop. And like I said, you know, just ask, right? Learn how to ask and learn and follow us on Facebook, and get into that forum and ask those questions, because so many people are out there willing to share their experience with you, and help you to be successful in this industry, right? We think of ourselves as you know, competitive and maybe, yeah, sure, at the local level. But I tell you what nationwide, and as an industry, we have to band together and be strong, fight off those OEMs and the consolidation and the hedge funds and all that other stuff that’s coming and putting pressure on us, right? And that’s how you do it, you group together in those 20 groups, you learn from each other, you help each other to be successful, you drive each other to be successful. You know, I’m sure that that 5am alarm going off and then you think well JR’s closing on his third location, and they boo to jump right out of bed and get my shoes button up right? So, now that’s awesome. And, you know, reach out just take the time and say hi, and ask some questions, you know, and you’d be surprised at the help that you receive in return and the answers that you get and the help that you can get. What else you got going on? So, let me ask you this Mike, did you involve the team in kind of selecting the location or the planning of this expansion?

 

[Mike] – Yeah, absolutely. You know, I got with my managers and international crew and we have meetings every Monday, I buy them lunch and I shared with them what my thoughts were. And you know, I wanted their dreams I wanted to find out if they got my back on this because it will keep me out of the shop for a little while and I will have to spend time on another spot. When the new shop opened in a team, you know, I found that wow, I didn’t realize I had to drive so much back and forth between the two shops. I wasn’t factoring that in, but that should be something people factor in. The downtime you’re gonna have. Now granted three miles doesn’t sound like much. And even in Chico, there’s not much traffic, but for me, I’m wasn’t used to doing that, you know. So, that’s something to consider as well when you’re picking a location. But getting back to the team and the support, I mean, even goes to my wife and our kids.

 

[Tom] – Yeah, of course.

 

[Mike] – They were the first ones I asked, and they were all behind me 100%, they support me. They see the joy it brings me. I like to take things that aren’t so pretty nice and make them pretty nice and work again. That’s the fixer in me. So, taking a shop that was, you know, on its way out and making it vibrant again, and making it fresh and new and bringing something to the community that they you know, a place where they can go and trust the work is gonna get done right. That brings a lot of joy in my heart. That’s what feeds it, you know. But yeah, as far as, you know, the support from the staff, getting their ideas like I’m in the process, and so I’ve pretty much got it the new shop, and it’s an empty blank slate. I want their input on the layout. We’ve got some list of put in, an office, equipment, that type of thing. And I found that I can get tunnel vision sometimes. And I can see things my way. And usually about six months later I got, oh crap, why’d I do it that way? But so, getting people’s input on this is huge. Whether it’s the layout of the lifts themselves, or where to put a sign or door or window, you know, those are all things that I feel like, I need the feedback and their professional opinions because they are professionals. And they are probably in it more than I am as far as efficiency inside of a shop, how to move and where to get the cars in and out and those types of things. So yeah, they’ve been a lot of help. And I really appreciate all the hard work that they’ve given me.

 

[Tom] – Yeah, that’s fantastic. Yeah, and I mean, ’cause we talked about the same thing, when we’re talking about setting up your digital inspection program is. If you’re not asking the techs how the flow should go around the vehicle, you’re missing out on a very important step, because they’re gonna tell you exactly where the inefficiencies are, where and even if it’s just things that bug them. I gotta go here, and then I gotta walk over here every single time and do this, and I wish this thing was closer or I wish I didn’t have to do this step. Or maybe we can, you know, arrange our workflow in a different manner to incorporate that into an earlier step or something, right? And they’re gonna have an answer, they’re gonna be able to improve the process, to make, you know, I and even if it’s making their job easier, or you know, gives them less work to do or, you know, it’s not because they’re lazy. It’s because they’re efficient, and you take advantage of that right now. It’s up to your service strategies, feel more hours and keep mopping. But you gotta talk to the techs, you gotta talk to the service riders, you gotta find where the bottlenecks in the process. Another great thing that you can do with AutoVitals is, you can go in and pull your full workflow report and I’ll tell you what, it’s a lot of data. To throw that in a spreadsheet, you start to analyze that and you’re gonna see some things that you never knew existed in your operation, you’re gonna see bottlenecks. You’re gonna see inefficiencies. It’s all in the data, and it allow you to pinpoint those things and work it through. ‘Cause you don’t wanna recreate inefficiencies in a new location. Bigger complexity, bigger mess, right? You’re just doubling your headache. Because, yeah, crew by in having the crew in place. You have to have a process in place. You have to have a scalable process in place before you even think about going to another location where you’re just carrying the fire with you. He’s gonna burn down. You’re gonna be anyway, but that’s critical, right? And that’s where The Digital Shop best practices. The Digital Shop operating process is that process and it can, if you commit to it, and then you just recreate it right? And if you take that process, and then you just scale it in you and you expand on that, well then it becomes pretty straightforward. You know, your crew knows what to expect, they know what to do. Everybody you know, it’s easy to ramp new people into the process, into the system and like you said, you know, you start to find yourself not as critical to be standing at the counter or you know, monitoring everything and now all of a sudden you got some free time on your hands you don’t know what to do with.

 

[Mike] – As some will say that I got bored and I wanted to find something new to do. So, maybe a little bit of that’s true. But you know, getting back to the, you know, the partnership AutoVitals, you know, we went paperless, I wanna say around four years ago.

 

[Tom] – A long time.

 

[Mike] – That was kind of the the writing on the wall for me that expansion. It makes expansion that much easier. Because, yes, I’ve been measuring this whole time I gather statistics and I do a weekly plan every every week. With AutoVitals, it’s another measuring tool. And it kind of opens up more things to look at, but they’re things that when you can focus in on them can really make some big changes. You know, just the today’s vehicle page, you know, we’ve done hundred, a hundred 20 cars a week out of Park Avenue, and it gets pretty well. I mean, that’s a lot of cars to manage. And when you have that tool to help you, it becomes a lot easier. And I was, you know, with that in my mind, okay, well, now we can take, I’m gonna lose a portion of those customers at Park Avenue, but will still retain the West. And having that AutoVitals tool to go along with it just it made me feel more confident that this can happen without changing up a bunch of stuff and without having all these headaches. So, again, technology working with us, you know, to get to a better place that’s really the way I look at it.

 

[Tom] – That’s what you gotta do, gotta mess with that technical tool is for, right? That software tool is for, its to be applied in the right process and on the right job, right? Right tool for the right job. And it’s a commitment, you know, and a lot of that stuff is process change. But you’ve made several process changes from when you first opened your doors. We sat down and really thought about how you operated your business, when you open your doors, you know, 20 years ago, or whenever it was for, you know, folks out there, to what you’re doing today, and all of the adaptations you had to make. I mean, it’s just it’s pretty simple. And then when it pays off that way, because, you know, it’s funny thing about digital inspections is, it could almost be a double edged sword, right? When you’re running 120 cars a week. That’s a, you don’t have a lot of holes in the schedule. And so, hey, this guy all of a sudden gets a great upsell, congratulations. But whoops, we just added three more hours to this and now we can’t even fit this vehicle in now, right? So, now you have to start thinking the math is my number of upsells more than what my ARO is for the amount of vehicles I can no longer process through. And that’s where the workflow tool starts to whittle out all of those inefficiencies and give you that time back. Think about how many times your Service Writer walks out to the bays and the text walk up to the front, or how long it takes to update somebody on customer concern, or parts delay or whatever it is, right? All of that stuff takes time. And through the digital tool, you’re using it right in how you set your workflow up. You can really eliminate, matter of fact, service advisor doesn’t need to leave as big buffer around vehicles because if you add that up, right? How many cars are you doing a day, and if I just give myself an extra 10 minutes of wiggle room for every vehicle. Well, there’s a, you know, there’s a whole another vehicle I could have brought through the shop, right? And that stuff really adds up at the end of the week, the end of the pay period, or the quarter. And so with that digital tool, you really able to see where those inefficiencies are and then start to whittle those down to where all of a sudden you’re maintaining that huge increase in your ARO, you’re getting through the digital inspection. But still able to maintain your car count or even grow your car count, if that’s what you’ve got capacity and the desire to do, and just take advantage of those refills benefits. But it’s so critical that you commit to that process, and you get that process down and ingrained in your crew before you try to go in and expand your business. Or you’re just gonna, you might as well light your hair on fire right now run around in circles screaming. That ain’t fun, that is not fun. And you know, I mean, a lot of pressure, right? You got a lot of folks relying on you all the families related to your crew and you know, the people, your vendors and your family and, and all. And everybody that’s kind of ancillary to the decisions that you’re making. So, it becomes a lot of pressure, you know, and you wanna do it in a smart and you know, the best way possible and that’s having bulletproof processes, a culture that’s gonna allow you to, pull together and work hard and set goals. And then the team like, Mike said, getting that team on the bench and ready to go and fired up and excited. And then you just go for it, you know. And any and then you can do it again and again. It just becomes a machine almost, right?

 

[Mike] – Yeah, we found that car count has dropped to both locations, but increased overall. Does that make sense?

 

[Tom] – Revenue is up, yeah.

 

[Mike] – Yeah, we’re dealing with instead of 120 cars at one location, we’re dealing with 140 cars at two. We’re able to manage the customers and really take care of them and not this flushing foot to the shop is a number. So, I feel like the quality service has increased by quite a bit, you know, just because of this move. The fact that we can service more customers in our areas, the right way.

 

[Tom] – Yeah, I know exactly. And it’s shocking, right? Full parking lot and somebody comes in says, yeah, no problem, I’ll take your vehicle and we’ll have it done today, what? Why would I go anywhere else and they gave me all this transparent digital inspection. So you know, they’re not hiding anything from me and you lock them down, you know. And Matter of fact, then you that’s where you really start to defend that shop rate because you don’t have to discount, you don’t have to promo because you know the value in what you do, the service that you gave, and the transparency you gave, that’s worth any $50 coupon you could ever catch, right? And if it isn’t, well then sign are, you probably want those folks to go somewhere else anyway. So, what’s next on the horizon? I’m sure you know, Mike, you seem to me to be a guy who’s always got something cooking so you got the production facility combat, that sounds like that’s a sliding down the hill already. You know, you just got the wind at your back. So what else you working on?

 

[Mike] – So the new location has two buildings. So. one of them is gonna be that production facility. 3000 square foot will put the alignment rack in there and probably three to close lives and you know, it’ll all fit and work nice. Well, right across the parking lot is another 2400 square foot building. And half of it I’m contemplating turning into either a detail shop or you know maybe another revenue stream

 

[Tom] – Mike Hot Rod storage.

 

[Mike] – Yeah, well, suddenly I’m like a hot rod stores. But something that where we could, again a potential, new revenue stream. That’s kind of play with that, yeah One thing at a time Tom, I can’t be going too far ahead. But you know what I find that you know there are shops that are struggling. There’s a younger guy here in town, that I mentored for about a year, year and a half he wanted his own shop. And the shop became available and I could have bought it. It was the north side of town, and instead I helped him, I helped him buy it.

 

[Tom] – I’m telling you this guy.

 

[Mike] – And he’s taken off like a rocket, and he’s loving it. He’s doing a great job. You know, I like to help people. I really do like to help people and and I see a lot of people struggling out there. And I feel like either there’s no one there to really lean on that, they can trust or that there are people out there that just try and take advantage. That’s not right. You know, there’s a different way of doing business and these people need an opportunity in my opinion. They work really hard. I mean, this business can be cutthroat. It can be can be really tough on people. And if there’s something I can do to help, I’d love to help. And there are a few people here in town that I’ve helped and I wanna continue. So another AutoVitals client, Miguel, down in Sacramento, called me about a week and a half ago. Mike, I gotta run so and buy it, says, there’s a third shop that I’m looking at buying. I need to know what you think. And so he gave me all the details. And we talked for about hour and a half, two hours on the phone and actually I talked him out of it. You know, it just it didn’t make sense. You know, we kind of crunched the numbers and just knowing what I’ve been going through, seeing what JR went through, and Kevin. It just seemed as though it probably wouldn’t be a good fit and good opportunity right then and there. I said, I told out, I’d wait. You know, I like the idea that you’re looking for a third, but right now, I don’t think that’s a good deal for you. So, just even being an ear for somebody to run things by, I think I can be helpful in that area as well.

 

[Tom] – But just the fact that you’re willing to do that, selflessly you know, it’s just well. What a great thing that it is about, you know, this business, this organization, bringing these operators together and just just letting them help, you know, and like you said, a lot of times, it’s just listening. It’s just just lending an ear and give it an idea and a thought, you know, and you could have saved that guy who knows. You know, can be divorced five years from now, the whole thing falls back, you know what I’m saying, so you never know, man. But it’s great to get that second opinions, especially when it’s somebody who’s been through it, you know, and has walked it. And, you know, and then like said, there’s always another day for an opportunity coming down the road, you know, Sacramento is pretty tough market. And so, you know, maybe, you know, a couple of more, a little bit of more mentoring and when it’s the right time, and the right place will know it, and there you go.

 

[Mike] – Yeah, timing is huge. You just gotta have the right it’s gotta feel right too. And I think when that conversation was over you, thank you, Mike. Thanks for

 

[Tom] – Over me dodged that bullet saved my life.

 

– But I felt good that he called me, you know?

 

[Tom] – Yeah, sure, sure.

 

[Mike] – That he valued my opinion, you know. And so, if I could spend a couple hours on the phone, got no problem doing that. I actually enjoy it.

 

[Tom] – Yeah, you heard it right here, folks. Give Mike a call. Just line up the dials right now, you hear ringing in the background, that’s all the audience calling in. new location. But now that’s awesome, man. And you know, you can find Mike on Facebook, he’s running around up on our Facebook forum, reach out to him directly. He’s not hard to find. He’s in Chico, California, for those of you who don’t know where Chico is.

 

[Mike] – Anyone feels like they’re coming up this way. Or maybe they’re in the area right now and they wanna come by it. You don’t really have to go for lunch. You know kind of show you around the shops and let you see what we’re doing and maybe that can help it help you out a little bit.

 

[Tom] – Learn stuff. Learning is good. That is awesome, Mike. Yeah like I said, Mike, I mean just a really impressive guy buddy. I’m really happy to have you on the show. I can’t wait to have you back on so we can hear kind of how that production facility works out, the impact it’s having on the business. And how AutoVitals is fitting in there to kind of measure it all together. And then what you know are you gonna start landing rocket ships on boats? Or what’s next? We’ll find out, but look forward to having you on maybe sometime in the summer after summer. Something like that, let you get some experience under the belt there. And yeah, and like said thanks a lot for coming in. I really appreciate it. Maybe we have Miguel come on with you at some point in the future too, and we’ll talk about mentoring and stuff like that. or maybe with JR, It’d be a great one too you know. I’ve had JR on before, I’ve had Phil on. And I mean, those guys are just super impressive to me. Every time I talked to them, they got some other big hairy goal they’re shooting for and I never heard them being unsuccessful. So it’s the culmination of planning and preparation and a little bit of luck. And then you know, a great network of folks like Mike Button and Drive and AutoVitals to kind of back you up, and help you make clear decisions and get some experience under the belt. So, yeah, and then next week, we’re going to be talking reviews. So tune in next week, we’re gonna have Jason Warner on from Stewart Auto Repair. And we’re gonna be talking about how important reviews are, some good ideas on how you can grow your reviews. How you should be responding to each and every one of those reviews that you get, because it’s really it’s free advertising and free SEO. And we’ll talk about that next week. And you know, hey, if you liked the show, why don’t you, you know, you can go over to autovitals.coms/podcast and you can see all the other episodes, you can subscribe, so you get notifications when the show’s on ’cause you don’t want to miss shows like Mike Button being on here. He just dropped so much knowledge on you, you could retire in five years if you are smart. And then, and you can look at the other episodes. If you like it, give us a like, you know, share it with some friends on whatever platform you might be watching us on, Facebook, podcast, you know, Instagram, wherever you’re seeing us. Like us, share and subscribe and then get into that Facebook forum, right? Get into that Facebook forum we’re talking about. It’s a private group but you know, if you’re an operator doesn’t matter if you’re a customer not. Tell you that much right now. You’re an operator, you want in there, it’s private group, you just apply, will approve, you get in there and take advantage of it. ‘Cause I think there’s about 3700 shop owners and text, and Service Writers in there now, and they are always talking about helping each other out. Super valuable thing that you could be taking advantage of. So get her done.

 

– [Dustin] The link to join Tom, the link to join is in the comments section. We’re actually four members away from hitting that 3800 mark. So let’s try and get about four people who listen to the show to join today and get over that 3800 mark, that’d be awesome.

 

[Tom] – we’ll break a pinata or something in your honor. Thanks a lot, Mike. Great job, Dustin. Appreciate it everybody. Tune in next Wednesday, same time, same place. 10am Pacific, 1pm Eastern. We’ll be talking reviews. You need lots of them.

 

Whether you are a multi-shop like this week's guest on the show Mike Button or not, AutoVitals has the ability to impact your bottom line. Let us show you how.

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