Chad Miller Auto Care
Photo courtesy Chad Miller Auto Care
SHOP: Chad Miller Auto Care LOCATION: San Antonio OWNER: Chad and Alyson Miller
SIZE: 6,000 square feet STAFF: 6 AVERAGE CAR COUNT: 285 ANNUAL REVENUE: $1 million (projected)
All of this really started 13 years ago when Chad Miller sat down with two technicians and talked about opening up a shop. Fast forward to June of 2014, when the opportunity to purchase a franchise location of a national repair chain came up. Miller and his wife, Alyson, decided to wait for the franchise agreement to run out before purchasing the shop and running it the way they wanted.
On Dec. 1, 2014, only five months after finding out about the shop, Chad Miller Auto Care was in business. The first phase of the renovation, which included new Rotary Lifts and an office facelift cost roughly $40,000. They have already seen a return with an increase in clients (the shops sees an average of 60 clients per week, up from 25) and ticket average over the franchise.
Miller has future plans to break ground on an additional expansion that will add five more service bays and approximately 2,000 square feet.
1) Miller says it was important to give the shop an entirely new look. The exterior of the shop was given a makeover with teal and orange paint and a new logo. The Millers are friends with a graphics artist who came up with a couple of logos in different color schemes. Once they agreed on a logo, they sent out different color combinations to friends and family who overwhelmingly picked this color combination
2) The floors of the lobby were ripped out and replaced with old barn wood to get away from the industrial feel of the gray tile that many auto shops have. The area is decorated with orange chairs and vintage car posters, one of which was given to them by a client who purchased it at a flea market with the shop in mind.
3) The lobby is full of charging stations, where waiting clients can plug in their devices and keep them charged. The shop also keeps Android and Apple chargers on hand for those who may not have theirs handy.
4) Another gift from a client is the vintage popcorn machine that decorates the lobby.
5) If hungry or thirsty, clients are free to help themselves to the complimentary drinks and snacks that are provided. Soda, water, apple cider, tea and juice boxes for the kids are all available, as well as a Keurig machine. The shop also provides shortbread cookies with orange and teal icing, courtesy of a partnership with a local baker.
6) Above the free snacks are pictures of the Miller family with the values of Chad Miller Auto Care mounted on them. The center picture has the entire Miller family in it.
7) When Miller told Alyson that 60–70 percent of the shop’s customers were women, she asked him if customers often brought their kids in. He said they did. A few days later, she had a changing table ready for him to install in the bathrooms.
8) When they moved in, the lifts were all left over from the 1990s. They were replaced with three 10,000-lb. and two 16,000-lb. Rotary Lifts.
9) There were many changes made when the Millers moved in, including scaling the parts room back by 300 square feet to open it up for more workable space on the main floor for tire repair, tire and wheel balancing and their brand new parts washer. The technicians (two of whom were the techs discussing the plan with Miller 13 years prior) convinced Miller that the high-pressure, high-temperature Ranger parts washer was a good investment. Instead of paying someone to clean parts, the parts can just be put in the washer for 45 minutes while they continue to work.
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