When you think of the various companies you do business with on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, rarely do you get to see, hear, or even ask for the owner in case something comes up. That something could be positive or negative, but it’s not always possible to chat with on-site ownership.
Whether it’s the grocery store, department store, hardware store, or even gas station, the concept of on-site ownership in 2021 is fairly rare. Or, at least there’s not the resurgence of on-site, locally owned and operated businesses like there was in the post-WW2 area.
Put that to the side for a moment. The idea of an “old fashioned, honest, trustworthy business” is also fading in an industry where too many “cheat” customers out of a few “short-term” dollars. In our mind, that’s just not fair and that’s the sort of karma that comes back around; no questions asked.
You might be asking yourself, why does that matter with this blog article or how does it relate to Jim and Kelly Huard, who own and operate Painter’s Collision Centers. Valid question, so let’s dive into it.
Jim and Kelly both come from very decorated careers, where they helped propel the businesses they worked for forward. And, in very big ways on their own accords. Naturally, over their careers, they’ve learned a thing or two and when the time presented itself for them to own a business together, as business partners and husband-and-wife, they jumped.
Jim spent his entire career working for nationally recognized body shop brands throughout Southern California. From working in his father’s shop years ago to running districts and regions, Jim understands the body shop space forward and backwards. It’s always been his passion.
Kelly wasn’t raised inside a body shop, but in the financial world. So, naturally, her focus at Painter’s is on making sure anything touching the businesses financials are carefully looked after. Because there’s too many times a good body shop goes out of business (for one reason or another), Kelly’s role is equally as critical to the shop’s long-term success as ensuring it operates (front and back of house) smoothly.
Because they’re natural skills complement each other so nicely, watching them work is like watching a world-class orchestra take the audience on a journey with beautiful music.
There’s also one thing you should know… Painter’s is locally owned and operated. Jim and Kelly live in the same community they serve. It’s that simple. You’ve probably seen them buy groceries or pump gas. Their idea of owning a business means if something happens, they’re already there to handle it. And, if for whatever reason, they aren’t there, they’re a quick phone call away (worst case scenario).
Jim and Kelly also believe in classic, good-old-fashioned American values. They operate a body shop, why does that even matter? Easy.
In a business–the broader auto repair industry–where too many cheats exist, they stand out as an operation that’s honest. It doesn’t matter what it is, Jim and Kelly go out of their way to ensure they’re standing in the community and industry is far beyond reproach.
When it comes to communication, it’s the same thing… they want to make sure you’re fully onboard with what needs to happen to repair your vehicle… and repair it properly. If they’re going to budge on anything, it’ll be where they buy their pens and pencils from and NOT on how your car is repaired. They’re going to repair YOUR car like they’re going to let THEIR kids drive it.
Read that last sentence again out loud. Now, let it sink in. That’s the kind of business they run. If it’s not good enough for them, they’re certainly not going to let me be good enough for you.
One last point on communication. If they told you your car will be ready on Tuesday, then Tuesday it is. Unless it’s something out of their control, plan for Tuesday. Their word is their bond. It’s that simple.
Said another way, “classic, gold-old-fashioned American values” just means they’re easy to deal with. They mean what they say and they say what they mean. Easy. Simple. No fluff, just honest business.
Think of it like this: if they (Jim and Kelly) could do business on a handshake, they would. But, the lawyers told them otherwise.
Give the shop a call and see for yourself.