SHOP STATS: Scott's Auto Center Location: Cummings, Ga. Owner: Scott Muse Staff Size: 15 Shop Size: 13,800 square feet Annual Revenue: $3.6 million (2021)
Molded by experience
When Scott Muse put his life savings down to purchase a corner lot of land in Cummings, Ga., in 2006, he committed to making sure the building fit the business exactly how he wanted. At first, that meant building a wide 10-bay facility from scratch with ample room for technicians to work. Coming from a technician background, he knew the impact space could have on a tech’s productivity. But quickly, he realized the space had room for much more capacity with room to spare.
He added another nine bays in a second 3,500-square-foot structure behind the original 10,000-square-foot building. He also changed the orientation of all the lifts, moving them at a 45-degree diagonal, which added space for several more lifts in each building. That has been the building blocks of success that led the company to do $3.6 million in revenue out of the single location last year.
“I started first thinking like a mechanic, but realized pretty quickly there was more space I could utilize and profit from,” Muse says.
Adding unique flare
In keeping with the theme of making the shop his own, Muse has added several unique touches to the shop over the years. One of the first was a putting green in the front parking lot, in hopes of keeping adults and children entertained while the vehicle was being repaired or receiving maintenance. The shop has a bucket of balls and several putters that customers can use to pass the time. The lobby also has a large saltwater tank with an eel and other fish. Muse will even bring in his two parrots, Aruba and Jamaica, from time to time. All are hits among customers.
“We just want everyone to have a good time while they’re here, make them feel comfortable,” Muse says.
For several years, Muse’s father also ran a one-man barber shop in one of the side rooms that customers could use. Muse’s father retired from the gig about five years ago at the age of 85 and passed away just before Christmas last year at the age of 90. Now Muse rents out the space to a wine tasting company.
Open and clean
For more than nine months of the year, all the bay doors are open as techs flow from bay to bay. Each tech has two bays they are responsible for, but the atmosphere is very family-like as they mingle with co-workers.
The lobby is regularly maintained, the floors are stripped down, cleaned and buffed monthly and techs are responsible for cleaning their spaces every night. The lobby is a natural extension of that, providing a home-y atmosphere.
“Generally when someone goes into a nice place and it’s clean, especially the bathroom, it says a lot about the shop,” Muse says.