Overview Of A Small Business

Submitted By cesarbacares
Words: 4916
Pages: 20

Overview of the Firm The firm I chose is calling “Rising XXXX”, which is an auto-repair shop in Austin Texas. Note that at the owner’s request, I have modified the name of the company. This company primarily works on foreign (with the exception of European) and American cars. My connection to the company was through a friend- I met the owner, who recently purchased the company and is a veteran of the Texas National Guard at a social event. The connection was established since I mentioned that one of my goals was to eventually own a small business, and the owner and I started to discuss how he had recently transitioned to purchasing a mechanic shop (the owner did not work there prior to the purchase, but had supervisory experience due to his experience in the National Guard). The organization has a myriad of problems. The biggest one is that the owner assumed that running a repair shop in the National Guard would be the same as running a business. The owner has minimum training/ experience in financial documents, advertising, and integrating his operation to an overall strategy- basically he believes that quality work will get the word out. Along those lines, the shop he purchased is also at 50% capacity (the shop has 8 bays, but 4 active mechanics). The shop is also branded under the same name and shares a website with a competitor- the original owner owned two shops, but as he decided on retirement, he sold one store, then handled the business he wanted to handle- which reduced the capacity used. These small problems tie to the real problem on “how does the business increase capacity utilization”. The business does not have a robust marketing strategy. The owner does not understand that he sells the brand, and it seems like some of his mechanics don’t understand that as well (technicians versus keeping a customer happy through interacting with them- that is entirely the owner’s job). The shop does provide some additional services for the customers, such as dropping them off at work/picking them up when their car is ready. This location is only open Monday through Friday, 7:30AM to 5:30PM. This business has been operating for over 20 years. This business does not have a mission statement.
The diagnosis model chosen was the organizational - level diagnosis. This diagnosis model looks at the general environment (such as social, technological, economic forces) and the industry structure (with factors such as buyer power, supplier power, threats to entry and competition) as the inputs, which effects the design components of the firm (strategy at the top, with culture, technology, human resource systems and structure) to effect organizational effectiveness. This model was chosen because the business needs to understand the outside environment, what effective competitors are doing to design an organization to where organizational effectiveness is measured in an increase in business allowing the owner to use under utilized components increased profits- in this case success can be measured in filling the four unused bays with an increase in business. This model was also chosen because of the intense competition (measured by number of mechanic shops in the Austin market)- being able to repair a car is not really a selling point since every other shop does the same thing- but being able to understand and utilize the environment to leverage growth is therefore very valuable. Another key reason for using this model is that it will help create a strategy to shape operations- fixing cars as customers come as the shop currently operates (relying on old customers and word of mouth) relies more on luck than a systematic way to grow a business.
Data Collection Method A combination of interviews (with the owner only- he did not feel comfortable with me interviewing his staff), surveys (to customers) and observation was used. As a part of the observation, I brought my vehicle in for an oil