B&B Auto Repair: A 'One-Stop' Experience for CustomersPosted 7/17/2006
By J.B. "Jerry" Smith
"That sometimes elusive combination of proper business management, solid marketing and happy customers makes for a happy shop," Joel Baxter said.
B&B Auto Repair is a direct result of the Baxter brothers being automotive hobbyists in high school. Nathan said he began working at a local repair shop after high school, while brother Joel spent 10 years working in the grocery business. But the pair said people kept bringing vehicles to their homes for repair. In 1979, the concept of B&B was created when the two worked on fixing cars and trucks at home. In 1981, B&B Auto Repair became a reality when they purchased a service station and began full-service repair work. "We worked six days a week and every holiday but Christmas," Joel said.
"The service station had two small bays and we often worked outside," Nathan recalled. Added Joel, "We've learned a lot since our early days. We had no money, but we knew where we wanted to be, so we worked hard to get where we are today by building quality relationships, learning how to run a business, and being that one-stop shop for our customers."
In the training arena, the Baxters said that both management and technical training have been a major effort at B&B. "We do everything possible to encourage training, and we pay for all employee training programs, as well as ASE certifications," said Nathan. "We all attend technical training courses, and Nathan and I continuously attend management courses," Joel said, adding that he is an accredited automotive manager (AAM) and Nathan is working on his AAM designation.
Much of the Baxters' success is due to their longtime involvement in a Bottom Line Impact Group. That experience has been valuable to them and has helped them become successful business owners and managers. They also said that having their bookkeeper mother around for most of their years in business has kept them on track.
"We don't get away with much with Mom around," sighed Joel.
Industry involvement has been another key element in B&B's success over the years. "Chip Keen (the immediate past chairman of the board of ASA-Washington) got us involved in ASA by inviting us to meetings in 1991," said Joel. "We started networking with other shops, and attending technical and management training programs. We eventually formed the Olympic Peninsula ASA unit, and I have been an officer of the unit ever since. I also served as the Mechanical Division chairman for ASA-Washington in 2001, and during 2002-2003, I served as secretary of the state organization. Today, I am the national delegate representing ASA-Washington, and that has been a tremendous experience so far." Because of Joel's activism with local and state ASA affairs, the state organization named him its Outstanding Member of the Year in 1999.
For many years, Joel has been involved with support of local high school automotive programs and the Olympic College automotive technology program, and said he has served on several advisory councils. In 1994 he received the Outstanding Service Award for his service to local schools, and in 1999 he received the Award of Merit from the West Sound Technical Education Consortium for his longtime dedication to automotive education and for service as president of that group. In March, the Baxters hosted the regular meeting of the high school and college advisory councils at their shop.
Joel was also named the 2001 Industry Leader of the Year by the Northwest Automotive Boosters for his industry involvement, including his longtime dedication to the Industry Technicians Education Coalition (ITEC), a non-profit organization that creates and implements high-quality technical education training programs at colleges in the Northwest and across the country. He has been the president of ITEC for the past six years.
"It wasn't until the late 1990s that Nathan and I really learned how to run a business," said Joel Baxter. "We owe a lot to our friends at ASA, the Automotive Management Institute and the Bottom Line Impact Group. I can't express how much the classes, networking, and benefits of belonging to ASA have meant to us and our families. We stay with ASA for the same reasons we joined originally, but now we are going through the process with friends."
Shop StatsName: B&B Auto Repair
Location: Bremerton, Wash.
No. of employees: 6
No. of years in business: 25
Projected annual sales volume: $800,000 - $1.1 million
Web site: www.bnbautorepair.com
On what makes their shop successful: That sometimes elusive combination of proper business management, solid marketing and happy customers makes for a happy shop. - Joel Baxter
AutoInc. Web Site |
ASA Web Site |
Public and Private Focus on Vehicle Crash Deterrence Heightens |
AutoInc.'s 16th Annual Shop Management Software Guide |
What to Look for When Shopping for the Right Shop Management Software |
Implementing Customer Focused Advertising for Your Shop |
Blazing a Path to New Customers |
Guest Editorial |
Tech to Tech |
Tech Tips |
News Briefs |
Taking the Hill |
Around ASA |
Shop Profile |
Net Worth |
Stat Corner |
Copyright (c) 1996-2011. Automotive Service Association®. All rights reserved.