How to succeed in business - Woodshop News

How to succeed in business

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No woodworking this time. Instead, here’s how to make a local business thrive. That’s related, right?

Most oil-change places are the same, so what’s usually important to me is if the guy working there is tall enough that he doesn’t have to adjust my seat. Seriously. My car seat’s one of those electronic infinitely adjustable things. Change it, and it takes weeks to get it back where it was.

Went to get my oil changed yesterday, but found there’d be a considerable wait. That was fine, because the guy working there was short: a guaranteed seat-adjuster. So I said I’d come back later, and went to a different place.

This one was under new management – I’d seen the sign for several weeks – so I wanted to give them a try. The manager was the friendliest guy I’d ever seen, and although on the short side he promised not to change the seat without me even asking. No, really; he said it was their policy. They began crawling all up under the hood, pulling hoses and draining and whatever it is oil guys do. Meanwhile, another guy was on the computer shouting out commands about viscosities or whatever.

They pulled my air filter and said it needed changing, which I already knew since I’d skipped it the last couple of times, meaning to change it myself as it’s something car-related I can actually do. But I knew I’d forget again and these guys impressed me; so I said sure, replace it. Turns out they didn’t have the right one, but the manager said if I wanted to grab one at the auto-parts place across the street, just bring it back and he’d happily install it for free. That’s exactly what I did.

As I was leaving, he noted that my brakes seemed a little grabby – in truth, I’d been noticing that lately and meaning to get it checked. He suggested a repair place down the pike a bit, and told me to ask for a particular guy and tell him he sent me. As I write this, my brakes are getting fixed by another of the friendliest managers of a local business I’d experienced.

In short, that new manager at the oil place, although just a kid in his 20s, really knows how to attract and keep customers. Not only will I recommend him to everyone, he easily won me over as a permanent customer.

That’s how you make a local business thrive.

A.J.

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