Getting ready for Thanksgiving involved a slow week at the Garage. A small business lives and dies by the ups and downs of the normal cycle of business. We were cash poor for the short term but we had enjoyed the full 6 months before of extraordinary business. Customer arrived at our doors each day and even took the time to go online, write notes and bring gifts of food and treats. We are treated like heroes by many of our customers. Some care enough they call us for help even when it’s not the vehicles.
Our little business started by Marvin and Annie Mae Wilson has sustained the Lasley family for 29 years. First Roberta started working and raising Jim and Paul. We were able to provide for the Lasley’s and the Wilson’s until they both passed on. Our family business was joined by Rowena and James Gilstrap when the second Lasley boy was born. Roberta and Rowena go just about every day getting supplies and tires and enjoying life as a small business owner.
Wilson’s has enjoyed helping the community by having a majority of is owners and staff volunteering for Vienna Fire department. All the Lasley’s are members as well as Richard Lewis. This does not come without some hardship. Leaving on a call is very hard when promising to have a customers vehicle repaired. Poor Roberta or the guy that has the oil filter off will stay and get the customer going again.
The years have flown and Jim has come to work Full-time. Jim Lasley has grown up first as an infant and raised by Roberta and community. Jim graduated from Reagan High and Forsyth Tech and has made the work of Auto Mechanic his vocation. Jim has dated and married Victoria. Wilson’s is blessed to have Jim and Victoria living and working in Vienna. We are pleased to see Wilson’s entering into another generation of service to the Vienna community.
No matter the ups and down of our economy the Lasley’s and especially Tim Lasley have a tremendous amount to be thankful for. Roberta, Jim Paul, Victoria, Little in -vetro Lasley, Mom and Brother Brian and Annette n Family, Kathy and Walter and Family . A magnificent Church family of Brookstown Methodist ,Bethlehem AME Zion, and Olivet Moravian. A Strong Community of Vienna and Double blessed by Scouting.
I have to also include our network of friends both in the community and on social media. Friends comprise most of the customers of the little business. Men usually make ‘few real true friends and I have been blessed with many. So Thanksgiving really isn’t about what I have as much as what I can do and serve. I am blessed to be able to do and teach and serve.
Everyday potential customers call or just show up at my Auto Repair shop with parts and a story. Today was no different. 5 either called and asked to get a phone diagnostic and provide parts “Just to make it Easier on ME” or brought the part from Major retailers. Two wanted to bring the parts so the bill would not be so High!. Hello… This is a business that needs to make money on parts and labor. We also provide a tremendous Nationwide Warranty and Roadside assistance when Tim or Jim or Roberta or Richard OR Billy cannot possibly help you.
In some special situations we allow the customer to supply the needed part. We will try our hardest to make the repair process as painless as possible. We stand by our warranties and will stretch the mileage or time if “Fairness” of either is an issue. ACDELCO will provide the Roadside assistance even with a competitor part. Price of Services is what we have refined for 40 years. Rising cost of living and parts have caused a rising labor rate since the 1970’s.
Today’s technician is required to train and learn continuously. Computer guided systems and complex issues require purchase of the needed Management System and Data Information from each manufacturer. Just to keep the doors OPEN much less up to date on the modern automobile have pushed Owners and Technicians into owning Thousands or Hundreds of Thousands of dollars of equipment and tools.
Stop at any parts store and they will sell you a part!. Thats their job. Ask the opinion and you will get as many as stars in the sky. Or parts in the Store…Go to the Internet and type in your make an model. Death and destruction have come and gone riding your vehicle. Get a Youtube video and strike out into my world. Disable the only ride you have and need that other part or God Forbid you were sold the wrong part… “OH I guess it does have Air?”…. Vehicles change mid year and even skip years.
Simple jobs now need to tell the computer they are done. All drivability needs to interface the computer. Light bulbs still burn out… Even led’s…Today’s customer is Beta testing their New Ride. Vehicles are 11 years old AVERAGE. Stuff will wear out. Do what you can but don’t be surprised if what you got sold is not what you really needed. WE CAN FIX IT!
Call and ask. Come in and get a diagnostic. Drop it off and wait for the call. Just remember I Sell Time and Parts for a living. Learning is a hidden cost and must be repaid. We will fix almost all problems presented to us. Some we cannot.
TIME, QUALITY, COST… SOME SAY PICK 2… I SAY ALL THREE COME IN THE FORMULA FOR AUTO REPAIR. JUST BE CAREFUL YOU ARE GETTING WHAT YOU PAID FOR!
For the past 30 years I have been a member of IGONC. Mr Wilson was not a joiner so although we knew about IGO we never joined and benefitted from the group. I have attended conventions by closing for the week. My whole family has attended and grown up in the IGO. Our convention is now the ASTE trade show and IGONC convention. This year we Sold out the Trade Show, Sold out the Room book, Packed the rooms for classes and in a special report had over 150 in attendance for the OEM Information update by Chris Chesney.
Independant is First in the name of our organization. All mechanics and owners are very independent. Building a business based on the needs of our customers is tough. We were branded grease monkeys. Dullards were put in Auto Shop in High school to get them through. THINGS HAVE CHANGED!
Transportation is critical to the very infrastructure of our nation. Over 70% of vehicle owners would rather have an Independent mechanic service their automobiles. Trust is a key component. Competence is expected with perfection close at hand. The vehicle platform is complex and going to get even more as the years go by. Safety systems can take control of the vehicle and autonomous vehicle are logging thousands of miles today.
Our industry is grey. Lots of OLD GUYS are the current programmers and subscription members to the OEM’s. Manufacturing and other lower tech work is paying more than Auto Repair. Vehicles are more complicated and there are fewer service intervals. Sounds like just what was being said when I got involved in 1975.
If you missed our ASTE convention you missed out. Great social atmosphere, Great Information, Great tools, and a good kick in the Pants. If My Shop is the Best- Why do I let customers go other places?…. My Goal for this coming Year- Advertise Greatness, Prepare for New Customers, Work our Ass off to be the Best Automotive Repair Shop period.
Thanks to the Best customers and Friends ever along with Magnificent Employees
Thanks Tim and Roberta Lasley, Jim and Victoria Lasley, Richard and Sandy Lewis, Billy and Jennifer Green, Paul and Connor. JoJo and Patches
100% is all you have. Sports talks about 110% . I have seen 150 or 200% in emergencies and special situations. I try to put my all into everything I am a part of. Over the Years the stuff has grown and compounded. Family x 3, Church, Business, Community, and physical self and Fun…
I have been involved, committed and an integral part of Fire and Rescue, Automotive repair, Church life , and community since I was a Youth. I have sat in on meetings, been a lively part,and lead those meetings. Together we have kept the organizations managed, motivated, and liquid. Fund raising has been a tremendous part of many of these organizations history. I have sold nearly everything imaginable. Food has been the best because we all EAT 3 times a Day…
Roberta has been committed since we started dating. I tricked her into marrying me. I failed to tell her she would work in a garage, become an EMT, and Boy Scout leader, Serve Thousands of Meals to everyone imaginable, and live with the Lasley boys… Her smile is ever present. Her magnificent attitude causes others to help when asked. Roberta is the spark plug behind all things Lasley at 6355 and 6395…
Roberta began putting together our “How did we do that?” manuals. Grocery lists, main helpers, food quantities and turnouts. We can now come up with an idea, find out quantities, who to serve and how long it took for logistics and setup/cleanup. She of course is helped by Mom Rowena. They are most important to my Family and my sanity. We are a Family when we all get together. Vienna knows when we are away.
Love you Berta… Thanks
I spent the best part of the day attending an IGONC Board meeting.
The Independent Garage Owners of North Carolina (IGONC) was established by a group of dedicated garage owners in August of 1959 to help members deal with the many challenges that face owner-operators of independent garages in the State of North Carolina. (igonc.com)
2017 is no different. Owners and Technicians need the group support available to over 400 shops in NC. The IGONC family has an Executive Director and Executive assistant working everyday to find discounts, legislative assistance, and preparing for the ASTESHOW.com. We gather in the Fall and have a Trade Show, Nationally recognized speakers and trainers, and group interdynamics.
Mark Your Calendars!
September 29-30th, 2017 is a must attend date as IGO presents ASTE 2017. Shop owners, service advisors & technicians will be able to take part in the largest automotive aftermarket event held in the Carolinas. This event has some of the nation’s top trainers delivering cutting edge information at a price that one would expect to pay for one seminar.
- Automotive Tradeshow on Saturday
- 2 Days Full of High Tech Automotive Training
- 16 Management & Technical Seminar
I am a committed member trying to share my success and make the Auto repair industry better. My 2 Sons are entering the business and I want them to enjoy the great collaboration I had through the Years.
Electronics and Technology have helped but also create issues on their own, How to Get and keep customers, How to get and keep Technicians, and Why can I not pay my Bills… I have been Busy ?
Our Website IGONC.Com, and ASTESHOW.com are Loaded with information and can help Owners, Service Advisors, and Technicians. WE also Have a Facebook Page.
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