Two years ago, Josh Hamann and Dave Stofferan did not forecast that a business would bloom out of their garage.
As the owners of Two Guys & A Garage — a new automotive repair shop in Hartford, South Dakota — Hamann and Stofferan are still in the primitive stages of development.
The two began “wrenching” (mechanic-speak for general repair) out of Hamann’s Sioux Falls home in 2017.
All Hamann and Stofferan knew was that they made a great team, and customers were thrilled with their experience.
Not long after the origins of their in-home operation did the word spread about these “Two Guys,” and Hamann realized his lifelong dream of owning his own business could be accomplished via the auto repair industry.
The logistics made sense: Stofferan was an expert mechanic with decades of experience in the field, and Hamann had the wherewithal to both start and run the business’s operations.
And Hartford, South Dakota — having both a growing market and business-friendly ecosystem — was the perfect location to set up shop.
Two Guys & A Garage is still in its first year of operation, but the business is already starting to take root.
As any business owner will attest to, the first few years of operating a business are challenging, to say the least. Funds are often limited, and that only equates to littler resources for acquiring new customers and reinvestment into the business.
The good news for Two Guys is that their business launched with an already strong and loyal customer base.
Word of mouth is powerful for any business, but the case is only more true for one in the auto repair industry. In a market where customers are extra cautious to hand out trust to the servicer, it is crucial that the customer’s introduction to the business is instigated from a trustworthy third party.
In other words, for the typical, non-mechanically-inclined layperson, the recommendation from their trusted Uncle Joe is essential.
Hamann and Stofferan knew from the start that building trust with the customer would be the key to their success. As honest workers themselves, they decidedly stuck to their guns and left the result to the customer.
They’ve discovered that a critical element to a trusting relationship with the customer is education.
Hamann spends significant time walking the customer through not only all of their options, but the underlying cause of the problem. If Hamann cannot explain it thoroughly enough, he rings up one of his mechanics to interpret the issue for the customer.
When the customer feels educated and empowered to make a decision, they often leave with a pleasant taste in their mouth — a trait that is, unfortunately, atypical in the auto repair business.
Being a smaller shop, Two Guys & A Garage is not tied to one vendor like many of the big players.
For the customer, this means their options for ordering a replacement part are truly as endless as the World Wide Web. Consequently, prices can be more tailored to the customer’s budget.
The satisfaction from Two Guys & A Garage is another key example of the benefits that come from shopping small business.
And as Small Business Saturday arrives on November 30th, it’s only fitting that the story of Two Guys & A Garage receives its rightful recognition.