Drive: Boyd Adams
Boyd opened Adams Collision in 2003 and now operates two locations in Baton Rouge. For him, business is all about moving forward. Vehicles come into his shop devastated; they leave immaculate. People come into his shop angry; they leave happy. And when his customers are happy, Boyd is happy.
Tell us briefly about yourself and your company.
I’m a very self-driven person, and I’ve always been in the service industry dealing with customers. I started Adams Collision because I knew the industry was lacking in customer service.
What was your single motivating factor to open this business?
I think it was the satisfaction of what you get out of serving a client in this industry. Most of them don’t realize a car is the second most expensive thing they’ll buy in their lifetime, and they put the most cherished people in their life in this vehicle. If it’s not properly repaired, it can be catastrophic the next time they get in a collision. There’s so much in this field that’s cosmetic. They see the pretty, but they don’t see the structure side of it. We’re almost kind of like a plastic surgeon and an orthopedic surgeon. If we don’t get the structure part right, the pretty part’s not that important anyway. That’s just what the customer sees. For me it was the satisfaction of serving the public, offering them a quality they don’t get from others. Our business has a lot of repeat customers, and it’s because of the product we put out and the way we treat people.
What inspires you on a daily basis? What gets you out of bed in the morning and makes you go?
Not moving forward is not acceptable for me. I want to be better every day. I try to learn something every day. I believe if you get to the point in life where you think you’re not learning something every day, you’re really kind of lost.
What has been the most challenging part?
For Adams Collision—and this was unforeseen before I got into it—the tough part has been dealing with the insurance industry. The insurance industry has a lot of controls on cost in a body shop that the public has no clue of. We have an insurance commissioner’s office that sets rates, which are basically set off what insurance companies decide. The other challenging part is managing different personalities of employees. Right now we have about 16 people, and you have to learn every person is different. Not that you treat them differently, but you have to understand how to handle the day-to-day processes with each employee.
You’ve now run three successful companies. What factors do you think are critical to succeeding as an entrepreneur?
You’ve got to have a goal, and you’ve got to have a way of achieving that goal. You have to continuously reevaluate and make further goals. You don’t just make a plan today and have the business survive forever based on that plan.
What do you think are your personal factors to success?
I can very easily talk to people. I never feel out of the box or uncomfortable, no matter the situation. I’m a people person.
Every business has its slow times. How do you handle them?
We get about three different slow times during the year. We take that time to educate employees, evaluate the facility, our equipment and make upgrades as needed. The slow times help us prepare for the seasonal swings we get.
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