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Case Study Argonaut Garage

Jason Simms

Forward and Onward with Class and Style

Intro

Argonaut’s Berkeley location has annual projections for the young facility at $720,000.

One of the first marketing techniques Simms utilized for his Berkeley facility was a direct mail advertising campaign. And the research that accompanies such a marketing effort provided a valuable revelation: Nearly 16,000 people within a five-mile radius of the new Argonaut location owned hybrids.

Details

Taking Your Shop to the Metrics Level

Challenge

At Simms’ original shop in the Kensington neighborhood, he had a trusted, second-in-command employee, who had worked at his side for five years. When she decided to make a career change, it provided the final impetus for Simms to close that facility.

“Because of the nature of what it was—a small, neighborhood shop—I couldn’t just grab somebody off the street and stick them in there. I think it would’ve failed,” Simms says of his first location. “So, we decided to shutter that location and move everything down the hill to the second location.”

Simms had always been steadfast in his belief that he wanted employees to do work they’re passionate about, while making a legitimate profit. In late 2016, he still felt that way, though transitioning strictly to the Berkeley location required adapting to a fairly different customer base than what his original shop yielded.

“Now we have very few drive-in customers,” he says. “We’re relying on my former customers to come down the hill. And so the marketing side of what it takes to run just a stand-alone shop—where I don’t just have people driving in my door all day—is definitely something new.”

 

Solution

One of the first marketing techniques Simms utilized for his Berkeley facility was a direct mail advertising campaign. And the research that accompanies such a marketing effort provided a valuable revelation: Nearly 16,000 people within a five-mile radius of the new Argonaut location owned hybrids.

Suddenly, the clouds started to part, as Simms had a definitive target demographic for his marketing. As he shifted his business model, Simms made sure his staff took several training classes dedicated to hybrids, and he purchased special equipment devoted to that vehicle segment, like dedicated factory scanners for Toyotas and Hondas, and a new high voltage insulation tester.

Another key element of Argonaut’s rejuvenation came from its revamped website (argonautgarage.com). Simms spent roughly $1,500 to have AutoVitals build a visually appealing, SEO-friendly website to build out its online presence.

“Through AutoVitals there are 40 search parameters,” Simms notes, “and [with] those 40 SEO points we targeted everything that had to do with hybrids.”

Argonaut Garage’s unique octopus logo certainly doesn’t hurt its marketing efforts, either.

“Berkeley is a pretty smart city, so I wanted a name that was a little cerebral,” Simms says. “We also wanted to reflect in our logo the classic side of what we’re doing, the history of auto repair. … If you Google what an argonaut is, the first result is an octopus. So we took that octopus and ran with the idea.”

Size

4,000 sq ft

Staff Size

5

Monthly Car Count

120

Annual Revenue

$720,000

Testimonial

“AutoVitals is an amazing part of my team. They have taken my shop to the next level. Their ability to work with me to up my game is great!”

Jason Simms, Argonaut Garage