It might seem like MSOs would have less of a need to bring in outside business consultants than a single-location shop. After all, as MSOs grow, they can hire in-house expertise to handle human resource, financial or production issues for all of their locations.
That may be true, but many MSOs say hiring a consultant has proven a successful way to help them manage a growing business, bring new ideas and develop the systems and processes to help them get to that next level.
“There’s only so many solutions that I’m going to come up with on my own,” said Torie Mahnke, chief operations officer for Mahnke Auto Body, a 4-shop MSO with more than 60 employees in Colorado. “I’m going to continue to think about things in the same way until I have someone come in and completely rock my world by saying, ‘What about this? Have you ever thought about it this way? I’ve seen this be a solution.’ It’s not easy to think outside the box without having someone else there to brainstorm ideas with.”
Here’s a look at how Mahnke and other MSOs have worked with consultants to improve their business.
Change without turnover
Ryan Cropper said it was his involvement in a “20 group” that helped him realize he needed assistance from a consultant – and helped him find the best consultant for his business.
Cropper owns Able Body Shops, with two locations in Anchorage, Alaska, and annual sales of about $6 million. He also operates a separate truck accessory shop, giving him three locations to oversee.