Virginia has some amazing companies, and we get to call some of those companies our clients! In our "Client Spotlight" we feature one of our valued clients and have them share a little bit about what it is they do. Check out our most recent "Client Spotlight" below!
Laslie's Auto Body & Service
"It takes millions of dollars to start these things. We started with no money, no debt. We just worked real hard and grew it."
Dan Laslie, Owner
What is Laslie's Auto Body?
We are a family-owned, auto body business that started in 1994 with just Ruth and I. In 27 years we've gone from two employees to forty, and now we've got three generations of family working here. We have two locations running and a third projected to open some time in 2018. We do auto repair, mechanical, stain inspection, painting and we're a collision center.
When did you begin Laslie's and what inspired you to start it?
Well I've always had an entrepreneurial spirit even when I was young and shoe shining in Boston. There were experiences there that developed my entrepreneur's attitude. And I knew I had the business ability to lead a team and grow a business after helping another business grow substantially. I was supposed to take over that business, and as time went on that opportunity got further and further out of reach. So decided to start my own business.
How did you get into the auto body business?
I've been working on cars for a long time. Before I even moved here I was working on cars in Boston, so it's something I'm really good at. I knew that I was good mechanic, but being a good business man was something I had to learn.
What is the most important thing you've learned since starting Laslie's?
I would say that I've learned that you've got to have a short memory with difficult customers. You have to address every customer with kindness and like they're a good person even if they've been difficult in the past or that day. The majority of customers in central Virginia are nice, polite and all they want is their car fixed. There are some that are trying to swindle a deal, but you can't focus on those customers. You've got to approach every customer with patience and kindness.
What is something you want Lynchburg and the surrounding area to know about Laslie's?
That we're a family-owned business who genuinely cares about their customers. No one should be good at wrecking their car, but when you do wreck your car you can trust that we're a full-service shop that will help guide you through the process of fixing your car. We're community-focused and love getting involved especially through sponsoring young kids in sports.
What is your favorite part of your job?
Being able to leave the company in my team's hands and go off and vacation with my wife. It's so great to have a team you can trust enough to leave the business in their hands.