Amanda Gilbert of Christian Brothers Automotive has a passion for finding the best mechanics. She scours agencies, newspapers, and has connections at local colleges, all in an effort to deliver the best quality to her customers. (Heck, if you are a mechanic or want to find one a job, you would be doing them a favor if you gave them her number!)
So if you want an oil change, tune-up, or other vehicle service at a place that will literally treat your vehicle better than you do yourself, stick around for this #Business #Success Interview and then give Amanda a call. You will not regret it!
What three words best describe you?
Driven, Caring and Fair.
[pullquote]The better I become at business, the better I become on a personal level as well.[/pullquote]
What motivates you to succeed?
Having a healthy self-worth. By being successful I feel better about myself. The better I become at business, the better I become on a personal level as well.
What habits help keep you successful?
Being organized would be my number one habit. Being determined is another. I have been through a lot of traumatic experiences. I found having the perseverance and determination has brought me through it all.
How have you developed key partnerships?
A lot of networking, Powercore, getting involved with the local community.
[pullquote]Others would say they will, but we follow through.[/pullquote]
What is one thing you find true in business that other people may disagree with?
We are a faith based company. We follow the motto “do unto others”, so I will go way beyond to make it right for the customer. Others would say they will, but we follow through.
How did you make your first sale happen?
My first sale was in Texas at the franchise where I trained. I had to rely on past experiences as well as the training I was following to make those first sales.
What was the major turning point for your company where it became profitable?
I started this company in Houston and moved it out here so I would say it took about 6 months to be profitable. During that time, there were a lot of changes in personnel and that is when we began to see a change in profits.
How do you overcome the moments of doubt that stop most entrepreneurs from becoming successful?
I use 2 things to work through it. My husband and I talk business a lot and I have a business coach. When you start a Christian Brother’s franchise, you are given a coach who has a lot of prior experience to draw from for extra support.
[pullquote]Every single customer that walks in the door knows someone.[/pullquote]
How do you identify business opportunities as they come along and determine which ones are worth your time?
I think they are all worth my time. Every single customer that walks in the door knows someone.
How do you define success in business?
I am money driven, not everyone is in this business. I am competitive. I love the numbers. Fortunately for me the stores do competitions and that makes it exciting. I have a team and competition keeps us motivated. Time is too precious and you need to feel content and happy doing what you do.
How have you achieved it with your company?
I stay focused on the things I feel are important. By bringing everything together, I create a relationship with the customer. That is what brings me the level of success I want to achieve.
To what do you most attribute your company’s success?
I would say everything its built on; the sincerity, honesty and the ethical way we act with our customers.
What would you say are 3-5 key elements to running a successful business?
Being able to wear many hats and be organized when you do it. Follow through, stay focused and have goals that you complete. Make your decisions for all the right reasons. I have had to terminate people but they come back and say I was fair and honest; you must have that to be successful.
[pullquote]Be good to your people and treat them well no matter how big you get.[/pullquote]
What do you think contributes the most to a company’s long-term success?
Never losing sight of the real importance of your goal. Whatever your mission statement or purpose, be sure to stay focused. Be good to your people and treat them well no matter how big you get.
How important have your employees been to your success?
Without them, I wouldn’t even be here. I may have certifications in lots of things, but I cannot do it all myself. I rely on my employees to do what I can’t do.
How do you find people to bring on as employees that care for the organization the way you do?
We get very creative over all. We have one office that specializes in recruiting people. The top-quality people aren’t out looking for jobs, you must go looking for them.
How do you motivate employees to stay with your company?
I have some great people. You have to make your people feel worthy. Knowing what is important to your employees is the key factor. Make sure they are happy.
I give them what they value. Anyone can give more money, but knowing your people gives them value. Know what that person wants and focus on that; it’s going to pay off.
How do you go about marketing your company?
Right now, it’s networking. Being a woman in a male dominated field I try to focus on the woman. I have done stuff for women’s history month and Fayette women in July. Trying to keep it automotive but focusing on the woman at the same time.
What is your most effective form of marketing?
The local ad has been good for me. I was hesitant at first, but was glad I did because it paid off. They came to me and wanted to write an article; people still remember. I have done radio and it was good too.
[pullquote]It hasn’t been just one thing.[/pullquote]
What has been you most effective way of acquiring new clients?
It’s been a bit of everything. The majority has been repeat customers. It hasn’t been just one thing.
What has been your biggest business mistake?
I trusted too many people too easily. Even people you know you need to be careful. I wanted to believe I could trust anyone in business. I would tell anyone you can’t be too cautious.
How did you handle it and what did you learn?
I handled it by buckling down doing what I felt was necessary at the time. I pushed through it and picked myself up and moved forward.
What has been your biggest success, and how did you contribute to it?
The biggest success was buying a company and seeing it become successful after all the struggles and hardships
What is something you want people to know about your company that they don’t already and cannot find out from your website?
We do everything for automotive, more than a dealership. We don’t specialize in one like most dealerships; we do all the makes and models. We have all the equipment and capabilities to handle it.
[pullquote]Try to find a balance with life and work.[/pullquote]
If you could travel back to the first day of this company and have 15 minutes with your younger self, what advice would you want to give?
Try to find a balance with life and work. You don’t want to wear yourself down till you feel guilty that you are spending more time with work than family. Plan for that so nothing consumes you. Keep that balance in check.
Sitting down with Amanda was a real pleasure and I appreciate the time she took for this interview. To contact Amanda and find out more information about getting your car serviced or her hiring requirements please give her a call at (678) 423-3144 or visit her website ChristianBrothersAuto.com/FischerCrossings.