Running a Shop Solutions Education+Training Leadership Finance Operations Customer Service Strategy+Planning

Ratcheting Up Your Business

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Welcome to the first online issue of Ratchet+Wrench, your go-to source for strategies and inspiration to help your mechanical auto care business grow and thrive. 

We developed Ratchet+Wrench with you—the shop owner or manager—in mind. Our goal is to help you succeed in this rapidly evolving industry by providing you with the management tools you need to stay ahead.

Whether you run a small one-shop operation or a sprawling multi-store network, you’ll be able to turn to Ratchet+Wrench month after month to find ways to improve your business.

You’ll find that all of our content is based on real-world solutions to common challenges shop operators face each day. Our commitment to reader service shines through all of our content, from the feature stories to the strategy articles.

For our features, we track down the industry’s top shop operators, who share their stories of success and failure, of challenges overcome and their lessons learned. 

Our feature story on Brian Sump, who owns Avalon Motorsports in Denver, for example, shows how an atypical shop owner’s competitive drive and commitment to customer service helped him build an industry-leading facility. You’ll find a story focused on an issue many longtime shop operators are grappling with right now: the transition of ownership. John Modesti, owner of Modesti’s Car Care Center in Culver City, Calif., had a hard time handing his business to son Nick Modesti after 40 years at the helm, but the two ended up making the business much stronger through the succession process. In our case study, we explore how Brent Wells, owner of a two-shop Colorado operation called Autotailor, managed to expand his business while dealing with the departure of a critical service advisor.

The Toolbox section provides rotating coverage of topics in eight key areas: finance and operations, sales and marketing, customer service, leadership, human resources, education and training, law, and tech and tools. In this issue, you’ll find strategies on how to lead through coaching and how to handle comeback customers. The last story in the Toolbox section each month is Repair Life, in which a shop owner or manager details the way he or she works and thinks about the business day-to-day. Repair Life gives shop operators spanning the country a chance to share and learn best practices for running a repair center.

We will also feature a shop owner or manager’s classic, custom or unique vehicle each month, as well as a stand-out shop space in Shop View, and a wealth of other valuable content.

We want to know what you think of the new publication, so don’t be shy about sharing your feedback on any section of the magazine. Feel free to post comments to online stories or send comments to We’ll use your input to make our content the best it can be, so you can do the same with your business.

Jake Weyer

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