Hi, I'm Debbie Nol, and I married a car guy. My 14 years of working at Arie Nol Auto Center has been an incredible journey, building amazing relationships with customers and learning so much from our experienced technicians.
Now I'm launching a blog to share what I've learned about cars and some of my most memorable customer stories. Hopefully you will find my blog both helpful and entertaining!
If you look around Grand Rapids, you realize that small business is the backbone of our city. Many of the entertainment venues, parks, and educational spaces we visit were funded by what was once a small business. Think Van Andel, Meijer, Seidman and DeVos.
Running a small business requires you to wear so many hats and learn something new every day. One of the biggest challenges is marketing. Marketing dollars need to work to bring in business. Fourteen years ago our marketing consisted of deciding how big our telephone book ad was going to be.
Technology changes in vehicles; therefore, we need to upgrade our tools and training. At the same time, our software and hardware also change and need to be upgraded. Computers, phone systems, security systems, etc. need to be kept running efficiently as well as taking advantage of upgrades to increase our productivity.
Who would have imagined thirty-five years ago that not only would there be phones without cords but we would have Bluetooth? A device that sits in your ear and you can answer the phone while driving, walking, eating or perhaps even while you’re at the mall? Each of our technicians has an iPad they use to communicate with the service writers. No more paper and pen. They’re able to take photos which the service writers can then email or text to the customers. This keeps the customer aware of what is happening with their vehicle.
I’m not an IT person and have no desire to become one. We were fortunate enough to be connected with a great, local, small business owner, Kevin, who keeps our computers and other IT related systems running. He also answers lots of questions that begin with, “So, I did this and then this happened and now it isn’t working”. I know he has to, like us, constantly upgrade his skills to keep current with technology.
We connected with him through our website developer that we met at a conference on small business. Networking leads to terrific people that utilize their skills to make your business better. Small businesses have many moving parts and finding great people to work with you makes all of that a little bit easier.
We’re thankful Kevin uses his IT skills to keep us up to date and moving in the right direction. He keeps his sense of humor when training us on something, and for that, I’m very thankful!