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Success Story

Advance Auto Repair

Working with Mike and the FSBDC has opened our eyes to how important it is to understand the numbers….our costs, margins, break even, cash flow and the operational factors that drive them.

Advance Auto Repair is a full-service automotive repair and maintenance shop owned and operated by husband and wife team, Lorne and Shelia Green. They started in January 2004 after Lorne’s employer at the time, a gas station owner who also provided auto repair service, decided to close the business. “We saw this as an opportunity to do our own thing and contribute to the underserved East Gainesville community,” says Lorne. After 10 years of business growth, the Greens decided it was time to expand and were referred to the Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of North Florida (FSBDC at UNF) in Gainesville by a banker.

In April 2014, Lorne and Shelia met with FSBDC at UNF consultant Mike Chung about getting financing to purchase a new location. At their second meeting, Mike quickly realized the Greens were not ready for the bank. They needed more accurate financials, tax returns, and relocation projections. Mike recommended getting the company financials and recordkeeping in order as the top priority.

With Mike’s assistance, the Greens participated in the online Profit Mastery University curriculum. Their accountant also updated their QuickBooks chart of accounts and is providing the level of service needed to have accurate and reliable financial statements. The results have been exceptional. From January 2014 to November 2015, margins have more than doubled and sales have increased 34%. They also have seven employees and just hired a full-time customer service manager.

According to Lorne, “Working with Mike and the FSBDC has opened our eyes to how important it is to understand the numbers….our costs, margins, break even, cash flow and the operational factors that drive them.”

The future is promising and customers are lining up to a parking lot always full with vehicles waiting to be serviced. With the hiring of a service manager, Lorne and Shelia can focus on having the business work for them instead of them working for the business. “We will continue to rely on Mr. Chung and the FSBDC for financial management advice and guidance to implement a marketing plan to get us to the next level,” says Shelia. And what is that next level? Lorne describes it best: “I see us as a million-dollar business in three years, with the help of the FSBDC.”

Advance Auto Repair Lorne and Shelia Green

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