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RR 308: Mike Bennett from Mike’s Kars and an ATI Coach
9th March 2018 • Remarkable Results Radio Podcast • Carm Capriotto, AAP
00:00:00 00:51:33

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Mike Bennett has been in the industry since 1985. He is an ASE Master Tech who has worked for GM as Technician, Shop Foreman, Service manager and Service Director for 2 locations.

Mike bought his current shop, Mike’s Kars, in Gettysburg, PA in 1999. It is a a four bay shop with 3 technicians. In 2011, he became a full time coach with Automotive Training Institute helping shop owner’s to re-engineer and grow their businesses.

We sat down in Santa Barbara, CA at the AutoVitals Digital Conference for our interview.

Talking points:

  • Mike co-owns the shop with his wife Shelle who is also the General Manager.
  • He had his light bulb moment when he realized he needed more training on business and leadership.
  • He re-engineered himself so he could he teach his people.
  • He became an ATI client and fully immersed in it.
  • It started with learning leadership so he can teach the why and influence the people around him.
  • He started to gain control in his business and he found some additional freedom (time).
  • Best employees are empowered and understand their role. Great leaders show their people how to succeed.
    • Once Mike worked himself out of the business, his team prefers he doesn’t come around.
  • Two areas of struggle for owners today.
    • The business side of the business.
    • Be a leader of people
      • It is a state of mind, an awareness, to relate with people, understand yourself, to influence people.
  • There is some level of desperation that brings a shop owner to a coaching program.
  • An important part of building a great business is to have a quality culture. It can be a result of great leadership.
  • You are being shopped by potential employees rather than you are shopping for them.
    • They are researching you, your website, your reviews, etc.
    • The most powerful statement of the health of your business is when they come to you to find out if you have openings.
  • Books to read.
    • E-Myth and the E-Myth revisited by Michael Gerber.
    • Predictable Success by Les McKeown.
    • The Five Temptations of a CEO by Patrick Lencioni.
  • Accountability factor has to do with the owner’s beliefs in systems/processes.
    • Accountability is higher when there is the biggest desperation. Your clay is the ripest for molding.
  • Work life balance and a successful business.
    • If you don’t have a good balance at home, you won’t have one at work.
  • As shop owners we do not bring the same level of curiosity we had as techs to the business side of the business.
  • We will survive the tech advancements as we have every decade.
  • Heavy penetration of hybrids will not peak until 2040.
    • A smart business and entrepreneur will prepare themselves.
Shop Profile
Years in industry: 38
Number of technicians: 3
Number of service advisers: 2
Number of lifts: 4
Number of bays: 4
Days open: Mon-Thr
Technician productivity: 85%
Labor rate: $110.57
Performing hybrid repairs: Yes
ASE Blue Seal Certified: Yes
Succession plan: Yes – Working on
Business coach: ATI
Full-time business coach: Yes – ATI
Mastermind group: Yes
Biggest challenge in business today: Parts quality
Primary source for parts: Aftermarket
Primary source for electronic components: OE Dealer

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