Growth Essentials

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In business, growth comes in many forms.  It can mean a larger revenue stream, a bigger facility, added staff or services, and so on.

In this month’s cover story, “Know How to Grow,” we hone in on three different growth strategies from three shop owners. What all of them share, though, is the ability to step back from the daily grind to establish a vision for their business and a plan to accomplish their goals.

One of the featured shop owners, Dave Dupont of Dupont’s Service Center Inc. in Dover, N.H., explains that having that vision is an essential first step for any owner who wants to improve. Dupont, who runs two shops and is looking for a third, says there’s always risk in growth, but an owner with a solid vision makes the reward worth it. 

“If you have everything planned out efficiently, and you have a good vision for what you’re doing and good people to do it, then it takes a lot of that [risk] out of it,” Dupont says.

Before shop operators can get to that point, though, they need to recognize their role and ensure they are in a position to lead their staff to growth. Leadership and vision go hand-in-hand. You can’t have one without the other. For a long time, our new columnist, Joe Marconi, didn’t recognize this.

In the first of Marconi’s monthly “Straight Talk” columns, he recalls his early days as a shop owner and how his struggles to be a true leader thwarted his shop’s growth. It wasn’t until he put away his tools and started devoting time to developing employees and honing his business skills that things started to change.

“The more I concentrated on making others around me better, the more we grew as a company,” Marconi says.

We are excited to have Marconi, owner of Osceola Garage in Baldwin Place, N.Y., business coach for Elite Worldwide, and co-founder of Auto Shop Owner ( on our team. He brings with him more than three decades of industry experience, a true passion for the auto repair business and an honest, no-nonsense approach to helping shops get better. I hope his columns, and the rest of our content, help you lead your shop and accomplish your own growth goals, regardless of what phase your business is in.

And if you have your own growth story to share, shoot me an email. We might feature your shop in a future issue.

Jake Weyer

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