If you had to boil the secrets down to a simple adage, it may be this: Have a plan and execute it.
That was the essence of the presentation, “How to Succeed Without Size (Yet)” delivered by two successful automotive glass company leaders.
Troy Mason, founder and owner of TechnaGlass, and David Leach, chief operating officer for Don’s Mobile Glass/Wardrobe and Bath Specialties, dispensed lessons learned, food for thought and hard-earned wisdom at the Auto Glass Week™ session yesterday. And though they each had their own story to tell in the hour-long session, their common theme was twofold: take care of your people and focus on the customer.
“Your culture is a by-product of your actions,” Mason said. “Just take care of your customers.”
Part of that, he said, includes training your people—and picking the right ones to hire. Each of his technicians undergo a four-week training program and become certified (by the Automotive Glass Safety Council™) before they are placed in a store.
“This isn’t on-the-job training,” he said. “By the time they get to a store, they’re able to contribute. Make sure your people share your passion and your vision. They are your brand.”
Leach agreed, and added this tip: “Be difficult to get a job with.” And when it comes to customers, “do the right thing—even when you don’t want to.”
Both spoke to the importance of branding. Mason said it was something he learned “accidentally 25 years ago,” but it was a lesson he’s never forgotten and stressed the importance of being willing to invest in your brand. Leach noted that his company, based in Modesto, Calif., is now the city’s second most-recognized brand.
Leach attributed his company’s success to a willingness to constantly look at the industry with fresh eyes and being willing to “shift the paradigm as often as necessary. Agility is your key to life.”
“If everything you do succeeds,” Leach said, “you’re not trying hard enough.”
Part of trying, he said, was making mistakes and being willing to take that dare.
Above all, Leach said, “Don’t encumber your business with unnecessary bureaucracy. Fight the urge to complicate things.”
Auto Glass Week™ concludes today in San Antonio. Stay tuned to glassBYTEs.com™ for the latest from the event.