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Missouri Shop Owner Believes Long-Term Plan Essential for SuccessPosted 8/8/2007
Terry Hyden opened U.S. Automotive Inc. in Springfield, Mo., in November 1986 with two employees, 3,200 square feet of floor space and eight service bays.
Today, he has two shops with 22,870 square feet of floor space, a total of 30 service bays (all with lifts), 12 employees and sales revenue projections of $2.3 million. He added the second shop, in Nixa, Mo., in October 2006.
"It's not simply, you open it and they will come," says Hyden. "U.S. Automotive's success has been driven by a plan and commitment to do things right by our employees, our clients and our industry."
U.S. Automotive realized that the industry is a tough, competitive business. Early on, Hyden decided that if his shop were to survive, there had to be continued investment. The investments had to be made in people, equipment and the industry.
In addition to the training, U.S. Automotive believes in hiring the best people possible and to do this, there is an investment to be made. The firm is a leader in southwest Missouri's automotive service industry in that it provides its employees with a benefits package.
The company also tries to create an environment where the employees can achieve success along with U.S. Automotive. Hyden believes the technician's environment must be efficient, orderly and safe. He also sees to it that employees have the resources available to address everything from an oil change to the most extensive repair job with confidence.
Industry involvement makes up the third piece of investment success. It was through his involvement in the Automotive Service Association that Hyden met Alan Quackenbush and brought him into U.S. Automotive to be the manager of the Nixa shop.
Both Hyden and Quackenbush believe strongly in the value of ASA and have devoted time on both the local and national levels. ASA provides networking opportunities, educational opportunities and an industry overview. Both men believe that continued involvement in the association helps shops to raise the accepted standard of service to clients, which in the end will lead to a strong client relationship, positive community credentials and the ability to realize the proper service charge for the shops' expertise.
ASA involvement has provided a strong foundation for the quality customer service that U.S. Automotive provides. "We just believe in treating our customers right," said Quackenbush. "Doing the right things and knowing what our clients need to make their visits to us convenient and stress free leads our clients to invest in us and ultimately be a client for life."
Both Hyden and Quackenbush practice what they preach to their technicians, both have had a life-long involvement with the automotive service industry and both are ASE-certified technicians.
What's ahead for U.S. Automotive? Hyden and Quackenbush will continue to plan, set achievable goals and continue to invest - in people, equipment and the
industry. "You have to have long-term vision if you want to be successful in this industry. By continuing to plan our work and work our plan, we'll continue to grow and succeed," concludes Hyden.
Shop StatsName: U.S. Automotive Inc.
Locations: 1753 SW Bypass, Springfield, Mo. (main store); 1830 N. Deffer Dr., Nixa, Mo.
No. of Employees: 7 in Springfield, 5 in Nixa
Repairs per Week: About 75 in Springfield; 45 to 50 in Nixa
Web Site: www.usautomotiveinc.com
Projected annual sales: $1.6 million, Springfield; $750,000, Nixa
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