Small Business Owners Enriching a Community
Dave, a mechanic for over 18 years, always had a dream of opening his own auto shop. When a local mechanic wanted to retire from the shop he owned, he offered Dave the opportunity to purchase its assets and take over the location. With Kelly’s assistance, they embarked on their small business journey to make the business their own and opened Bell’s Automotive in 2014 in Stouffville.
While Dave and Kelly jumped at the opportunity, they also realized they had little experience or knowledge running a small business, let alone their own small business.
“We were researching information about starting a small business on the Town of Stouffville’s website and were referred to York Small Business Enterprise Centre,” Kelly explains. “We found a course that was being offered that was exactly what we were looking for – how to start a small business.”
The YSBEC small business session offered an in-depth overview of all the main considerations they needed to start their business. They were able to take advantage of all the resource materials available at the Newmarket-based centre and have had the opportunity to refer to it on numerous occasions.
Bell’s Automotive offers service and repair for all makes and models of cars and light duty trucks. When you walk into the business you will immediately notice the comfortable waiting area and free coffee and WIFI they offer. The shop exudes care and attention to detail.
Dave takes pride in his work, delivering quality workmanship in an honest and friendly manner to the community where he lives and works. This shows in the amount of repeat customers who are always happy to recommend Dave and refer business his way.
“One of our biggest successes so far is seeing the customers that Dave has worked with over the years come to him now that he has his own shop” relates Kelly, “it’s been very gratifying to see the existing customers come back again and again and then have them happily refer new business. Referrals are our biggest compliment!”
The learning curve has been steep, but YSBEC has been there every step of the way. Initially it was a course on starting a business, then earlier this year Kelly had the opportunity to attend a one-on-one session with a business consultant.
“We needed to know everything about starting a business” says Kelly “from having the right shop software, how to set up accounts with suppliers, to getting set up with POS machines and book-keeping – we needed to know it all. We found a great resource in YSBEC.”
The one-on-one consultation with the Small Business Consultant provided them with more information about hiring staff. Shortly thereafter Dave and Kelly experienced their most recent success – hiring their first employee!
Dave and Kelly continue to take advantage of the resources offered by YSBEC, in particular the e-newsletter.
“I like hearing about other small businesses and receiving information on resources. I’m always interested in upcoming YSBEC sponsored events,” Kelly notes.
Kelly continues to work as a Senior Marketing Manager at a major financial institution, partnering with Dave on the business-side of things, while Dave is the expert mechanic. The previous owner is now one of their biggest champions, referring his former clients to Bell’s Automotive and becoming a client himself.
They have been able to grow Bell’s Automotive in a short period of time and Stouffville has gained a thriving business.
You can learn more about Bell’s Automotive and continue following this local York Region success story or contact them at 905-642-9433.
Dianne Stott is a writer of CanadaOne.com, a free resource site for small business owners in Canada.
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