The Shop Winning the Profit Game: European Autowerks

If there’s one thing you should know about the institute by now, it’s that our entire team is committed to making sure auto shop owners are thriving in both their personal and professional lives. Because of this belief, we’ve gotten to work with some amazing clients and watch as they’ve grown to become shining examples for the industry to follow. As part of our newly launched newsletter (click here if you haven’t signed up yet), we’re taking the opportunity to spotlight a shop owner or team each month that is not only showing up but going above and beyond.

For September, the newsletter is all about profits; how to track them, how to grow them, how to avoid losing them. Eric Svedberg, owner of European Autowerks in Virginia Beach, knows a thing or two about profits. His shop consistently ranks as one of the top earning shops in both the area and industry as whole. Talk about impressive!

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Give us a little information about your shop’s background.

I purchased the shop from the original owner who started the business approximately 25 years earlier. I had been in the business since I was 16 and was looking to own the property and building that housed my shop. We met and came to terms and the rest is history as he was ready to retire.

What are the top three things you attribute to your success with profits?

Having a business coach, having great employees, setting number goals for all parts of the business and striving to always achieve those numbers.

What was one thing you had to change in order to pursue a more profitable model?

Understanding that I didn’t have to go it alone and allowing a business coach to come in, see all the flaws, rip off the band-aid and move toward fixing the issues.

Have there been any mishaps along the way? If so, how did you face those?

A few. Learning how to deal with customers who own European vehicles is a learning curve. Also spending too much time behind the scenes and not enough time greeting and talking to customers. They wanted to meet me and see who was in charge of making sure their vehicle was being repaired properly. After I realized what was needed, I worked with my team concerning how to address the commonalities we found within our new customer base. Basically, they needed a little more care and attention similar to what you might find in a boutique type business/hotel/clothier. I have also tried to make myself more available for anyone that asks to see me or popping my head around the corner to say hi.

If you could only give one piece of advice about profitability, what would it be?

Think of it as a well-oiled machine; all the parts need lubrication and tweaking to have it run smoothly and profitably.