DemandAdvantage Blog

Smog Check Software / Repair Order Software / Auto Web Site / Marketing

Why We Do What We Do

by bschneider 28. March 2013 10:27

Having been successful in the flower and the insurance business, among others, I get questions all the time why I'm now so committed to Demand Advantage and helping our STAR certified, Smog Test Only, Auto Shop and Lube customers. My partner, Joe Vandertol, gets the same question. The reason is very simple. We LOVE the art of building successful companies. That's why we founded DA. 

I built my flower shop, Greenhouse Designs, into a major player in the entertainment business. Our flowers appeared on shows like Fantasy Island and Movies like Mommy Dearest. We were featured on Entertainment Tonight as the "florist to the stars" the year we did the Oscars. My Insurance business grew from a corner of my den into a multi-million dollar firm spanning four western States.

Joe's the technology guy. He built his multi-million dollar company by developing one of the most successful airline reservation systems in use today. Our experiences taught us some major lessons about what it takes to run and grow a business.

I remember the dinner that gave birth to DA.  We sat for hours talking about the years we spent building our companies; all the mistakes and all the successes. Ultimately we arrived at the same conclusion as to what it takes for a small business to succeed, not just marginally, but spectacularly.  It's not a secret, it's pretty much common sense. It's something most small business people already know but do not execute well. And that not so secret concept is to have a system that does the right thing, the same way, every time, over and over again. Accomplishing this is the singular challenge of every owner.

If you're reading this and own a Smog Test Only Station, or say a Lube Station, you know what I mean. You love your business. You love to work with your customers and do all the things that attracted you to the profession in the first place. But the busier you get the less time you have to do all those things that got you busy in the first place. This is the story of just about every small business. When we focus on sales, we get busy. When we get busy, we stop selling and spend all our time servicing. Pretty soon we get slow again because we were so busy serving customers we forgot (or did not have the time) to find new ones or do the things that keep existing ones coming back.

We found that most small businesses that actually do have systems are running them independently of one another. Many Test Only stations still use those expensive pre printed NCR forms required by the State of CA. They spend time filling out the form by hand, then entering it a second time into the computer. And then if they're really good, they'll come back later and enter the customer into a marketing database so they can send out e-mail reminders or coupons. But how many owners do that every time, all the time. Our research found that number is very small.

What we created with DA is a system that joins a very easy to use Point of Sale component with a single database that works with our e-mail, web site and coupon marketing engine. So using the example of the owner of a Test Only Station, not only will he stop throwing money away on paper forms, when he gets busy he won't have to worry about slowing down again because his marketing will all be automated. Our goal is to make his biggest problem trying to figure out how much he wants to expand in order to keep up with all the new and returning customers.

Yes there are companies that will send e-mails to your customers and yes there are companies that will build you a web site. There are even more who will sell you expensive point of sale software. But there is really only one company that does all that for one very low monthly subscription that, in the case of the Test Only Station is practically revenue neutral.

So this is why we do what we do. Based on years of experience, we've put together a system that automates so many of the things we struggled with in our own ventures. Every day Joe and I get up and are excited to help our customers succeed. And there is no better feeling than seeing it happen.

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