In the entire history of transmission repair, few center owners have started out better prepared for building a successful business than Doug and Mary Scott, the new owners of the Cottman of Independence, Missouri.

To begin with, the Scotts already own one center in Gladstone, Missouri, a center they turned from marginally adequate into an extremely successful one. “The Independence center’s financials almost mirrored my other center when I first took over,” explains Doug Scott. “We’ve increased sales at that first center by 46% in the last three years.”

Local Transmission Service Shop

But just because they managed to turn a single center around doesn’t mean the Scotts were willing to sit back on their laurels and expect the second center to flourish. They knew up front that owning and operating a second center brought with it some very different challenges. “We have our work cut out for us to rebuild the center’s reputation,” says Doug.

Before they opened the doors to their new center, Doug visited with Jim Dietvorst, the owner of two extremely successful centers in Denver and Wheat Ridge, Colorado. Dietvorst is highly regarded throughout the Cottman franchise, and his centers were profiled in the January/February 2015 issue of GEARS Magazine.

Doug spent a few days in Colorado, reviewing the two centers and discussing the challenges that Dietvorst faced when he opened his second location. That gave Doug a “look behind the curtain,” to help prepare him for the pitfalls that come with operating multiple centers.

Probably the most important goal in the Scott’s new business plan is a three-tiered approach to operating a successful auto repair center: provide terrific service, deliver exceptional diagnosis and repair, and offer it all for a fair and honest price. It’s an approach that we’d like to be able to expect from every service company we deal with.

One of their first steps toward that goal involves rebuilding and reinvigorating his staff: “As with most businesses, the key to success is to hire good people,” says Mary Scott. “Give them the tools and equipment they need to work with and allow them to do their jobs. That’s what I’m intent on doing.”

Auto Repair Center in Independence, MO

They have also already begun work on the Cottman of Independence, MO center to improve its appearance and curb appeal. “The center has been using the same signage for the last 20 years,” Doug said. “It needs a new, fresh, updated look. We’re planning on doing that. And we’re renovating the office and waiting room. Customers want to see a nice, clean waiting room and center. It lets them know that we’re serious about providing them with a professional business experience.”

No doubt about it: the Scotts have done their research and prepared a business model we’d all be happy to deal with, and one designed to serve their customers at a level that’s sure to be well received in their community.