Val: I am so relieved to be speaking to you; it’s like talking to my family today. I just got . . . completed, as you know, the Goldman Sachs program. It was a very intense 4 or 5 month program. You talk about getting ready for a presentation, 3 minutes exactly, on spot, counting your ‘ums’. I was a wreck, but it was absolutely great training and I’m very proud that I completed the program.
Just a little brief thing about that was its Goldman Sachs’ way of stimulating the economy. They provide scholarships to small businesses. The whole idea is to grow your business; you grow your business, you employ, and that’s how we are going to stimulate our economy. When I completed my [inaudible: 00:54] 8, I was Number 8 at Long Beach City College.
I was one of 157 that have graduated from the program, so there’s still a lot of opportunity for some small businesses in here. I have business cards. They’re constantly interviewing and wanting to help grow the economy. Just ask me anything about it. Thank you; Ed helped me with my growth plan. Shawn helped me. I was quite an intense program.
Anyway, um . . . there’s one ‘um’. Mike and I have been in business for 19 years. This is actually . . . we’re celebrating not only our 36th anniversary wedding yesterday, today was our 38th knowing each other. This is the week we’ve started our business. September is a big month for us. Mike and I pride ourselves in our caring customer service. I don’t think you can get that at your Goodyear or Firestone. We really take our business to heart. One of the things that we consider ourselves is we’re problem-solvers and not sellers.
There is a difference: If you go to a Goodyear facility, their techs are trained to sell in the power steering flush, to sell in the coolant service, to sell brake service. We do an inspection and what we do is prioritized work, and we’re sensitive to your budgets. With that, we know that our retention with our customer; they’ll be back. We tell our technicians, “If it’s not meant for them to do that, at least we notified them.
We let our customer make an informed decision. They’ll be back when they’re ready. At least we . . . safety first. That is the most important part of the car. If it was something dangerous, absolutely, we would notify them and let the customer know.
We’re developing our shop as a one-stop shop. We’ve recently introduced tires, not to be as competitively-priced, because it is hard to compete with those discount stores, but as a convenience for our customer. When we have a customer in that has an oil change, let’s say we’re doing brakes; why do I want to put those tires back on and send them someplace else?
It’s just an inconvenience for our customer, so we started providing tire service, which a lot of our customers appreciate. The other thing that we’ve started also in our business is that we were one of the first auto repair facilities in Orange County to be approved by the Bureau of Automotive Repair to repair Smogs. You cannot do that, especially with referee stations, unless you have a specific license to do that. We did get our license and we are repairing failed Smogs now.
Also, what we’re working on is; and hence, why the name Vale and Mike’s Auto Service, and I mentioned this a couple of weeks ago. We’ve always been Val and Mike’s Auto Service since 2004 when we incorporated, but we enhanced the Val because of the woman- friendly. We have found with me there every day, with Lisa there greeting them, and of course Mike’s demeanor, we’re a very woman- friendly business, and that’s really, really important. Really important.
With that, we spruced up our place: We got some fresh paint color in there, we got some new furniture that’s comfortable, I’m trying to make that bathroom a little spa-like. Guys are not allowed in it. Not our customer guys, my techs; let’s make that clear. Don’t go in my bathroom.
Business Growth Innovators Member: We got to go on the wall?
Val: No. Anyway; we’re making it a real comfortable environment for our customers. Just so you know; we do everything from oil changes, tune-ups, brakes. It’s basically, anything in regards to your auto, if I can’t do it, I can refer you to someone that we trust that can take care of you, and that includes Smogs. We can . . . 2 Smog shops that we trust.
Mike’s technicians are ASC certified. Mike has an ASC Masters Technician certificate, and I also have another ASC Master Technician, he also has a Smog certificate. I feel that once your car comes in, it has a thorough inspection, so you will have an inspection sheet so you’ll know what’s exactly what’s going on with your car. We pride ourselves on our quality work. I have up-to-date electronic diagnostic equipment; it’s very expensive and we’re constantly investing in it.
We have a brand new tire machine and balancer, state-of-the-art alignment machine, as I mentioned, software, and I have 2 new lifts. We’re constantly investing in our business to keep it safe for our technicians, safe for your car, and do quality work and repairs.
We also stand behind our work. We are a AAA-approved shop. We’ve had an association with them since 2004. I have gotten 100% satisfaction surveys from my customers for the last 10 years. Very impressive, I must say. Our AAA guy comes in, “What did you do, call your family?” No, they take just our work orders and they call. We also are a Confidence Plus facility.
What that means is that if we do a repair, for example a water pump, and it fails; you’re taking a trip and it fails in Arizona, you’re covered. They’ll take care of the tow, they’ll find you another Confidence Plus auto repair shop, and you have that security, knowing that when we take care of your car, it is covered. With that, it’s a 24,000-mile, or 24-month warranty when we work on your car.
Business Growth Innovators Member: That’s nice to know.
Val: Let’s see here. What else can I tell you about us? I know. My motto is, and I always repeat this: The best time to find a mechanic is when you don’t need one. I have had many a phone call when they find us on their iPhone or whenever they’re broken down on the freeway; you can hear the traffic. They’re, “I just broke down. I’ve got a coolant leak. How much?” We don’t know; we need to see the car. We don’t know if it’s a hose or a power or a water pump. The best time to find a mechanic is when you don’t need one, and that is an oil change.
What our service provides is not only will we change your oil and your oil filter, we would rotate your tires, we check and measure your brakes, we test your battery; you get a little battery test so you know what’s going on. We do the full inspection, and then we can prioritize work.
Then you also see if it’s a good fit. Maybe we’re not a good fit or maybe we are, but that way, you can feel comfortable with your auto repair facility. Then when you do have a breakdown, then you know you can go to someone you can trust and feel comfortable with.
With that, I think I mentioned we are in Huntington Beach, we’re on Metzler Lane. We’re open Monday through Friday, from 7: 30 to 5:30. We’re available to take you to work or pick you up; I’ve done that. I even lend out my cars to people. We really appreciate your business and just love my association with LTip. If you have any questions, I’m available right now. If not, I’m done.
Business Growth Innovators Member: I just want to say real quick; when she calls and texts, it’s so true now a days. They’re working on computers as much as I am. It’s pretty amazing.
Val: That’s very true. The latest-and-greatest Volvo has 7 different computers in it.
Business Growth Innovators Member: I’m happy to donate some product to your spa bathroom.
Val: Okay. The first thing I got in my nice new lobby, is I got that Diamond book there. I thought, ‘Does that look nice.’
Business Growth Innovators Member: I was so glad to have Val and Mike there when my mom came in and my car broke down. They got us running a day later.
Val: All right. Thank you.