Greg Bunch is the owner of Aspen Auto Clinic, a five-location automotive and service business in Colorado. Greg started his passion for cars at 15 when he began rebuilding a 1966 Volkswagen Bug. Greg has moved from a Volkswagen mechanic to ASE Master Technician, to Management, to starting his shop 18 years ago in his garage, to an award-winning multi-location business.
Greg is currently a board member for the STEM-based charter school call “Automotive Institute of Science & Technology” and on the Advisory board of Ratchet and Wrench Magazine. Greg is also a board member of the Autocare organization and a certified instructor for the Worldpac Training Institute and Carquest Technical Institute. Greg’s unwavering passion for the industry has also led him to form a company called Transformers Institute, a coaching and training company dedicated to transforming the automotive industry. Listen to Greg’s previous episodes HERE.
He expanded to his second shop based on an interview he had with a technician who wanted to come to work for him.
Took only one week to close the transaction.
It was a tough year. Trial by fire. He didn’t know what he didn’t know.
The business models did not match. The business he bought was built on price. Greg’s business was not.
All technicians ultimately were replaced.
Took SBA loan.
Traits of a shop owner who would like to expand:
Afraid of the risk.
Waiting to get ducks in a row.
Comfortable with what they have.
Don’t know how to get it done.
When do you know when to expand?
Sound business practices help you scale to multiple locations.
You must have documented systems and practices.
A training system.
Having the staff that knows what they are doing.
You must over-staff.
Integrated in your policies and procedures.
It will cost some money in payroll.
They must be exposed in your culture before you open.
Don’t open two in the same year.
If in a completely new market your cost of marketing is high because you cannot use the residual value of your current shop.
Do the demographics and research income levels.
He is looking for $70 – $80 K income level to afford his services.
Good technicians do not want to work weekend hours.
He recently changed his techs hours so they will only work Monday – Friday.
Saturday the service advisers work until noon.
Service advisers are getting more hours of training per year than technicians.
Greg has a full-time trainer on board to train and develop Aspen’s sales system.
You need capital to grow.
Owners need to take out what they need to live on so they can re-invest in their business.
Options for growth exist today.
Their training system works on converting customers into really good customers.
Doing targeted direct mail to specific vehicle ownership.
Transformer Mastermind Group.
Our mission is to change how auto service is seen by the public and to attract smart and talented people into the industry.
The group brings together higher-level operators.
They do not do shop visits.
They meet 4 times a year.
Favorite quotes: Behavior never lies and Inspect what you expect.
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