The month after I joined the Coaching Program was the best month in our 39-year history. Sales are up over 47% with a net profit above 20%, and our customers are happier than ever."
Jon Spohn – Spohn's Action Auto Service, Minneapolis, MN
The Elite Coaching Program
Work 1-on-1 With One of the Top Shop Owners in America
We understand that more often than not, shop owners feel alone at the top, with nobody to bounce ideas off of, nobody to hold them accountable, nobody to help them put new systems in place, nobody to help them reach their goals and nobody to confirm where their numbers need to be to achieve the highest level of success.
In one way or another, all of the shop owners on the Elite team have experienced these feelings over the years, so we decided to create the Elite Coaching Program.
About The Coaching Program
When you join the Elite Coaching Program, not only do you get to work 1-on-1 with one of the top shop owners in the country, who has been in your shoes, experienced the challenges you are facing, and prevailed to achieve remarkable success, but you'll also be adding the entire Elite family of extraordinary shop owners to your team.
When you read through our coach bios below you'll see that all of our coaches have already been extremely successful in the business world as shop owners, so are working with Elite for one reason and one reason alone: to give back to the industry that they love so much. So whether you're interested in recruiting qualified technicians and service advisors, filling up your service bays with your ideal customers, implementing proven systems that will make your shop far more productive, or understanding exactly where your numbers need to be, we will help you reach your goals. Better yet, we'll do so in a way that has a positive impact on your employees, your customers, your community, and our industry.
With over 36 years of shop owner experience, Joe has accomplished what most others could only dream of. In addition to being a multi-location owner/operator of one of America’s most successful auto repair shops, he is a graduate of the Automotive Management Institute, an ASE Master Tech, and he is a recipient of the coveted CARQUEST Excellence Award and the Putnam County NY Entrepreneurial Award. He has also served on the Car Care Council, the Tech Net Advisory Council and the CARQUEST Advisory Council, he participated in the development of the ASE Engine Performance Certification test, and he is a cofounder of AutoShopOwner.com. Not only is Joe a regular contributor to national industry publications and a monthly columnist for Ratchet & Wrench magazine, but Shop Owner magazine dedicated an entire article to his shop and his success.
In addition to all that he does for our industry, Joe and Osceola Garage are heavily involved in the local community, as Joe supports all local youth sports, is a member of the Chamber of Commerce, and donates to several charities (Toys for Tots, Heart Association, The HOPE Foundation, Women's Resource Center, Friends of Karen, Local Veterans and local Senior Centers, to name a few). Osceola Garage was founded on the principle that the shop will always do what is in the best interest of their customers, employees and the community, so he fit into Elite's culture perfectly from day one, and we are proud to call him a member of the Elite family. We are also pleased to say Joe presents many AMI accredited courses for us, and he plays a leading role in the ongoing development of our services. As one of our Business Development Coaches, he is constantly working with our other coaches for one simple reason: To better ensure the success of each and every Elite client. As an independent contractor, Joe and his wonderful family live in beautiful Patterson, New York.
For 33 years Jim Piraino was the owner of Camarillo Car Care, a 13-bay facility that was undoubtedly one of the top shops in America. Throughout his career as a shop owner, Jim served as both the president and a board member of the ASC-CA’s Ventura County Chapter, was a member of the ASA’s President’s Club, and was even voted National NAPA/ASE Technician of the Year.
One of the reasons Camarillo Car Care was so successful was that the shop operated under the principle that their customers were the reason they existed, and Jim was a pillar of his community that helped his customers in countless ways. His shop regularly donated to the Boys and Girls Club, sponsored events for the American Red Cross, lead fundraisers for the American Cancer Society, donated to Handicapped Children’s Services of America, served as a training facility for local police K-9 teams, and supported the YMCA and local youth sports teams. As if that wasn’t enough, Jim himself was a member of the Camarillo and US Chamber of Commerce, and was president of the Camarillo Optimists Club (achieving Honor Club Status), which recognizes local students for academic achievement and community involvement.
Jim’s commitment to his customers and his community did not go unnoticed, as Camarillo Car Care was an ASE Blue Seal of Excellence Facility, a NAPA Autocare Center, was a winner of the Chamber of Commerce’s Retailer of the Year Award, and for 12 straight years received the award for the best auto repair shop in Ventura from the Ventura County Star.
Jim has been a coach with Elite since 1991, and has helped countless customers take their businesses to amazing levels of success. Not only has he helped struggling shop owners become industry success stories, but he has helped many industry-leading shops owners take their businesses to record levels. There is no doubt about it; Jim Piraino truly is an industry superstar! Born and raised in New York, he spent most of his life in Southern California. Today, as an independent contractor he and his wife Lisa live in Loveland, Colorado where he is close by his two daughters and four wonderful grandchildren!
After starting his work in the industry at age 15, Kevin had opened his own shop by the time he was 22! His shop, Autotire Car Care Center, was an immediate success, and Kevin was able to open up 4 locations over the next 15 years. One of the reasons Kevin was so successful as a shop owner was because he understood the importance of his people and his processes. He believed that he couldn't provide great external customer service without first providing great internal customer service (to his employees), and that hiring the right people, giving them the tools, systems and procedures that they needed, and then getting out of their way would be a huge key to his success. This business philosophy certainly paid off, as Kevin's shop was featured in Modern Tire Dealer, and received an award for being the best shop in Indianapolis (voted on by consumers).
Kevin received ASE certification, as well as an ABA degree in Business Administration while he was running his shops. He served on the Kelly Springfield Dealer Council, the Michelin Dealer Council, and chaired the advisory board that designed the "Tech Prep" curriculum for local high schools. He has 43 years of industry experience, and was a highly profitable multiple location owner-operator for over 30 years until he finally sold his company so he could focus on another one of his passions: Helping other shop owners build more profitable businesses.
Before working with Elite as an independent contractor, Kevin started his own small consulting company where he helped auto repair shop owners improve their operational processes, customer service, and net profit (among other things). He is truly committed to the betterment of the industry, and was recently published in Ratchet & Wrench. Kevin is also committed to his continuing education (as is evident through his completion of courses on financial management, time management, customer service, sales and marketing) and to helping his community through his work spreading breast cancer awareness. There's no question that Kevin is an industry leader, and we are honored to call him one of our Elite Business Development Coaches. Kevin is an avid golfer, and lives with his wonderful wife in Bonita Springs, FL.
Jim Butitta grew up in his family automotive business, a radiator shop and W.D distributor for more than a dozen OEM and aftermarket manufacturers. Over the years his entrepreneurial spirit drove him to add full service automotive repair, and he soon grew the business to six locations that included 56 automotive service bays, a full service radiator shop, a gas tank rebuilding facility and a parts distribution system. Jim now has over 44 years of industry experience, and attributes much of his success to his business philosophy, taught to him by his father, which includes honesty, integrity, respect, great customer service, and running the cleanest, best maintained shops in the country.
Jim has a strong background in financial analysis, budgeting and putting systems in place to insure financial stability, and has shared his expertise with several multi-shop owners to help them become more successful in both their business and personal lives. He has also given back to the industry by authoring articles for a national trade magazine, serving on regional and national boards for over 30 years, serving as President of local ASA group, and serving as National President and Chairman of the National Automotive Radiator Service Association. In addition to giving back to the industry, Jim gives back to his community by contributing his time and talents to “not for profit" organizations, as he was a past president of a local food bank, and served on finance and building committees for a domestic violence shelter for women and children.
Jim sold his business after 33 years so he could enjoy some of the fruits of his hard work, and spend more time with his wife, Jody, three sons and seven grandchildren. Jim loves to golf, is an instrument-rated pilot, and is a lifelong Harley Davidson rider.
Randy Pickering Coach
Not only has Randy Pickering run one of the top shops in the country, Pickering's Auto Service, since 1976, but he’s a 4th generation shop owner whose family has been serving their communities for over 100 years! Today he has 2 locations that service more than 500 vehicles per month!
Randy is a past ASA National Mechanical Division Director and board member, a past president and board member of the ASA of Colorado, a past board member of the Mountain States Tire Dealers Association, and served on the Automotive Management Institute's Board of Trustees. Today Randy's shops are affiliated with the AAA as AAR’s (he served on the Colorado AAR Advisory Council), are NAPA AutoCare Centers, and he is a 30+ year member of the Better Business Bureau. When asked about his shops, Randy replied, “We’re not in the business of fixing cars, but more in the business of building relationships through honesty and integrity, quality work and superior service”. With an outlook like this, it’s no wonder that his shops have been so successful, that Pickering's Auto Service won the Community Sustainability Award for the city of Lakewood, and that Shop Owner Magazine chose to feature Pickering's Auto Service in their Jan/Feb 2016 issue. As an independent contractor with Elite, Randy lives in Colorado with his wife, Lynette, and his three children, Trent, Brandon, and Taylor, who all play integral roles in running Pickering’s Auto Service.
Mike Kost began his career as a technician (ASE Master
Certified), but soon realized his dream of becoming a shop owner when he
purchased his first Precision Tune store. Mike was able to utilize the skillset
he picked up from business college to both start up new shops from scratch and
make failing shops profitable, and within 5 years of purchasing his first store
he found himself running 4 profitable locations. As a franchisee Mike has been
awarded Precision Tune’s Top 10 Presidential Award, received an award for
creative marketing, and for 15 straight years has received an award for
achieving the highest sales volume in his area.
For over 20 years Mike has
continued his education by attending numerous industry sales, management and
customer service courses, and the knowledge he’s obtained has helped him create
systems and processes that have enabled him to run multiple successful shops
from over 300 miles away as an absentee owner. In the last 13 years he’s spent
as an absentee owner, Mike has enjoyed helping other shop owners understand the
importance of customer service and create proven processes to become more
successful, so needless to say, we couldn’t be happier to have him as a member
of the Elite family. As an independent contractor, Mike, his wife Tammy and his
4 wonderful kids live in Aberdeen, South Dakota.
Mike truly is an industry superstar. With decades of industry experience, he has developed a reputation that now spans the nation. In addition to owning and operating one of America's most successful auto repair shops, he is a graduate of the Automotive Management Institute, and he has served on numerous industry boards. Mike was also the recipient of Arkansas's NAPA Technician of the Year Award for seven consecutive years, and we are pleased to say that he has won the coveted Better Business Bureau Torch Award for Market Place Ethics. In Arkansas Mike is widely known as the “Auto Guy", he appears regularly on local CBS segments to provide viewers with car care tips, and is the host of a weekly radio show, "Ask the Auto Guy."
Mike is also involved in a local technical school, teaches automotive classes at a local homeschool group, is involved in the local ASA chapter, and is the president of the American Skilled Labor Association - an association working to identify mentors and apprentices in the automotive industry. Additionally, he recently published a book titled "Start Me Up: a Practical Guide to Understanding Your Vehicle", and has been featured in an article by Ratchet & Wrench Magazine, a national publication. Mike is an industry leader, and we are honored to have him on our team as one of our Business Development Coaches.
Mike has been married to Nancy Davidson since 1990, and has four wonderful children: one is a sales rep for Horizon Pharmaceuticals, one is a middle school teacher, one is a musician and one is still living the dream at home. As an independent contractor, Mike and his family live in beautiful Little Rock, Arkansas.
With over two decades of industry experience, Brian has accomplished what others in our industry could only dream to. He has built one of America's most successful auto repair shops, and has done so never using any form of price advertising. Through his brand-awareness marketing campaigns, Brian's name, and the name of his shop, are household names throughout San Diego County. In addition to working with Elite as an independent contractor, it's no surprise that he is the Fox News Auto Expert on the local Fox television channel.
Brian is an ASE Master Certified technician, and he employs 18 superstars at his full-service AAA approved facility. He is also a Board Director for the AAIA's Car Care Professionals Network, and there is no question that he lives by the principle of never putting money ahead of people. A native of Ohio, Brian and his wonderful family live in sunny and beautiful Escondido, CA.
Russ Bock’s 45-year career has spanned many aspects of the automotive business. After college he sold cars and became a sales manager, then transitioned to the owner/operator of a Ziebart franchise. After realizing that the rustproofing industry was in decline, Russ sold his shop and became general manager of a car dealership. There Russ learned that the most profitable aspect of a dealership is repair, and feeling the need to be his own boss once again, he decided to buy and operate a Precision Tune franchise that specialized in maintenance service and repair.
During his 20 years of ownership, Russ's core business philosophy was to "Never sell a product or service to a customer that was not needed; always treat employees as the most important asset of the company; and always have a positive attitude, because customers and employees appreciate that". With a philosophy that put his customers and employees first, it's no wonder that his shop was the top grossing franchise in the system three times. For eleven consecutive years his shop was among the top ten highest grossing franchises, and he was a member of the President’s Club. Russ was responsible for helping introduce an entirely new revenue stream into the franchise system, and as a result of his outstanding performance, he was able to open up a second location, and was asked to consult with area franchisees along with individual owner/operators both nationally and internationally. Russ was featured in Tire Business magazine, served on the advisory board for Precision Tune corporate, and is an ASE Certified Service Writer as well. Without question, Russ has an extraordinary track record of success, and we’re honored to call him part of the Elite family!
Born and raised in New York, Russ lives in Lexington, Massachusetts with his wife Jeanne and their dog. Russ coached both his sons in Little League, was a member of the Lexington Little League Board of Directors, and has devoted his free time at a local high school to teach students about automotive safety and maintenance. He enjoys spending time with his family, is an avid golfer, and loves to travel and spend time in the gym.
John L. Francis has over 50 years of industry experience, and has owned and operated Francis Automotive Services Inc. for more than 35 years. John's most important business philosophy as a shop owner is to "be honest, speak from your heart, and always be authentic", so it's no mystery why he's been so successful. For years Francis Automotive, an industry acclaimed full service auto repair shop in West Chester, PA , has not only supported the YMCA and Toys for Tots, but has lead the industry in developing a child safety brand. John is an Automotive Service Association (ASA) member, and served on the ASA Mechanical Division Operations Committee for a number of years. We are pleased to say that John represented the ASA in Washington, D.C., where he gave demonstrations to members of Congress on the importance of providing repair professionals with open access to service information. These presentations were instrumental in the information availability agreement that was eventually signed between the ASA and the automobile manufacturers.
John is a past National Chairman of the Automotive Management Institute, he has served as the Chairman of ASA CARS, he was on the ASE Board of Directors for 8 years, and served as an AMI trustee for a number of years as well. He's been featured in Auto Inc. magazine, is a two-time runner up for NAPA Tech of the Year, and is a recipient of the AMI Alpha Award. Not only is John an extraordinary business professional, but his commitment to the industry, and his peers, is second to none. John lives in Atglen PA, he is married and has 3 children, 8 beautiful grandchildren, and 3 wonderful labs. There is no question that he is an asset to the industry, and we are proud to have him as a part of our family here at Elite
Starting his career at a small town gas station in upstate New York, Frank quickly moved on to working at Mercedes Benz dealerships. Over the years he has worked as a Master Certified Technician and as a service advisor, before starting his own business in Las Vegas. Today he is the owner-operator of two of the most successful, state-of-the art, green shops in North America, and an independent contractor with Elite. His shops focus on Mercedes, BMW, Audi, VW and Jaguar, and have 20 talented employees.
Frank's shops have been featured in a number of industry publications, and he serves on several editorial advisory boards. He is also on the advisory board for the College of Southern Nevada, and he has written numerous articles that have been published throughout the entire auto repair industry. Beyond building an extraordinary business, this industry superstar has an unwavering commitment to ethics, and he enjoys spending time with his wonderful wife Deborah. He has four children, six grandchildren, and there is no question; he has a passion for helping people.
Doug Stoll is an award winning shop owner with more than 25 years of industry experience. In 1985 Doug opened Susquehanna Auto Clinic, which soon became a 10-bay, AAA approved shop with a customer satisfaction rating of over 98%. His success inspired him to open up a second shop, The Auto Clinic; an 11-bay, 8,000 sq ft facility which soon became the largest independent repair shop in Lee's Summit, MO (population over 90,000). He sold The Auto Clinic and retired, but to this day there is not a shop in the Metro Kansas City Area that can compare in terms of design, efficient layout, customer comfort and customer service.
Before joining Elite as an independent contractor, Doug was the NAPA/ASE Technician of the year and a 3-time president of the ASA Kansas City Chapter. He has also facilitated the ASA Kansas City Shop Owner Support Group, and has been involved with the Koffman Foundation for entrepreneurship (the largest of its kind), helping educate people who want to start their own businesses. Today, Doug and his wonderful family live in Lee's Summit, MO.
Jim Berberich Business Development Coach
Jim Berberich was surrounded by the auto service industry growing up, as his dad was a master tech for Ford and his uncle owned an auto electric rebuilding business. In college Jim decided to blaze his own trail and became a manufacturing engineer, but soon found his way back to the auto service industry by joining his wife, Diane, as the owner of Al’s Automotive and Tire.
Jim and Diane built Al’s Automotive and Tire, a 9-bay facility, into one of the top shops in the country by mastering the numbers of the business, setting and achieving business goals, putting efficient systems and procedures in place, and focusing their brand and reputation on relationship building, trust and service that “Wowed” their customers.
Al’s Automotive and Tire was very well respected in the community as a AAA approved shop, a BBB member with an A+ rating, a NAPA Autocare member, a NAPA BDG member and a Bosch Service Certified facility. The shop was very active in the community under Jim's leadership, as they sponsored local little league and swim teams, and supported the Feed My People food pantry, MRV Blood Center and the Mercy Ministry women's shelter. In addition to what the shop was doing for the community, Jim himself served on the State Safety and Emission Advisory Board, was a Jefferson County Port Authority board member, and was a board member and vice president of the Fenton Area Chamber of Commerce.
Jim has been featured in Parts and People magazine, Tire Business magazine, and also published a book titled “Make It Last!: Legacies Aren't Just for People” which paralleled the longevity of business and customer vehicles.
Without question, Jim is an industry superstar, and we’re honored to call him part of the Elite family. Jim and Diane have 4 children, 7 grandchildren, and today live in beautiful Imperial, MO.
Rudi Rudloff has over 50 years of industry experience, and spent 34 years owning and operating one of the most successful auto repair facilities in North America! Specializing in Mercedes Benz, his AAA affiliated shop developed a base of clients, and a history of success, that would be the envy of any shop owner on earth. Not only is Rudi an ASE Master Tech, but served on the IGO board, the local Automotive College Board of Advisors, has participated in several panels, and won multiple AAA customer satisfaction awards while he was running his shop. Rudi's shop was also heavily involved in the community through sponsoring child seat events at the Pacific Safety Center, sponsoring the "Impact Teen Drivers" safety event, holding CHP events on distracted driving prevention, and holding yearly food drives for "Mama's Kitchen".
Rudi's main philosophy as a shop owner was to surround himself great people and treat them well, and to surround himself with the top business advisors and resources. This philosophy, along with his methods of marketing and delivering extraordinary customer service have made Rudi's success the topic of interviews, and given him a reputation that is second to none. In addition to speaking English, Rudi also speaks fluent German and Spanish.
As an independent contractor Rudi provides consulting services to our Spanish speaking clients, and is also the friendly voice on many of our MP3 downloads that are in Spanish. Rudi's industry expertise has become so highly regarded that he has been a key speaker at PAACE Automechanika Mexico; Mexico and Central America's most important automotive trade show. Rudi and his family live in San Diego, California.
It is an honor to have Ron Krapa, a past shop owner with 43 years of industry experience and 22 years of shop owner experience, as an Elite business development coach. Ron's first shop was a small one that did $22,200 in his first month as an owner. Using the Japanese principal of Kaizen, or continual improvement, as his guiding philosophy, he was able to increase his shop's annual revenue by 260% from the end of year one to the end of year five! Despite this dramatic improvement, Ron wasn't satisfied, and continued to grow until he was operating four AAA affiliated shops that employed a total of 27 people. Additionally, Ron started a towing company that began with only five employees, but soon grew to one with 23 employees. Not only was Ron extremely successful in the business world, but deeply cared (and still cares) about his community, and spent many years repairing vehicles for clients of women's shelters. Needless to say, Ron is an industry superstar.
While operating his shops, Ron was the winner of the SBA's Small Business Service Business of the Year Award, and was a AAA Top Shop Award winner. The Mission Statement of Ron's company was “We are Quality People doing a Quality Job which results in Customer Satisfaction", and without question, his mission was achieved. Ron works with Elite as an independent contractor, and lives with his wife, Chris, in Tucson, AZ.
By the time Greg reached his 23rd birthday, he had already completed his degree with Lincoln Technical Institute, become one of the first Master Certified technicians from NIASE (passed all eight tests three hours after his second son was born), become one of the go-to guys on early VW fuel injection systems and created a successful auto service facility that continues to this day. With a career approaching 40 years, he now has his A.A.M. degree from the Automotive Management Institute, maintains his Master Technician status and has added the L1 to his achievements. Since the early 80's Greg has participated continuously in training programs and feels he learns something from every experience. "Learning is a life-long process", he says.
As the owner of one of the more innovative Honda/Toyota repair facilities in the Washington DC metropolitan area, Greg has built his business on a solid foundation of core values and common sense. “Putting people before money” is one of Greg's core values, as evidenced by his decision to change the shop to a four-day only schedule in 1990. The staff has every Friday-Sunday off. The culture he's created is so ingrained in his business that his crew now handles the daily operations, which has allowed Greg to continue along his path of personal growth by helping other shop owners build more successful businesses as an independent contractor with Elite. Greg's success has positioned his shop to be recognized as one of the top shops in North America, and accordingly, his shop was featured in the industry-acclaimed Shop Owner magazine (Read the article Here).
As a natural teacher, he still volunteers as a Scout leader for local youths and loves to help people succeed. Greg and his wife, Carol, have two grown sons and enjoy spoiling their four grandkids; all living in or near Silver Spring, Maryland.
There is no question that Dean is the perfect example of what can be accomplished with clearly defined goals, and a commitment to ethics. Starting off as a technician, he's spent over 25 years as the owner of one of America's most successful transmission shops, which he has now expanded into satellite facilities.
Before joining Elite as an independent contractor, Dean mastered the art of recruiting the superstars, and developed an outside sales program that is second to none, industry wide. Dean has been a guest speaker at national conventions, has sat on the ATRA What's Working advisory panel (among others), and has been featured in Ratchet & Wrench, Gears magazine and Parts & People. In addition to operating his industry acclaimed AAA approved shop that has won multiple awards for 100% customer satisfaction, Dean has a successful torque converter company, and has created educational videos on torque converters and transmissions that now have nearly a million YouTube views!
Beyond his success in business, what makes us most proud is his most important business philosophy: "The culture of your company must be number one in order to have true success". He continually adheres to this principle with his work with Wounded Warriors, Navy Relief, and putting on classes at local high schools and colleges. A native of Carlsbad, CA, Dean is also a competitive race car driver, and currently lives with his wonderful family in Vista, CA.
Douglass Kirchdorfer is an industry leader who ran one of the most successful auto repair shops in America. In 1998, he and his wife Rebecca purchased what was to become Downing Street Garage, a six-bay facility that won numerous industry and business awards during the 14+ years they owned and operated the business. DSG has been voted among the top five AAA Approved Repair Shops in Colorado, has won the Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics from the Denver/Boulder Better Business Bureau, has won the International BBB Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics, and was also a winner of the coveted Colorado Ethics in Business Alliance Award. Additionally, Downing Street garage has been named as one of the top 10 shops in America by Motor Age Magazine in 4 times.
Douglass also served on the board of directors for the Colorado Automobile Service Association (ASA) for 10 years and was board president, was one of the founding members of the Denver chapter of the Napa Auto Care advisory board, the Delphi Tool Advisory Board, the Denver BBB Torch Award Selection Committee and served 4 years on the Mechanical Operations Committee of the national Automobile Service Association. He currently serves on the Grievance and Standards Committee of the Denver/Boulder Better Business Bureau, and on the Editorial Advisory Board of Ratchet and Wrench Magazine.
Douglass also was an ASE Master Technician with L-1, has his A.A.M. degree from the Automotive Management Institute (AMI), is a licensed A&P mechanic and enjoys restoring old cars; motorcycling; sailing; and helping shop owners improve their businesses.
Servando has decades of experience, and there is no question: he is an industry superstar. Starting his career with a small, struggling two-bay shop in Long Beach, California, today he owns three of the most successful shops in North America. He employs 15 of the industry's finest technicians and service advisors, and the reputation of his shops is second to none, industry wide. Servando is heavily involved with a number of local charities, he has spoken at industry events, and he has been interviewed by local press as well as a number of industry-acclaimed organizations.
Given that all of his shops are located in extremely competitive areas, Servando is a testimony to what can be done when one has clearly defined goals, a well crafted plan, and the right people on their team. In addition to providing us with business-building content for our audio training downloads in Spanish as an independent contractor, Servando plays a leading role in speaking at many of our Elite events, and in the ongoing development of our products and services. Servando and his wonderful family live in Long Beach, California.
TJ truly is a superstar with over 35 years of industry experience, and we are honored to have him work with Elite as an independent contractor. TJ started his business from scratch, and has the experience of being both a single store and multiple store operator. His team of superstars has been with him for decades, and his world-class AAA Approved Auto Repair Business has one of the industry’s highest customer retention rates.
TJ has earned the coveted AAM degree from the Automotive Management Institute, is a past-president of the Automotive Service Association of Oregon, and his shop was a 2016 finalist for the BBB Business of the Year Ethics Award. One of his greatest accomplishments is that he has been able to create a business that allows him to come and go as he pleases (and work less than 10 hours a week at his shop), which has enabled him to also serve as the President of the Oregon Small Business Association.
He is a featured columnist in the ASA's monthly magazine, Autoinc, where his column, "What would you do?", asks difficult ethical questions regarding customer service. He is heavily involved in his community, he supports a number of charities, and even ran for the Oregon State Senate. TJ and his wonderful family live in beautiful Clackamas, OR.
Our coach, Jim Piraino, has helped Bob and I take our business to the next level and further than we could have ever imagined in just 8 months. Our business has grown from 2 technicians to 4 and our car count has more than doubled. We look forward to our weekly calls with Jim and his encouragement and wisdom. The fact that Jim takes time from retirement and family to make a difference in our business makes Bob and I want to do more for others, to give back. His sense of humor turns a difficult week into a productive week and makes those difficult times not so difficult. We have built a personal relationship with Jim of trust and confidence. If he tells us to change something we implement it immediately and have always seen positive results. Thank you Jim!
Daniel Wisian, Tech One Automotive - Austin, TX
I wish I would have done this 15 years ago. Doug Stoll and Elite have helped me reach levels that I never thought were possible for my small shop. We started seeing positive results after about 2-3 coaching sessions with Doug, starting around the first week of January 2015.February is A short and normally below average month for us, but by the end of the month we had the best month in our 15 year history and its been that way every month since. We will end the year about 50 percent up from our best year ever.Our employees love working here now, and I get to spend more time with my family. Thanks Doug, and everyone at Elite for your help.
Jamie Dodd, Autosmith - Colorado Springs, CO
My husband and I have worked with Jim Piraino from Elite Worldwide for over a year. Jim has helped us understand our numbers, set achievable goals, given us solid advice on dealing with difficult situations and readily helped us whenever needed. With Jim's help we have almost reached our 5 year goal in 1 year, allowed me to come to work at our business full time and even given us the opportunity to take a much needed vacation. Jim has been a blessing to Autosmith and we appreciate all he, and Elite, have done for us.
Adam Liu had been a shop owner for 8 years, and while he had always run a good shop, he knew that it had more potential, and that there was something missing. He always had an entrepreneurial spirit, but felt that he might not be fully equipped as a shop owner to run the successful business he was striving for, and wanted to achieve a better understanding of his business and how to professionalize it on all levels. He was regularly stressed out and looking to establish a new mindset. Adam was also seeking a sounding board to bounce ideas off of.
Adam reached out to Elite and began working with his coach, Nerces Mavelian. Nerces, who runs three very successful shops in Dallas, TX, gave Adam an excellent example to follow, and together they started setting concrete goals that Adam soon began to hit regularly. Nerces also provided Adam with the Key Performance Indicators that were most critical to his success, and Adam began to look at his numbers differently. They worked together to hire a new service advisor to enable Adam to step away from the front line and spend more time working on the business. Nerces also provided the sounding board for ideas that Adam had been looking for, and helped Adam institute regular employee meetings to boost morale and ensure everyone on the team was on the same page.
Since joining the Coaching Program Adam says he’s made the transition from having a job to being a true business owner. The shop has gone from a 3-man crew to a team of 7, which has given Adam the ability take a step back, adjust his mindset and focus on growing the business. Not only have these changes lowered Adam’s stress levels considerably, but as a shop owner that truly cares about his customers, he’s proud that he’s now able to offer them more value. Adam has seen some amazing financial results as well, as his shop’s sales went from $550,000 in 2014, to $1,100,000 in 2015, to being on pace to reach $1,500,000 in 2016 (his shop did $143,000 in sales in January of 2016, up from $40,000 in January of 2015). His gross profit has tripled, and the future continues to look brighter and brighter for M-Spec Performance.
Thomas O'Kane Action Auto Repair
- Phoenix, AZ
Tom did not have any systems or policies in place at his shop, which led to a hectic work environment that had him constantly “flying by the seat of his pants." Every component of the business was dependent on Tom, and he had to spend the majority of his day working behind the counter and jumping in to help resolve issue after issue. This led to an extremely high level of stress for Tom when he was at the shop. Things were moving so quickly from minute to minute that he was unable to put written goals in place, or pay attention to the numbers of his business.
Tom and his coach, Kevin Vaught, worked together to put procedures and policies in place for every component of Tom's business to help him run the shop in a more efficient and calculated way (a marketing plan, job descriptions, standard operating manual, employee manual, etc.). Tom also hired a back office manager to help out with some of the administrative tasks that he previously had on his plate. He worked with Kevin to establish written goals, and they started monitoring the numbers of Tom's business closely.
Kevin's guidance, along with Tom's open mindedness and willingness to pull the trigger on tough decisions, generated some incredible results. After 9 months of implementing systems and policies for just about every component of Tom's shop, Tom saw a 32% increase in car counts, 155% increase in sales, and an impressive 150% increase in gross profit dollars. However, these financial results pale in comparison to the differences that Tom saw in his life. When Tom was recently asked what his stress level was now compared to when he began the Coaching Program when his stress levels were through the roof, Tom replied “I just don't have stress anymore." His business now runs smoothly and efficiently, he has considerably more free time, and he always has facts, figures and data in front of him to help him make decisions for his company.
Servando Orozco Orozco's Auto Service
- Long Beach, CA
Servando was running a small 2-bay shop in an extremely competitive area of Long Beach, CA. His shop did not have any systems in place, and he had no knowledge of the key performance indicators he needed to be hitting to be profitable. As a result, his shop was only doing about $35,000 a month in sales, and he was not making any money.
Servando's coach, Jim Piraino, helped Servando put proven systems in place for all facets of his business to help his shop run more smoothly and efficiently, and showed Servando the numbers that he needed to be hitting for his 2-bay shop to start making money. Jim also showed Servando how he could utilize Elite's grass roots marketing programs to start bringing in more customers in the most affordable and effective way.
Servando turned each financial benchmark into a written goal, and soon started hitting each and every one. He also embraced the grass roots marketing approach with open arms and became heavily involved in his community. Within 6 months his shop was generating $100,000 a month in sales, and he is now one of the most recognized faces in Long Beach. The progress he has made since joining the Elite family has been astounding, as he's gone from running a small 2-bay shop doing $35,000 a month in sales, to now running multiple shops that bring in a total of over $4,000,000 annually.
Ben Prickett Lake City Auto Care
- Hayden, ID
Ben Prickett became the owner of Lake City Transmissions & Muffler on April 1, 2014, and soon realized that there were major fluctuations in his business model, that he was told was the way it was and will always be. Ben didn't want to settle for mediocre results. He discovered that the margins were better in general repair, so made the big decision to transition into full repair in early 2015. However, he had never run a general repair shop, and needed info on the numbers he should be hitting along with the general best practices adhered to by successful shops. One of Ben’s shop owner friends was an Elite client, and recommended that Ben reach out to learn how Elite may be able to help.
Ben soon began working with coach Jim Piraino, and they were able to identify some problem areas that once corrected would quickly move Ben’s right direction. They discovered that Ben’s labor rate was too low, and that the shop was not generating enough billed labor hours, so implemented a new, thorough inspection process. Jim was also able to show Ben the Key Performance Indicators that his shop needed be reaching to be successful, and the shop started hitting it’s numbers regularly. Furthermore, they decided that the shop’s brand needed to be consistent with its new direction, so Ben changed the shop name from Lake City Transmission & Muffler into Lake City Auto Care.
After doing $207,000 in sales in Q1 of 2015, Ben set a goal of reaching $273,000 in Q1 of 2016. We’re proud to report that Ben didn’t merely reach his goal, but was able to exceed it by $90,000 to hit $363,000 in Q1, and is not only on pace to do $1,800,000 in sales in 2016 after doing $1,187,000 in 2015, but has a higher GP as well. More importantly than the impressive numbers, Ben says that everyone in the shop is feeling less stress, and Ben, his wife and his employees are all happier.
Jon Spohn Spohn’s Action Auto Service
- Minneapolis, MN
Jon's business was previously run by his father, so for years after taking over the managing of the business Jon had a bit of tunnel vision, and was running his shop the way it had always been run. He was also so involved in the day-to-day operations of his business that he had trouble taking a step back and focusing on growing his business. His shop had a great reputation in the community, so he was never short on car counts, but his business was not as profitable as Jon thought it could be.
Jon's coach, Doug Stoll, helped Jon question the way things had always been run at the shop, and start viewing his business, and particularly his shop's workflow, from a different perspective. Doug helped Jon realize that with additional staffing, and a more optimal tech/advisor ratio, his shop was capable of being far more productive. Jon immediately hired an additional tech, and they set up a system for ensuring that each tech was always properly supported by Jon's advisors, and that each customer was always handled in the optimal way.
Jon's business saw immediate improvement. In the very next month after joining the Elite Coaching Program, Jon's shop hit $100,000 in monthly sales for the first time in his shop's 39 year history. But Jon didn't stop once he reached this $100,000 mark, as his March 2014 sales were up to $140,000, compared to $72,000 in March of 2013 (before Jon teamed up with Doug). Jon is now setting time aside every week to step back from working in the daily operations of his business, and spend time with Doug working on reaching his goals.
The Call You've Been Waiting For...Is The One You Make To Us
Our hundreds of clients will tell you that because we never put money ahead of people, and are committed to elevating the industry, we will not take on a client unless we're 100% confident that we'll be able to help them build a more successful business.
This is why we offer our Shop Performance Review, during which one of the industry's top experts will...
Determine the true potential of your shop
Pinpoint areas of your shop where there’s room for growth or improvement
Give you professional recommendations to help you reach your shop’s goals
Listen to your challenges, and put your needs above all else
Regardless of whether or not we can provide the right solution for your shop, we'll make sure that you walk away from your Shop Performance Review with the understanding that you don't have to do it all alone, and have much more confidence in your shop's path to success.
Get started by calling 800-204-3548 or filling out the contact form below.