As I sit in my office on this rainy and cool afternoon, I feel very humbled. The editor of this wonderful local newspaper, in an obvious moment of weakness and sleep deprivation, has agreed to let me write a column about the inside world of the auto repair business. Let me first say that even though I now own this little auto repair business, I have a terrible miss-trust of the auto repair industry in general, whether national chains, auto dealerships or local shops. You see, I don’t come from this industry and still think of myself as a consumer, not an auto guy. Sure, I was like a lot of kids that like to work on my cars, but times have changed and so has the technology. I will endeavor to help you understand more about this business, some of the little secrets and how to choose a great shop and bring you stories of customers we come across so you can hopefully avoid some of the pitfalls customers endure or inflict upon themselves.
To give you some background, I was in the furniture industry for 26+ years with the last 17 being a senior executive turning around struggling 40M-120M Manufacturing Companies. It was a great career until we decided to move from Southlake to Rural Mississippi to turn around an incredible high end manufacturer. The company treated us so graciously and generously but acclimating to rural MS proved difficult for our mixed raced family. People were nice, but there was a hierarchy to life there that we just couldn’t agree with so I left my career and brought my wife and 3 beautiful little kids back to this area with no job and 2 house payments.
I decided after racking up more than 1.5 million miles on commercial airlines, it was time to tone down the travel and watch my kids grow up so we decided to set our roots down in Keller and to start a business. In my infinite wisdom, I wanted to start a business that consumers generally despised, hated, miss-trusted and any other adjective that describes the auto repair industry. I figured if we could do it differently, better, more transparently and not make customers pay for our mistakes, we would be successful. By and large we have been very blessed, but we haven’t been unilateral in our success; so in the coming months I will attempt to give you a better perspective of this business and address subjects you let me know are important to you. I will answer honestly or not at all, that is my promise.
I look forward to opening this industry up to you a little, investigating what makes a good shop and how to potentially spot a not so good shop. Once you find that special shop or mechanic, hold on to them for dear life as they are rare and hard to find.