2021 Ratchet+Wrench All-Star Awards: Jeffrey Roy
SHOP STATS: Primary Auto Care Location: Warwick, R.I. Owner: Jeffrey Roy Average Car Count: 96 Shop Size: 5,000 square feet Number of Lifts/Bays: 7 Average Monthly Car Count: 96 ARO: $555 Annual Revenue: $668,000
When Jeffrey Roy looks back at his time as a shop owner, he sees success but he sees much more failure—the worst of which came in November 2016.
Struggling to make ends meet as construction forced him out of his building and into a temporary location, months went by without Roy ever making enough to pay himself. It got so bad that he had to borrow money from his wife to make payroll.
“That was one of the worst days of my life,” he says. “I told myself, ‘Never again.”’
That was the turning point. From there he transitioned the shop from mainly a tire sales and service business into a full general repair shop, known today as Primary Auto Care in Warwick, R.I. Roy joined Facebook groups, hired professional coaching companies and taught himself, motivated to never return to that low point.
Since that point, the shop has gone from the brink of closing to thriving and expanding. Roy bought out the entire building his shop is located in, doubling his shop space and staff in the process, and increased revenue exponentially.
But what makes Roy a runner-up for Ratchet+Wrench All-Star Award is not his personal journey. Nominations for Roy were filled with personal stories from other shop owners praising the positive impact he’s had on their own businesses. Roy was in their shoes. Now he does everything he can to make sure they succeed like he did.
“I know what it’s like to be good at your craft, fixing cars and then you get slapped in the face when you decide to open a business,” he says. “So, anything I know, I’ll teach anybody. Whatever it takes to help them so they can have the life they want to enjoy.”
Roy hosted one-on-one webinars with struggling shop owners during COVID and he’s personally brought owners into his shop to walk them through his exact systems and processes. He’s partnered with Snap-on for an in-person seminar to educate on software and diagnostic tools. He’s set up webinars with other industry experts for his Facebook groups. He’s flown to New Jersey to help a struggling shop owner, and spent hours on the phone with countless others. All for free.
Often, the biggest thing that Roy is trying to accomplish with other shop owners is a change in mindset. That’s what Roy felt he lacked and what caused the business to suffer. Believing in himself and that good things are going to happen were keys for him and he tries to get that across to others.
“It’s really hard to do when you’re down and out, but once you start thinking properly everything changes. It just starts falling into place and it’s hard to explain but I get goosebumps right now just thinking about it,” Roy says.
Recently, after one of his good friends who owns a shop just 3.5 miles away abruptly lost his lead technician, Roy stepped in to help. The duo then decided to go in on the business together. The shop has rebounded since.
“I was so eager to go to that location, to take my systems with me, and see if it was a fluke or if it works—and believe me it works,” he says.
Seeing that success has ignited a passion to grow. Roy, currently 54, wants to push his company to expand quickly until he’s 60, then he wants to take his best people and promote them as managing partners of the stores as he steps away.
“I struggled all my life and my portofolio isn’t as full as I’d like it to be. I’m ready to see what we can do,” he says.