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Colorado shop's catchphrase defines its yes-we-can attitude

Wednesday, November 30, 2016 - 09:00
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Can a catch phrase effectively encapsulate an attitude? Take Bryan Gossel’s trademark ‘heck yeah’: “If you hang around me, that’s what I say all the time,” explains the owner of BG Automotive. While Gossel probably didn’t even realize he was saying it till encouraged to repeat it in a marketing campaign, being a ‘yes we can’ organization is crucial to this Ft. Collins, CO-based company.

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At a Glance:
BG Automotive
Bryan Gossel
Owner
1
No. of shops
10
Years in business
4
No. of technicians
9
Total no. of employees
6,000
Square footage of shop
6
No. of bays
90
No. of customer vehicles per week
$530
Average weekly restoration ticket
$2.5 million
Annual gross revenue
ASA, Napa Auto Care, ATI, Tech Net
Affiliations

“I don’t know how to say ‘no’”, Gossel reports. “We’ll give anything a shot; we’ll work on a small engine to a semi-truck. We had a customer who couldn’t get his lawnmower started; we said absolutely, bring it down. We had another guy with a fleet who had a generator that wouldn’t start; now he loves us.”

Doubt their commitment? While the shop isn’t exactly big, BG opened up two of their doors to accommodate larger vehicles, one being at least 12’ tall. “We can fit some of the bigger stuff in here,” Gossel confirms, “but one of our customers has a big charter bus company and we’ll just work on them outside — doesn’t matter; we’ll make it happen.”

And the know-how to cover such a wide variety of vehicles? Gossel waves it off. “It’s just nuts and bolts. Of course diagnostics for diesels are different, but you build friendships. There are a couple big diesel shops here in town, and I could run over to one of them and plug into their scanners. It doesn’t happen that often, but when they’ve got a loyal customer with a car, they’ll it send over here.

“Life throws you a curve ball, you just have to figure out how to deal with it,” Gossel reasons. Good with people and cars, when the opportunity arose to start his own company, he and his wife “took money out of our house and said ‘here we go.’ I started with a metal bench, four jack stands, a jack and my toolbox. I had gotten a couple little used car lots through word of mouth, having people who had followed me forever, and things just kept going and going.”

He was making a good living--but with only one fulltime employee Gossel realized he was working himself to death. Then came ATI; one boot camp later and he was ‘just blown away.’ “Holy cow, I knew nothing,” he acknowledges. “The one thing I really took away from (ATI) is that they wanted me to be able to have employees, pay them well, pay their health and life insurance, pay for a 401K—be able to do all that and still make money. But how? It didn’t seem possible to me.”

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