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THA 115: Who Says You Need an Automotive Background to Run a Successful Shop
18th April 2019 • Town Hall Academy • Carm Capriotto, AAP
00:00:00 00:47:46

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Your Learning Curve Never Sounded So Good


Brian Sump is not your typical shop owner. A former professional athlete, Sump had never turned a wrench in a shop before starting Denver-based Avalon Motorsports in 2007.  But in the years since, he has used his business acumen and detailed, process-based management philosophy to grow the German-specialty shop into what a number of industry consultants consider to be an industry leader. Brian now has three locations. Listen to Brian’s previous episodes HERE

Andy Bizub from Midwest Performance Cars in Chicago is also a native of Chicago. His first career was 25 years as a commodity trader. He entered the professional auto industry in 2014 by acquiring a failing shop in downtown Chicago that he was a customer of and started a turnaround. Andy now has two locations. He bought his first car at age 19, a 1972 Triumph Spitfire, which was the start of his gas, oil, and automobile obsession. Listen to Andy’s previous episodes HERE.

Key Talking Points:

  • Transitioning to a new career requires a feeling out or learning curve time
  • Many great people in the industry have offered help and it was welcomed open arms
  • Andy was able to retain his top talent in his acquisition
  • Brian:  YOu apply certain tenants of growth and development not only personally and in your business
    • You progress at a certain rate
    • Look at your peers
    • Are you on a path
    • Keep growing and access where you are
  • Everyone can become an expert
  • Andy: The business of being in business is about continual improvement. Even incrementally.
    • You’ve got to push to be better
    • Get on a process of continual improvement of yourself and your people
    • Celebrate the wins and the high water marks of your measures
  • Patience is a virtue
  • Pay homage to your team for your success
  • Good leaders/CEOs engage their team for their ideas and be sure they get to implement them
  • Reach out and share with your industry peers
  • Rookies are always listening and learning what they don’t know. Veterans are always trying to state what they know. Everyone should have a rookie mentality.
  • Give your people the chance and have the confidence in them to come up with their own solutions.  Buy in not necessary because it is their decision to implement.
  • Warren Buffet does not know anything about the candy business but he owns Sees Candy.
  • Andy and Brian did not know how to fix cars, and they have great businesses
  • There is a very distinct difference from being a pure follower, being a leader and being a dictator
    • Our people need us to lead them. To inspire them. To find solutions for them and to motivate them
    • You got to know when to step up and lead and pioneer.
  • Andy allows their people to make the final decision to hire. Their buy-in is the highest on the new hire.
  • When you give power to your team you can be free to do innovative things to bring back to your business
  • If you are too busy putting out fires remove the kindling
  • Identify the three things you hate the most in your business
    • Start there to delegate them. Shovel off these items
  • Learn to live in your customer’s shoes
    • What is the real customer experience through the entire transaction
    • Understand their pain points and remove that friction from their experience
  • Polish up where you are weak, however, excel at your strengths
  • Invest in your people and shape a career for them
    • Complete training
  • Unlocking potentials understands gifting and callings
  • You’ve got to be fulfilled in what you do
    • Not easy. Got to get up every time you fail.
  • Change is a part of life and is important in every successful business
  • We have cobwebs in our homes and have scratches on our walls.
    • You will see them when you visit other people’s houses but will not necessarily see them in your house. You’ve looked past them for years.
    • Learn how to problem solve. Look deep at your business.
    • Ask your colleagues to visit your place.


  • A special thanks to  Brian Sump and Andy Bizub for their contribution to the aftermarket.
  • Books Page HERE
  • Leave me an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one of them.

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