As most businesses are faced with challenges during this time, it is essential to shift your business to navigate the circumstances, identify what is most important to sustain your mission, and plan for success in the future. We recognize businesses doing this, including Action Auto Service in Seneca, who is not only pushing forward, but also celebrating 25 years of business this year.
When it comes to shifting, Owner Bill Kapp shared that, although they currently have a reduced work flow, they’ve maintained the same hours and kept all employees. Duties have shifted, with more equipment maintenance, clean-up, and pickup and delivery of vehicles.
Shifting isn’t new to Action Auto. In 2007, they completely moved operations from the shop in Oil City to have an expanded space and higher visibility. The 2008 Recession also forced them to shift, resulting in more enhanced marketing and focus on customer service.
Another shift has been embracing technology. Action Auto was one of the first local car shops to go to an electronic database to keep up with changes in repairs. A text message system at Action Auto allows the business to stay in contact with customers. They also send digital copies of quotes and invoices, and photos to customers, helping them to understand what needs attention.
Rather than hesitate to accept a new way of doing things, Bill made the investment and chose to embrace technology. This includes social media. Action Auto recently worked with students at Clarion University to use social media more, as a way to connect with customers and teach people about car care.
Two things come to mind for Bill when he thinks about sustaining the business—employees and customer service. “It’s all about keeping what’s important, important,” he said. For the past 25 years, sustaining this mission has been top of mind for Bill, and is just as important to this day.
Activities were planned to celebrate Action Auto’s 25th Anniversary—Car Care Clinics, employee “acts of kindness” in the community, a celebration on the day of the anniversary (March 6), and more. Although plans changed, they continue to be active on social media and look forward to celebrating with the community in person soon.
When we asked Bill “How will you know if you have succeeded?” He told us: “We were coming into 2020 very strong. If I’m able to rebuild my resources and continue marketing so we can return to the level of success we were already realizing, that would look like success to us.”
Congratulations Action Auto on 25 years of business, and thanks for being a great example of how to shift, sustain, and succeed in business.
This article was published in the Venango Chamber’s May 2020 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.