Tom Lambert, owner of Shadetree Automotive. Tom Lambert got his start right at home. His dad and uncles always had projects going on in the home garage. During the summer vacation, his dad would have Tom remove engines from the vehicles that were being sent to the local machine shop for rebuilding.
In the past three and a half years, Tom and his dad have made strategic adjustments in the business. They are now a $2.5 million dollar a year shop with 10% annual growth and profitability. They continue to improve every day. Tom says he has the best team and a strong culture. In January 2017 Tom bought his dad completely out of the business.
Tom struggled for many years because he had lost his passion for the auto industry. After receiving all the guidance and coaching over the past few years, he is rejuvenated and has more passion than ever and is currently doing everything he can to pay it forward to other local shop owners. Tom’s previous episodes HERE.
Key Talking Points:
Three Leg stool theory of marketing
Everyone wins: Team, Customer, Tom (the shop owner)
Tom’s team is the largest leg on his stool
Take care of your team who will take care of your customers
Service advisor position is one of the most difficult positions
Owners job is to make everyone job easy
Provide the tools they need to get the job done and be successful
Se sets the vision and empowers the team
Marketing is one of the most important tasks to bring in the ‘right’ customer to keep his team busy
He markets himself as a higher price business than he really is
He believes he provides a great value to his customer
He has learned that everyone does not need to be his customer
He will refer people to the lowest price shop in town
Quality parts and how he pays his folks predicates his pricing
They market fun and they work to attract people who want that experience
They market to specific vehicle owners
A few makes and models that are more commonly knows that appreciate Tom’s culture
He believes that the discount model is hurting our industry
The gaps between shops give the consumer the wrong impression that the margins are huge
Customer’s perception is it
Problem most shop owners are only making a 4% Net
A $1,000 job the shop owner made $40 at a 4% net
A hobby job not a career
A shop that maintains a 20% net profit will earn $200 on a $1,000 job
He is a bottom-up pricing shop to cover all his costs and then create his labor rate and parts margin
Go after the customer that fits your shop
A special thanks to Tom Lambert for sharing his passion – For The Record.
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