Richard Rawlings, owner of Gas Monkey Garage and star of Discovery’s "Fast N' Loud" series, has launched a new show with the cable network called "Garage Rehab" that's aimed at giving struggling shops a second chance.
The idea for the show, which airs Wednesdays at 10 pm on Discovery, developed from Rawling’s personal experiences, when he faced similar challenges building his own business.
“I was so broke that I was sleeping at my sister’s house, could hardly pay rent. It was like, if I could just get that $2,500 loan for this piece of equipment, or if I could just get five-grand in the bank, I think I could turn the corner,” Rawlings said.
After becoming a successful entrepreneur, Rawlings is now focused on transforming shops in need of a makeover and struggling to make ends meet.
“If I can teach them a little bit about business, and put them on the right track, and try to point out where they’re doing things a little bit wrong, and get them rolling and pointed in the right direction, then maybe they too can succeed and take care of their families and their employees,” Rawlings told Fox News.
Most of the auto shops he sees have “gotten lax” and “lost their identity,” said Rawlings, who offered three pieces of advice that every garage owner should know to make money.
1.) Clean work environment
“You need a good, clean working environment. You want to look professional when somebody walks in the door. And most of them are horrible – guys sitting around, smoking, drinking beer, barbecuing or whatever. You want a good, wholesome, clean environment and that’s number one.”
2.) Dress to impress
“I’m tattooed and I’ve got a beard. But I keep it trimmed and I’m clean, and I have my work shirt on – these guys don’t do the same. So, an unkempt persona is just very scary to a lot of people. Keep yourself clean and professional.”
3.) Customer service
“If you make somebody feel that you know what you’re doing and you’re polite and you communicated at a level they can understand, there’s a recipe for success: Nice shop, clean yourself up and just be nice to people.”
At the end of the day, garage owners only have two things to sell, the “space on the floor and time...turning wrenches,” added Rawlings, who emphasized the importance of keeping a clear work area.
“It’s amazing, we’ll go into a shop that could have seven or eight working bays and they’ll only be working out of one or two because they’ve accumulated so much junk.”