The Top 10 Business Coaches and Mastermind Groups to Help You Grow Your Car Repair or Detailing Shop

Samir Sampat

Whether you're just starting out in business or you've been at it for a while, finding resources to help you grow can always be a smart move. Car repair and detail shops are unique businesses that rely heavily on the need for service. This can make marketing and upselling hard, especially in a time when people have little extra money to spend on things like detailing or premium aftermarket upgrades. 

Even the basic repairs are almost too expensive for the average vehicle owner, or at least they'll try to tell you as much. But what you might not know, and what almost all the coaches on this list will tell you, is that people will buy anything if you can convince them that they need or want it badly enough.

John Smith might walk in for an oil change and routine inspection, but if you've got a relationship and know how to make the conversation flow, you could easily talk him into those new tires he's been thinking about because they're going to go up in price next quarter, and you hate when manufacturers do that, so you'd like to get him in sooner than later and save him the money. And when he mentions he's short on cash? There's your chance to sell your shop financing. 

This is just one way that coaches can help you reframe the way you think about business. Changing your mind is the first step in changing your business, after all. Whether you're in it for efficiency, improved profits, a better business overall, or any other reason, you're not alone. Before we dig into the best coaches and groups for car repair and detail shops, let's talk about why you should consider coaching in the first place. 

Five reasons to consider a business coach or training group 

In the automotive industry, competition is fierce. If you don't get in on the right foot, you're not going to get very far. These days, vehicle manufacturers and the increase in available service shops and DIY parts are making it harder and harder for shops to convince people to keep coming back. However, when you know your worth, you'll build a business that people are willing to pay for, even if they could do the work themselves.

If you still aren't sure whether you could actually benefit from business coaching, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Perspective: When you hire a business coach, you're not just hiring someone to kick you into action. You're also gaining a totally different perspective on your business and the auto shop industry as a whole. If you're ready to open your mind and admit that you don't know it all, you can find a coach or group that does and learn everything that you possibly can. 
  • Professional Experience and Expertise: All the best coaches, including many on the list below, have years of experience in the automotive industry. Of course, some coaches focus more on general business, which can be helpful in several cases, but an auto-specific expert is always the better choice. And the more experience, the better. If you've got a body shop that is struggling with performance, for example, find a coach that can help with improving efficiency. 
  • Improved Shop Culture: When you show your employees that you care about your business enough to bring someone in to fix everything that's broken, you're going to see them respond in kind. Not only that, but the coaching itself can help with improving staff morale, boosting productivity, and creating a culture where everyone gets along and collaborates effectively for the betterment of the customer. 
  • Increased Profits: Of course, when you hire a business coach or choose a training group, you're looking for someone, ultimately, to help you grow your bottom line. After all, the benchmark of success in business is the profit margin, and most business coaches will go straight for it without hesitation. If you really want to see your profits grow (and keep growing), hire a business coach and take as many notes as you can. 
  • Improved Operating Efficiency: Again, these coaches will be able to offer an outside perspective and give you their own expert opinion about how things are (or aren't) going and what could stand to be improved. A coach isn't there to be your friend. They're not afraid to hurt your feelings because they're helping you grow. They can help streamline processes, identify inefficiencies that you need to fix, and so much more. 

So, now that you've got a few more reasons to consider coaching, let's get to the list. Below, you'll find 10 of the best coaches and coaching groups to help take your business to the next level, no matter what goals you have in mind. 


The 10 best business coaches and groups for automotive businesses

1. Bryan Stasch

Bryan Stasch has been in the auto repair industry for over 30 years, and he's finally figured out the problem with trying to fix auto service centers. As he says, "You can fix any shop in the country, but you can't fix every owner." He knows that it's all about the mindset and that no matter how much you try to change the processes, you can't do that until you change the person in charge. He believes the coaches are working for you, and you should treat hiring them more like an interview than a service request. He offers tons of free tips and insight and has helped plenty of businesses turn things around with his coaching methodology and industry expertise. 

(Bonus: He's also the Vice President of the Automotive Training Institute, a great coaching resource.)

2. ACT Group (Automotive Coaching and Training)

Part of Ray Kunz Enterprises, LLC, ACT was developed as a way to professionally coach and train service managers, advisors, owners, and technicians for more than 20 years. The group offers tons of coaches that have actually worked their way up from techs to owners and have had plenty of their own experience working in an auto repair or service shop setting. They have training sessions available via phone, in-person, and even webinars, and you can take whatever training you want at any time. There's also a host of resources on their website that are available to visitors exploring the group for the first time. 

3. Shawn Rhodes, Soshin Consulting

Shawn Rhodes has studied team performance for the United States government in some of the most dangerous locations around the globe. He has applied his knowledge to assist Fortune 100 companies, been featured in many major news outlets, and continues to push the envelope by pushing auto shop owners to align processes, systems, and employees for better profitability and growth. If your shop is suffering because it's a chaotic mess, Rhodes and Soshin Consulting can help you get it back into shape. 

A Business Systems Engineer, Rhodes can assist with leveraging performance and change in all aspects of your operations, from production to service work to customer interactions and more. 

4. Rob Carol 

Rob Carol is an executive business coach that is all about helping you get back your time and still take your business to the next level. His goal is to help you spend more time working on your business and less time working in your business. That way, you'll get rid of the long hours and the broken systems that just never seem to get fixed. He can work one-on-one with owners and shop leaders to create a strategy that will create a thriving shop with a solid culture and strong reputation for customer satisfaction so that your profits come naturally. 

5. Car Motivators, Inc. 

CEO Sean Kelley, dubbed #TheCarBizCoach, has a team of coaches with 110 combined years of experience in automotive sales and leadership, which means you're working with some of the best names in the industry, and the fact that you can find them all in one place is fantastic. At Car Motivators, the team can assist with leadership and culture, sales, service, process improvement, AI and automation in the auto industry, and more. They offer high-energy presentations and a free strategy call for everyone who is contacting them for the first time. 

6. Educational Seminars Institute (ESi)

This organization calls itself the automotive management specialist, offering a selection of automotive training classes and programs to help you make your shop or service business more profitable and successful. They target important areas like performance, production, process improvement, daily operations, and so much more. Plus, they have sessions in person or via phone, making it convenient for you to get the training and advice that you need when you need it most. They can also offer training and support for leadership and management roles and even social media marketing and digital branding. 

7. Auto Profit Masters

Auto Profit Masters offers several different coaching resources and strategic solutions to help auto shops of all kinds improve their operations and get rid of shop headaches once and for all. From their RPM ToolKit to their professional, one-on-one consultations, they can help with everything from process improvement to marketing, customer service, and more. They will improve production bottlenecks and show you how to maximize your profits in more ways than you might have imagined. 

Auto Profit Masters has been featured in Ratchet & Wrench and Motor Age and offers solutions for shop inefficiency, low sales numbers, and coaching on finding the best techs for your shop, plus more. 

8. The Institute for Automotive Business Excellence

This is another institute that's dedicated to providing service shops with the improved operations and profits they desire and deserve. From courses on time management for techs to service sales training, you'll find classes and coaching programs to handle all aspects of your automotive business. The entire course library is at your fingertips. You'll find online courses, blogs and newsletters, seminars, and plenty of programs and resources that will assist you further in your efforts toward growth and success. Simply choose the training you want, get access to tons of great educational resources, and then go out and put what you've learned into action. 

9. Terry Greenhut 

Billed as the #1 Automotive Aftermarket Sales Trainer, Terry Greenhut can teach auto repair shops, body shops, and other automotive businesses how to sell better, sell more, and make sales a natural part of everyday business just by changing the way they think and work. He's got a free course intro video on his website that you can watch to get a glimpse of the guru in action, and you can order the audio CD course, get your copy of the Sales Success Book, or check out his selection of free samples to show you what all he can do. 

He's owned his own repair shop in the NYC area since 1975 and he's helped more than 18,000 managers and shop owners improve their success in the auto industry, whether it be sales, service, detailing, or anything else.

10. Vin Waterhouse, the Waterhouse Group

This group specializes in focusing on the methods and techniques used by the top 25% of auto shops in terms of profit. There's no better way to learn than from the best, after all. You'll find tech training courses, service manager coaching, financial management courses, and even financial and other business checkups to ensure that you're on track at all times. These courses have proven to reveal big profits for shops that integrate their coaching insights. They also have a procedures manual that delivers the details of about 90% of your shop's activity so that you have a guide in place. 


For another growth partner, rely on Smith.ai

While you're working on your business, let the dedicated agents at Smith.ai work for your business by answering the needs of your customers. We can provide support for 24/7 live chat, phone answering, lead intake and scheduling, and so much more. Plus, we'll do it all as the face of your brand to ensure that you leave the best impression with your audience, even when you're not the one fielding the calls. 

To learn more, schedule a consultation to discuss our 24/7 virtual receptionists and how a partnership with Smith.ai can grow your reputation in ways you never imagined. You can also reach us at hello@smith.ai or (650) 727-6484.

Samir Sampat

Samir Sampat is a Marketing and Events Associate with Smith.ai. He has experience working with businesses of all sizes focusing on marketing, communications, and business development.

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