Local Business Owner Shares His Philosophy on Entrepreneurship
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Local Business Owner Shares His Philosophy on Entrepreneurship

March 21, 2024 // Franchising.com // CHARLOTTE, NC - An owner from Maaco, North America’s body shop, is sharing his story of how he became the owner of a successful collision repair business in Mansfield, Texas.

Robert Reid always dreamed of owning his own business.

After moving from Jamaica to the United States as a teenager and graduating with a degree in mechanical engineering from the Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College at Baton Rouge, Robert built a career in corporate America. He spent time working for automotive manufacturer Meritor, as well as several years at leading food and beverage manufacturer, Danone.

However, business ownership was the ultimate goal. He was always drawn to the idea of the automotive field, driven partly by his personal passion, “I’m a car guy. I’ve been messing with my cars my entire life.”

His engineering background and focus on processes made him lean more toward the mechanical side of the industry, so although he understood the work environment well, he didn’t initially consider running an automotive collision repair shop.

In college, Robert worked at a body shop and recalls, “I was, by no means, a skilled body repair technician or auto body painter. I never would have thought I would end up going back to it as a business of my own. But that’s the way God circles things around. You can plan all you want, but he knows what he's doing.”

Robert went looking for franchise opportunities that aligned with his own criteria for the type of business he wanted to own. Seeking a business in the automotive space, he discovered Maaco’s business model and selected that brand. Soon after, he opened a location in Mansfield, Texas, outside Fort Worth - in February 2017.

By his second year in business, the store doubled its revenue and has continued a growth trajectory ever since.

Those first few years were filled with rapid growth and learning curves for Robert as he acclimated himself to business ownership. He navigated the challenges of finding the right employees, building a customer base, and determining what his goals were for the store.

Throughout that time, Robert also committed to establishing a positive culture among his employees.

"I'm big on work ethic. I wanted an environment where people have personal relationships, and they can hold each other accountable. We're all going after the same goal,” Robert says.

He approaches business as a team sport and hires collaborators who share that same perspective. This poses its own challenges as Robert also believes that a diverse workforce will produce better results. At his Maaco store, the team includes talented men and women ranging in age - and generation - from teenagers just out of high school to experienced technicians who are in their sixties.

Learning how to juggle a team that spans generations, genders, and experiences has been an ongoing and empowering process for Robert.

“After running a manufacturing facility with hundreds of people, I walked into this thinking, ‘Okay, you have a business with ten people in it. You make all the decisions.’ This is gonna be easy,” Robert says. “But that’s not the case. The people side of it in this industry is the biggest learning curve. Figuring out what these different people bring to the table and what positions to put them in.”

His goal for the store has played a significant role in how he navigates employees and the processes he put into place. While the traditional Maaco store primarily focuses on auto paint and light collision repair, Robert dreamed of more than that. His hard work and commitment paid off because today, his location is a high-level collision repair facility complete with the latest technology, specialized technicians, and is I-CAR Gold certified - the highest training achievement recognized by the collision repair industry.

Robert’s experience as a mentor, leader, and well-rounded businessman is exemplified through his previous tenure on the Maaco Advisory Council and his receipt of the Regional Cup West Award at Maaco’s 2023 convention and the Terry Taylor Award at Maaco’s 2022 convention.

As Robert looks back on his career, he recognizes the importance of belief in oneself and how it has played an integral role in his success as a business owner.

“Whether you believe you can or believe you can’t, you’re right,” Robert says. “Figure out where you want to go, and be relentless in getting there.”

SOURCE Maaco

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