It's amazing the fun you can have extending your passion of old cars and trucks into your everyday life! Take Guy Algar and I, for example. We run a shop out in a very rural area of South Central Texas. When we were planning our business, we knew we wanted to do things differently, and we also knew that we wanted to have fun doing it as well, after all this is our passion, and we certainly didn't want to lose that in the course of doing it as a business. We had both seen too many friends start a business only to lose the passion because of the stresses that accompany a start-up. As business owners, it's very important to keep your business life fresh, satisfying and exciting. So what do we do keep it fun?
I personally had been to auto repair shops where I felt I was talked down to and treated like I knew nothing about cars because I'm a woman. This occurs a lot, and not just to women. Even men are intimidated to bring their car to a shop if they don't know very much about them. Guy and I wanted to be able to invite owners of classic cars, (muscle cars, trucks, or whatever your ride) into our shop who didn't know a lot about cars, but would still be treated with respect and perhaps even gain some knowledge of their car along the way. One of the fun things we did was to create a "Coaching Program" where father-son teams could come get instruction and hands-on experience on maintaining and repairing their classic car together. It has been very rewarding for Guy and I to help the dads "pass the torch", complete with the knowledge, the traditions and the joys of wrenching to their children.
We planned our location carefully. We knew we didn't want a flashy, big-city shop and showroom, with people coming and going but never really getting to know the person behind the car. Grandstanding is not our style, and it's a distraction. We wanted our customer's experience to be different so we decided on a relaxed country location where we could take our time, get to know our customers and what they want and need from their car. Visits are casual, non-hurried and help develop a relationship we enjoy...in other words, fun!
One thing we didn't quite plan on was how completely cars would invade our "off" time, but it turns out that this is a choice we willingly make. Operating your business from your home location has advantages of being able to work on a project at midnight without a long commute home. Guy and I have pulled many all-nighters finishing up a project, or just forgetting to stop, and we actually have fun doing it. It also allows us to be very flexible with our schedule, so meeting up with a customer after-hours or on a holiday or day off isn't all that uncommon.
|Eleanor GT 500|
Total "Diva" & Master Hunter