Located in Brooklyn, New York Owner David Goldsmith has learned to be prepared

for the unexpected.


January 2020 looked to be the start of a great year for URBAN CLASSICS AUTO REPAIR. Owner David Goldsmith put plans in place for continued growth at his Brooklyn shop. After all, he had a great business with terrific customers.  What could upset the trajectory he had in place? Well, something did. As it did for most business owners. But before that’s detailed, here’s a snapshot of URBAN CLASSICS, David and his community.


David opened up URBAN CLASSICS over 30 years ago. He was tired of working as a tech in shops that were dirty, not well lit, not organized and most important – provided shoddy customer service. He knew he could build a better business.


Some advice David got before opening up his shop was to always keep customer service as the driving force behind all actions and decisions. Today, the result is a shop that has an abundance of work with their phones always ringing. The shop’s reputation is one of honesty and integrity with a team that will always go the extra mile for any customer.


“Know what your businesses numbers should be, watch them and don’t sit on bad KPIs. FIX THEM RIGHT AWAY!’

David Goldsmith, Owner URBAN CLASSICS AUTO REPAIR Brooklyn, New York

Owner David Goldsmith

The team of 19 at URBAN CLASSICS works together like a family. Everyone is dedicated to helping each customer make wise choices to keep their vehicles safe and reliable. Their heart is always behind every repair.


David’s shop is located in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn and it’s a tight community. In a mixed-use neighborhood, URBAN CLASSICS is just down the street from a well-known day care center and down the block from an elementary school. His community and customer-base is wonderfully diverse and supportive.


David’s advice for opening up your own business?

 “Always watch out for your customer’s backs and they will always look out for yours.”


There is one aspect to being in such an urban environment that URBAN CLASSICS has learned to deal with and that’s parking. David has no parking for customer cars. To solve this, he has two full time drivers on staff. Their sole responsibility is to move cars all day – they have it down to a science!


Here’s the 2020 kicker for URBAN CLASSICS. David’s shop in New York was in the middle of one of the earliest and most severe Covid breakouts in February and March. It was the hardest period David has ever had owning his business. There wasn’t one person on his team that wasn’t personally affected by the pandemic, including himself. In the middle of this, David got Covid pneumonia and had to manage his business remotely for almost 3 months. In fact, much of David’s staff ended up working from home or on a modified time schedule to ensure health and safety.


“Always be ready for the unexpected” –

David Goldsmith, Owner URBAN CLASSICS AUTO REPAIR Brooklyn, New York


All of this took a big emotional toll on the entire team. Everyone was scared. Many customers had lost family and friends to Covid. Nevertheless, auto repair was classified by New York State as an essential service and with a sense of purpose, URBAN CLASSICS found solutions to the barrage of issues the crisis brought. All of this took a financial hit on the business. Before Covid, David’s shop was on target for a great year of over $3.5mm+. He had average weeks of $70k+. The pandemic threw everything off. There was one week during the height of the crisis that the shop brought in just $17k.


David is thankful he had the support of DRIVE and especially from the steadfast support of his TOP 20 group. He had put in place systems and policies that served the shop well. An example was having complete and up-to-date job descriptions. Because his team were changing hats as fellow employees needed to take time off, having them rely on those written job descriptions proved invaluable.


David found that all forms of marketing were extremely important. He had to make sure, in spite of the Covid crisis, his customers knew that he and his team were in place and ready to serve. From extra calls to customers to increasing marketing budgets – it was vital to communicate with customers and tell them the shop was open and there for customers. He saw many shops in the area, basically give up. As a result of the management skills learned through DRIVE, David felt he had a game plan and a way forward through the worst of times.


Another element that was important was transparency. David had regular remote meetings with the team, whether they were at the shop or at home working.  Bottom line is that the entire team pulled together and figured it out.


A great example of finding a solution is a tech on staff who had susceptible household members at home. Instead of just calling in sick, he volunteered to come to the shop at 1am and left at 7am before the shop opened up. In this way he found a way to keep his family safe and keep the shop fully in service to its customers.


URBAN CLASSICS had already learned to take steps to learn from this experience like consistently putting money in the shop’s reserves. As a result, in the midst of the chaos caused by the pandemic, David was able to secure the financing necessary to buy his building.


“Before working with DRIVE the shop ‘drove’ me. Now I have both hands on the steering wheel and I drive the shop.” –

David Goldsmith, Owner URBAN CLASSICS AUTO REPAIR Brooklyn, New York


David Goldsmith is grateful to have made it through this period. But as of this writing, the pandemic is still with us and is affecting many shops, both in the short term and long term.


“We are taking no prisoners and have a ‘never say die’ attitude. We do our best to anticipate the obstacles to production caused by the pandemic and come up with best solutions. After the initial crash we are actually beating all of our pre-pandemic numbers.”

David Goldsmith, Owner URBAN CLASSICS AUTO REPAIR Brooklyn, New York.


 Well done URBAN CLASSICS AUTO. Talk about being ready for the unexpected and grabbing what fate throws at you by the horns. Well done indeed!


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