“Coaching is the reason I have the successful business I have today.” – Donny Yeoman, Owner – Yeoman Service Center, Fort Wayne, IN

The Importance of Coaching

When you’re only up by 2 in the last 10 seconds of the game, you don’t ask your Dad, your spouse or Aunt Ethel, what to do, you huddle with your Coach.


As a kid were you in Little League? Or maybe on your High School football team? Or even the Debate team? You probably remember the Coach you had and the impact that person had on you and your team’s success.

It’s the same for a business owner. You need a Coach to guide you when things are great – and possibly more importantly – when things aren’t so great.


Coaching is the reason I have the successful business I have today.” – Donny Yeoman, Owner – Yeoman Service Center, Fort Wayne, IN


Yeoman Service Center - Fort Wayne, IN

Yeoman Service Center – Fort Wayne, IN

Having that impartial support and expert guidance is key to owning a successful shop that builds each year. The most successful business owners have a Coach.

A new client first needs to recognize the need they have but also recognize the value in a Coach. Like any good investment, good coaching will pay for itself many times over.

A business owner can easily be so entrenched in the day-to-day running of a shop that they can easily lose sight of short and long term goals. They can put aside the importance of looking at their numbers with a rigorous eye. They can put important initiatives like Marketing or hiring issues off to the side.

Their Coach has the knowledge and experience to ensure that a business owner is sticking to the plan they developed together. Sticking to that plan is what the client and Coach do together. Each has their role. This business plan for success needs to be achievable. It needs to be realistic. The plan needs to layout a path to success that the owner can grasp. And the plan needs to be a working document that the Coach and owner can continually refer to as the overall blueprint of the business.


“My coach at DRIVE is always encouraging me to reach new levels of success. Sometimes you just need that push!”– Donny Yeoman, Owner – Yeoman Service Center, Fort Wayne, IN


L2R: Donny Yeoman (current owner), Don (original owner, grandfather), Dan (Donny’s father, retired)

The Coach must be cognizant of when and how to push the shop owner. No business is exactly like the other. Each owner has their own strengths and weaknesses. To be able to structure the guidance given is a skill the Coach must have in their toolbox.

It’s the responsibility of the Coach to inspire, encourage and develop the owner’s skill set. They need to change the mind-set of the owner to realize they are a business owner and not a tech. But in the process of developing the skills of the owner, the Coach needs to be aware of not thwarting the progress of the client. They need to know the right balance of complimenting but still pushing the owner to the next level of knowledge and success.

The shop owner needs to be ready to accept input and guidance. They need to respect the recommendations of the Coach. Being the boss has many hats – marketing, productivity, recruitment and HR, customer service, sales – and more. The successful shop owner will come to learn, with the help of their Coach, that as a business owner their focus needs to be on running the shop and not fixing a car or truck.


My Coach is my accountability partner – Andrea keeps me on the right path to reach the goals we established together.” – Donny Yeoman, Owner – Yeoman Service Center, Fort Wayne, IN


The vital importance of a shop having a qualified Coach onboard will ensure that each area of the business is being considered and addressed.

Unfortunately, a professional Coach is often brought on when the shop doesn’t have anywhere else to turn. Their debt is piling up. They are losing key team members. Their production numbers are way down. And often they are reverting to working on cars in the back because it’s what they know rather than looking at the business as a business – a business they are solely responsible for – and also the future of their team members and their families.

Frequently the shop owner initially has the “I can figure it out” attitude. After all, that’s what they know. They know how to fix stuff – mechanically at least. The Coach will work with them to shift their mindset to that of owner.

Yeoman’s shuttle van

Often, a Coach can act as simply a sounding board. How many shop owners have someone in their life whom they can honestly say has solutions, someone they can trust and not feel like they’re bothering a friend or loved one with their business issues. Sometimes working with a Coach is like going to confession – the solution comes out of the person’s mouth; the solution was within them the whole time.

But it wouldn’t have been discovered without the partnership between a trained Coach and their client. This relationship, and the respect they have for one another, is the building block of a profitable business. There may be disagreements – maybe a voice raised over time – or even a well-intentioned squabble, but each knows the shared goals at hand. This partnership needs to be open and honest and one that propels the shop owner’s business to a level of success that wasn’t conceivable when the business opened. Making a profit, taking care of your family and employees is the goal. And the Coach makes it all attainable.