John and Lynn Eanes know how to keep their customers happy
Located on the beautiful island of Galveston, TX shop owner John Eanes runs his business based on this philosophy: “If you keep your current customers happy, you will never have to worry about getting new customers.”
Galveston Automotive Professionals (G.A.P.) owner John Eanes is 5th generation in the Galveston community where he and his lovely wife Lynn live in his great grandfather’s house that he built in 1906. Their shop is located in the heart of the historic downtown area of the city. Galveston is not only rich in history but offers mixed cultures. For the wonderful people who appreciate a slower lifestyle, a great sunset, a drive along the beach and a great mechanic, Galveston is the place for you!
John Eanes has over 30 years of mechanical experience. His lifetime goal was to be a mechanic. After high school, he graduated from Texas State Technical Institute’s Automotive Repair program and began working in various dealerships. After realizing the dealerships weren’t appreciating his hard work and valuing him as an employee, he decided enough was enough and opened his shop. In 1991, Galveston Automotive Professionals was born.
As an O’Reilly Certified Auto Repair facility, Galveston Automotive offers a 5-star automotive repair experience that provides a clean and bright repair facility, friendly and professional staff, complete and thorough vehicle repairs at a fair and honest price, and outstanding customer service. They also provide a desirable work environment that offers both professional and economic growth for its employees. They take pride in having the support of their community for nearly 30 years and promise to always stand behind their word and the work they provide to their customers. Unfortunately, G.A.P. does not have a parking lot, so they utilize street parking and must constantly move cars. The coordination and logistics of vehicles is crucial to their success and scheduling appointments is critical to keeping the day under control.
Throughout the years’ John has faced many challenges as a shop owner, one major challenge he faced early on was finding a bigger space so he could get more customers and start hiring people to help him. In 2000 he bought a 6000 square foot building that used to be part of an antique car museum. He moved the business to the Mechanic Street location with the hope that one day, he would be able to fill that huge space. After moving in, things were rocking and rolling, he started getting more business, hiring more mechanics, even a service writer. Everything seemed great. Then on September 13, 2008, Galveston was hit by Hurricane Ike and over 75% of all buildings on the island had water or wind damage. Mechanic Street, where his shop is located had over 13 feet of water. Nearly 7 feet of water surged into their shop during the storm. They were evacuated for 12 days and once they returned to the island, they spent the next 2 months cleaning up and working to get back to business. John was determined: he had already put too much time and energy into his shop, and nothing was going to stop him from reaching his new goal, becoming the best shop in Galveston!
Before DRIVE, John thought if the shop was full of cars, he was making money. After joining DRIVE in 2013, he soon found out how wrong he was. It required many difficult changes but has brought significant success and has changed his life dramatically. Since 2013 sales have gone from $400,000 to just under $1,000,000 in 2020. That includes almost a 10% increase from 2019 vs. 2020. That’s quite the statement for a year unlike any other in our history.
Plus, every square inch of the shop floor is in use for production. During his time with DRIVE and with the help of Lynn and his consultant, he has learned how to fix his business and change how he views the role of “The Owner”. Change has never come easy to John, after a year of many consultant calls and resisting change, with the encouragement of his wife he finally realized that DRIVE’s ideas could and would help him gain control of the business. All he had to do was believe there was a better way to run the shop. Once he accepted the advice being given, John discovered that incremental changes could change his life exponentially. As soon as that light bulb went off in his head, there was no looking back. John convinced Lynn to quit her job in 2018 and come to work as the Business Manager of the shop. It has been a win-win situation for them. “Do not let anyone tell you that you can’t work with your wife” says John. He built a team that has worked together to achieve the success they are enjoying today. Both Lynn and John have a positive outlook for the future of G.A.P. and their personal lives too.
Outside the shop, one of John’s passions is spending quality time with Lynn. Together they have 3 antique Packard vehicles that he devotes a great deal of time to. Lynn and John enjoy going to meets with other Packard owners and are always on the lookout for a great car to add to their small collection of Packard’s. They enjoy getting them out for that Sunday drive and chatting up with other vintage car enthusiasts they come across. Charity work is also something they take very seriously; Lynn has served on the Board of Directors of Galveston Island Humane Society, The Galveston County
Food Bank, and the Galveston Island Tree Conservancy. John has been a member of Kiwanis for more than 25 years and currently serves on the Board of Directors of African Children’s Haven that supports a community of African (Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania) children and their families to help them achieve healthier, happier and more productive lives. Most of all, they enjoy spending time at their second home in Bandera, Texas, where they enjoy the quietness of the Hill Country, watching the wildlife, and relaxing peacefully on the back porch. They also love to travel and look forward to the pandemic getting under control so they can jump on a plane and visit Europe once again.
Congratulations to John, Lynn and the entire Galveston Automotive Professionals team. We’re looking forward to seeing what they will accomplish in 2021.
Prepared by: Christian Cesena
SHOP OWNER MAGAZINE newsletter link