Continually growing their business from year to year!
Advanced Towing & Automotive has been under Mark Showalter’s ownership for the last five and a half years, and it shows. Since taking control of the business from the previous owner he has been able to grow it through new marketing tactics. Mark says, “every year has gotten better, but it’s been the last year and a half that we have really taken off and made ourselves a formidable shop in town with a solid reputation and an ever-growing customer base.” They’re now the top towing business in their area! With a dedicated team of nine, they have been able to fine tune their work to perfection.
Mark has a long history of living in Vernal, Utah with multiple generations of his family living in the town. He has a deep love for his community and the people that live there. He says, “the members of this community are hardworking and closeknit. I’m proud of where I’m from and I’m always happy to give back to it.” When Mark isn’t at the shop you can most likely find him drag racing. He actually proposed to his wife in 2017 while participating in a street legal shootout at the Western Colorado Dragway. The county just finished building a drag strip eight miles from his business last fall, so he is looking forward to spending a lot of time there this year. He also loves to spend time with his family. With a two-year-old son and a little girl on the way, Mark and his wife are kept very busy.
One thing that makes Advanced Towing & Automotive stand out from their competitors is their customer service. Mark says, “customer service can go a long way, so we make sure to maintain a high level of it.” When you take care of and value your customers their more likely to become a repeat customer and recommend your shop to people, they know. Keeping and growing your clientele is essential part of owning a business. One way they do this is by owning up to and fixing any mistakes the shop makes. As Mark puts it, “we’re all human and we’re all going to make mistakes, but if you handle them right you’re not going to lose a customer because of it.”
As the only heavy towing operation in his area, Mark knows there’s always something that needs to be towed. To run a successful towing business, one needs to be up to face any challenge. And Mark has faced many in his five and a half years in the business. His area is known to produce large amounts of oil and natural gas, so there are lots of terrain difficulties when it comes time to do his job. By having a dedicated tow manager, he is able to have every tow documented in great detail in the invoice and get bills set out quickly.
A piece of advice he’s received as a DRIVE client that’s gone a long way is to advertise yourself. Mark says at first it “was a hard pill to swallow”. To put money you don’t feel like you have into something that may not pay off right away feels silly. But, after sticking with it the benefits came back tenfold. Mark says, “we have gotten so many new customers from advertising and having a presence on the web.” New customers are right around the corner and advertising is how you get them from the street into your business.
Another way Mark motivates himself is to remember to never give up. When he believes in himself and his team, his performance improves, and his shop does better. He remembers where he started and how far he’s come since he took over. Mark says, “you can have an awful day or week and just want to crawl in a hole and hide. But it all passes, and life moves on. Don’t live in the one bad moment, look at the bigger picture and keep putting one foot in front of the other.”
One way Mark keeps his eye on the bigger picture is by focusing his efforts on his marketing. Before becoming a DRIVE client, Mark’s days were very quiet and filled with a lot of stress due to the lack of business. He was so overwhelmed with the multitude of things that needed to be done that he couldn’t put anything into action. As he started working with DRIVE, he was now able to prioritize what needed to be done and where to start. “As each piece was completed, things began to fall into place.”
Mark says DRIVE’s push for him to establish a strong online presence has been one of the largest contributions to his success. Especially in the summer months as his town receives a lot of tourists from May to September. He says, “with DRIVE doing our website and content online, it keeps us relevant and at the top of the search listings in our area.” With DRIVE’s help his business now has the highest Google rating and most reviews out of any independent shop in his town, which helps consistently bring in new customers. That along with a professional website has helped to set them apart from their competitors.
With all of the improvements to his business, Mark has definitely seen a payoff. Just last year they were voted the #1 Towing Company and #3 Automotive Repair in Vernal. The awards were given to the shop by Best of the Basin that the local newspapers holds. The winners are decided directly by votes from residents of Vernal. Mark called it a “humbling experience” to place in top 3 for both categories, especially since it came directly from his community. He can’t wait for this upcoming year and to keep growing his business in new, exciting ways!
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Prepared by Chase Clough