When Nolan and I took the reins from our dad after his retirement, we figured it would be a seamless transition.We’ve spent our lives in the shops, after all, and assumed we’d learned everything there was to know about running them. It wasn’t until Dad stepped away that we understood all the little things he did to make Brown’s Automotive a success. You see, Dad handled a lot of the stuff that you might call “invisible.” From his office at the Los Ranchos location, he worked on insurance, benefits, and other initiatives.This was the part of the gig he did largely on his own, and it was also the part that Nolan and I had very little experience with. When Dad retired, that responsibility fell on us. So I spent a lot of this winter holed up in that office trying to figure out how to do this stuff for the first time. Just like you never really know what’s going on with an engine until you pop the hood and get under there, you don’t understand how benefits work until you’ve tried to set them up for yourself. It took a little longer than I expected, but it was important that I did my absolute best. Hopefully, in coming years, I’ll have the process a little more streamlined. This story is just one example of the “learning by doing” that Nolan and I have been taking on in recent months. It’s amazing how you don’t notice all the little things somebody does until they are no longer there to do them. As a result of the transition, I’ve gained so much respect and appreciation for the way our dad operated as a businessman.We “As a result of the transition, I’ve gained so much respect and appreciation for the way our dad operated as a businessman. We always knew that he treated customers like family and was an ace at fixing cars, but we didn’t realize just how much he did to make Brown’s Automotive successful.” Learning the Ropes How Nolan and I Are Putting Our Stamp on Brown’s Automotive
always knew that he treated customers like family and was an ace at fixing cars, but we didn’t realize just how much he did to make Brown’s Automotive successful. In honor of Dad’s constant passion for providing the best to his employees and customers, we’ve been looking at new ideas to implement at the shops. One that I’m excited for is our new training system. I want to create an atmosphere of continuous learning among our teams. Not only do we need to keep up with all the changes in the industry but we also need to ensure that our fundamental skills never lag.That’s why we want to have regular training and education sessions with experts. Heaven knows I’ve been doing my fair share of around-the-clock learning, and it’s been hugely beneficial. I think providing our folks with the tools and knowledge they need to do their best work will make both them and our customers happier than ever. Spending so much time working on back-end operations forced Nolan and me to consider hiring somebody to give Brad a hand at our original location.We found that person in Leslie, who is just awesome, by the way. She comes with a wealth of experience and will be an awesome addition to our team. Be sure to say hello to her the next time you’re at the shop. While the transition to being in charge hasn’t been without a few bumps, Nolan and I are better for it.You’re never going to be able to run a business on your own until you have to.We’re just lucky that the man we’re replacing did such a phenomenal job.Thank you, Dad, for setting us up for success. Now it’s our turn to put our stamp on Brown’s Automotive. -Dustin Brown
1 www.brownsautoexperts.com • Brown’s Parts &Automotive, Inc.
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